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Seniors, Frank ushers Lady Rebs into new era

The Lady Rebels seek to put the tumultuous offseason behind them and begin their season tonight against Southeastern Louisiana in Tad Smith Coliseum.
Austin McAfee/The Daily Mississippian

After an offseason that seemed like it would never end, the Ole Miss women’s basketball team finally gets to start its season tonight as it takes on Southeastern Louisiana in Tad Smith Coliseum.
Ole Miss finished last season 12-18 and 2-14 in Southeastern Conference play before head coach Renee Ladner stepped down. Adrian Wiggins looked to lead the Rebels into the 2012-13 campaign before finding himself in the middle of an NCAA investigation, which led to his termination. In steps Brett Frank, an assistant on Wiggins’ staff, who will serve as the acting head coach this season.
The Lady Rebels are picked to finish last in the SEC by the league’s coaches and 12th by the media.
Junior guard Valencia McFarland was named preseason second team All-SEC by the coaches. She started all 30 games and led the team in scoring with 13.5 points per game.
Aside from McFarland, seniors Courtney Marbra and Maggie McFerrin will be called upon to lead the team and usher in a new era of Lady Rebel basketball.
“We put a lot of stock in our seniors,” Frank said. “Maggie and Courtney have really stepped up and taken a leadership role for the team. They both direct things on and off the court.”
Last season, Marbra was a team captain and appeared in all 30 games, making 17 starts. McFerrin played in 20 games last season, making 12 starts, and was third on the team with 24 3-pointers.
There will also be new faces, with newcomers Diara Moore and Destini Price, as well as a new style of play on the court.
“We’re gonna play with pace,” Frank said. “We’re going to stress our opponents on both ends of the floor. We’re going to have a high-pressure defense and look to attack in transition offensively. We want to make people play outside of their comfort zone.” 
Tipoff for tonight’s season opener is set for 5:30 p.m. 
For continuing coverage of Ole Miss women’s basketball, follow @thedm_sports and @JLgrindin on Twitter.