n OXFORD - Basketball season begins in earnest at Ole Miss today with both the Rebels and Lady Rebels in action at Tad Smith Coliseum.
The Ole Miss women begin a campaign that head coach Carol Ross hopes results with a return to the NCAA Tournament when they host Southeastern Louisiana at 11 a.m.
It is the Lady Rebels' annual "School Day" game in which elementary-age students and teachers are invited to take a field trip to the game.
Southeastern's Lady Lions return 10 players from an 11-16 team and are picked to finish first in the Southland Conference's East Division.
Returning forward Brenita Williams led the team with 11.0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game last season.
The Lady Rebels, 17-14 a year ago, defeated DT3 78-76 in their only exhibition contest.
The Rebels play at 7 p.m. against SWAC member Mississippi Valley State. It is the first meeting between the two state schools and the debut for new Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy.
Valley returns four starters from a 9-19 team under second-year coach James Green, the former Ole Miss player and Southern Miss coach.
Seniors Jefferey Price, Tychicus Snow and Kadrian Bryant each averaged eight points for the Delta Devils last year.
Ole Miss went 14-16 last season.
Career victory No. 500
in sight for MSU's Fanning
n STARKVILLE - When the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs open their season at 7 p.m. against Troy today, coach Sharon Fanning will aim for another milestone: 500 wins.
And the odds are in her favor, as she is 64-6 at Humphrey Coliseum against non-SEC teams.
She'll also have the services of MSU president Dr. Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong as the guest coach.
In its 12th year now, the Guest Coach program allows community members, government officials and fans to experience the Lady Bulldog gameday atmosphere first-hand.
MSU went 6-22 last season, while Troy went 9-18.