(intense music) – [Narrator] New faces don’t
mean different expectations. This Andy Kennedy squad
has always had one goal, and that’s to take the next step. – [Announcer] Shot clock down to five, Burdett tryin’ to get to the rim lay’s it up on the
glass, tipped in by Saiz. (applause) They get it in to Jeroh,
loses his balance, he can’t foul and he
lost, they didn’t call it, it’s off the backboard,
it does not matter, Ole Miss comes from
behind and wins 90 to 88. – [Narrator] With two tight
wins to open the season, that next step is at
a place far from home. And what’s in store for this team is undoubtedly an experience
they will never forget. – Hey Bre, come with CJ. Hey do you realize you’re not jumpin’? Do you realize you are? I think you should, like
if you watch Dre, watch. Watch his legs, he
explodes, he jumps high. And for you, I think
you’re a jump shooter, you know what I mean? Like when you’re shooting
threes, you’re exploding into it. Some guys are set shooters where
they don’t even barely jump and they use their arm and their wrist. – [Narrator] Every young
team’s first goal of the season is to find its identity, quickly. With over half of the
players being newcomers, that means a lot of work. Luckily or this young team,
they have a young leader who has been there, done that. – [Announcer] On the offensive
Les Curtis out to Abernathy. (applause) Todd Abernathy it seems has
been at Ole Miss, it seems– – [Commentator] I think seven,
eight years, maybe a decade. (laughing) – [Narrator] Assistant
Coach Todd Abernathy has a long history within
Ole Miss basketball. A fan favorite during his playing time, Abernathy finished his playing career under then-first year
head coach Andy Kennedy so it would go without saying Abernathy was a perfect fit for coming
back and coaching at Ole Miss. – The biggest key honestly
for this trip is you guys. If we carry over the
things that we practice, that we’ve been practicing since August, we can beat anybody here. One of our biggest issues is trust, okay? I was asking some of the guys, hey why are you looking around when you’re guarding
the ball, and they said well we’re afraid the
bigs aren’t gonna call it. Communicate, be loud. The great thing about this place, there ain’t gonna be a lot of
people there so you’re gonna be able to hear each
other, hear us as coaches. About Oral Roberts, they’re one in one, their first game of the season they played Baylor and they lost by 15. What they want to do though,
they want to play inside out. They have three bigs that are really good. And for example against Baylor, they scored 38 points in the paint. Now this is their guy. Averaging 16 shots a game,
he is a left handed beast. He wants to get to his
left hand every time. Check this out, he made
27 jump hooks last year. So bigs, you gotta do your work early, if he gets position,
there’s nothing you can do. Kinda like the kid from Umass. So do your work early and
then shade on his right side, forcing him, make him go right. – We got a game plan, we
know what we’re doing. Let’s load up and go man. – Let’s go baby. – [Narrator] Being away from
home is tough for anyone. And for parents with newborns, that sentiment is only more true. – We got an eight month old boy, I think my wife is struggling leaving him, she hasn’t been away from him, so. I go recruiting a lot and so I’m used to kinda being away a couple days, but I know for my wife
it’s gonna be a big deal. – It’s hard. – But I think it’s much needed, right? – I guess. (laughing) when I’m on the beach I’ll probably agree. – That’s right, that’s right. (airplane signal sound) – [Pilot] Ladies and
gentlemen welcome to St Thomas where the local time is
approximately 10:13 pm. Use caution when opening overhead bins as some items may have
shifted during flight. Welcome to St Thomas. – [Narrator] It’s an exciting experience travelling to somewhere as
beautiful as the Virgin Islands. But excitement can be
seen as a distraction, and for this Ole Miss team
it’s always business first. (whistle blowing) (yelling) – Two, nothing wrong with that! – Good, good, good. – [Narrator] But of course it doesn’t hurt to dip your feet in every once in a while. (upbeat trumpet music) – Hey do me! (laughing) – Hey! You know what I’m doing to you. – You gotta take a dive now. – Getting in the water now. – [Narrator] It was American
poet EE Cummings that once said it’s always ourselves we find in the sea, so it’s fitting that Cullen
Neal’s journey to Ole Miss begins here in the Virgin Islands. – The coach’s kid is going somewhere else. UNM guard Cullen Neal
says he’s transferring and won’t play for the Lobos next year. – [Narrator] The Junior transfer was New Mexico’s 2012 Mr Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year. The high honors for the high schooler led him to play for the
University of New Mexico under his father, Craig Neal. His freshman year, he played in both the Mountain West Title Game
and the NCAA tournament. Now with his degree from New Mexico and two years of
eligibility left, Neal opted to come play for his father’s
long time friend Andy Kennedy. – It was just time for me to
move on and find another school and luckily enough Ole Miss became home. I think I just need to lead this team. I’m the point guard for the team, so I need to make sure
everybody’s in the right spots and I need to just be overall
playmaker on the floor. My teammates are family, so, we’re two and oh and we just
want to keep going forward. (ocean waves) – [Announcer] There’s a
mistake for Oral Roberts off the pressure from Ole Miss. (buzzer) Burnett with a step back, ties the game. And why not, Burnett. 37 points, he’s knocked out nine of twelve from beyond the arc. 79 apiece after Ole
Miss scores five points in the blink of an eye. – Showboat’s important, tip’s important. – [Announcer] This is the way the season’s going to continue to go for Ole Miss. This is going to be a
heart-stopping year for their fans. Brooks with a three. That gets us going here in overtime. And there he is on the defensive end couldn’t get to it though,
it’s blocked by Saiz, falls to Saiz, the tip’s there for Hymon, and it’s an eight point game. – [Commentator] Well
Hymon’s been a huge impact here in the second half in overtime. – [Announcer] Here’s Neal, quick release and a four point lead. – [Commentator] That New
Mexico transfer’s been quiet, hit one in the first
half, but a huge trip. – [Announcer] There’s that
smile that his mom says is back on his face now that he’s in a new setting here in Oxford. Two on one, Burnett to Brooks,
Burnett with the follow. Burnett saves the day for Ole Miss, they stave off the upset
bid from Oral Roberts. It’s not enough to offset a
tournament record 41 points and nine threes, from the
next great volume scorer, at least that’s what it looks to be for Andy Kennedy and the Rebels. – We gotta stay together
though, together on three. One, two, three, together. (applause) – Snap thought you snap though bro. – He just told me to stay in it, he was yellin at me basically
tellin’ me to stay in it. And that’s what I did. The play gonna come, he was
like the play is comin’, you fine to step up and make a big shot. And that’s what happened, I
stepped up and made a three. – And I told Dre, Dre didn’t
think we was gonna win two straight games,
these two straight games and I told Dre he was gonna
make a play to win the game. – What, I had it right here at my ear. Pinpoint accuracy. – But do you see what your base look like? – What you mean I did this, I don’t need to have to do all of that. Soon as I take the shot, I’m runnin’ it, I don’t pass, that’s just the fate. – Set, Red 18, Red 18 go. – I didn’t get to that,
I didn’t get to that because I only played little league. We didn’t do all that, we
just said down, set, hut. (upbeat music) – So next up, it’s getting kinda late, you know we have a game tomorrow. So now got some cold cuts
just gonna go to bed now. What about this dude over
here, over here climbing. Goodnight! – [Announcer] Ole Miss pulls
away in the second half, they did it with a strong
run to open the half. Opening up leads as large as 16 and never let St Joe’s
much closer than that. Good win for Ole Miss. First time in four games
this year that Andy Kennedy hasn’t had to sweat it
out there at the end. His Rebels learned to win tight games, today learned to put a team away. – I was about to get hot,
I’m talking Sesame Chicken. I’m about to go Dre for 41. – You look exhausted. Does he not look exhausted? – I told Andrew I fell
asleep before the game. – I told you bro that rare steak, you can’t get sick off
rare steak, yes you can! (laughing) – Huge second half man, huge second half. Now don’t be satisfied. Let’s go get us a championship, let’s go get us a championship alright? (cheering) (seagulls) – [Narrator] Travelling is always an opportunity for new experiences. For many players on this team, that means getting to do things
they’d never done before. – So we about to go
scuba diving, let’s go. – I mean it’s been amazing, I
don’t know if you can see it but straight over this is like paradise. I’ve never been to anything like this, so just coming out here with my brothers it’s just like making us closer. – [Narrator] This may
be the first time Brooks has gotten his sea legs under
him, but on the hardwood, this senior is no stranger to big moments. – [Announcer] Brooks with
the ball fake, he answers! (cheering) – [Narrator] A junior college transfer, Brooks follows in the wake of
other Ole Miss JC transfers including Stefan Moody
and Marshall Henderson. In his debut season at Ole Miss, he averaged nearly ten points per game and became a key role player
for head coach Andy Kennedy. Now in his senior year, he has
become the emotional leader of this young and very
different kind of team. – Coming into this
tournament, we just wanted to kinda find ourselves, see who we are. The first two games were
close so we still tryin’ to get better from those
and tryin’ to find ourselves as a team and find our
identity and get better. Try to win it all and go home with a little more confidence
than we had coming in here. I feel like my hair is blowing
in the breeze right now. Oh I’m’a get some amazing
cuts, this is what I do, I was built for this. I’m going in baby! (Caribbean music) This is heaven on earth man. This is a crazy crazy experience. Hey I’m enjoying it too. – Alright he’s going to
push you through, boom, go. Lift on me, throw, boom. – [Narrator] Playing three
games in a single weekend can be a tall order for
any basketball player. So while the team is not
practicing on the court, it’s still on Assistant
Coach Bill Armstrong to prepare the team for
anything they might see in the championship game. – I don’t want to overwhelm
you with all their actions. Everything they do, they do it hard, they run their stuff, we gotta
be true to our principles. We gotta be, communicate, help each other, be off to the ball, we’re
gonna switch one through four. One through four ball’s
great for switching, ’cause all those fours can shoot. Ball’s over the top big’s
don’t let him attack you, counter attack him, but use
your length, get your hands up, don’t let him throw any lobs on us. We gotta play extremely
hard and we cannot relax. – One way to keep that thing
to getting lobbed on you is if he comes off on that ball spring, opposite guard just get in his path, you can’t just when
somebody’s in your path. Ball’s coming up, I’m off, just helping, get in his path so he can’t. – Don’t be so close to him man, not pressure him, gap him, gap him. Make sure you keep him in front. Talk it through, talk it through. Keep him in front, keep him in front. Good good good, that’s the
way to talk through it. Get back, back, everybody back. (cheering) – Let’s go Jays, let’s go Jays! – If your mindset ain’t we for the win, don’t leave this locker room. (clapping) They ain’t got no AK over there. All that work we put in, we got it. (cheering) – [Announcer] Ole Miss looks for it’s biggest non conference victory ever. Never beaten a team ranked
this high, out of conference and if they can pull off
the upset here today, it’ll give them the championship of the US Virgin Island Paradise Jam. Jumps into a double
team, dribbles out of it. Hurls it over to Brooks,
he sizes up for three. Got it, Brooks! Brooks loses a handle for a moment, now sends it on the right to Eustis who drives hard to the lane
with the one-handed hammer. Hoo, Eustis! Davis on the right side to Brooks, free ball on the way, it’s good. Oh there’s your irrational confidence. One of those don’t you
dare take that shot, it doesn’t even touch the rim. Zern is all up in Burnett’s grill, he steps back, a bad shot, but Eustis just gets the offense support free ball, all the way
from Burnett it’s good. Rebels crashing the glass. Davis now drives the lane left side, puts it up and scores and he’s fouled. Creighton Poster drives the lane, puts up another and scores. Timeout Andy Kennedy as
the Blue Jays faithful comes to its feet. Three seconds to go, Burnett
has his pocket picked by Watson, a runner at
the buzzer, no good. Oh my goodness, the Ole
Miss Rebels put together a whale of a first half and they lead number 12 Creighton, 46 to 40. – If you drive they scared of you. I’m gonna tell you what
it is, but we gotta guard. If we guard, the offense
gonna come, we can score. Hey let’s get it baby! Business on three, one
two three, business. – [Narrator] In a trip that
was defined by identity, the Rebels were 20 minutes
away from knowing theirs. Had the Rebels finally found the spark that makes them a great team, or is there still work to be done? Whatever the case, the
12th ranked Blue Jays weren’t done chirping. – [Announcer] Furmanavicius
who was such a key in the first half off the bench, he’ll start this second half with a nifty move on the baseline. – [Commentator] Oh that was wicked! – [Announcer] Inbound from
the corner on our left it’s stolen by Burnett, lobbed up to Neal, puts it up off the glass and scores with a lay in on the pass break. A ten point lead for Ole Miss. Neal to inbound nearside
baseline, Saiz, Neal, quarter three on the way,
they needed three they got it! Austin Hayes did a great
job to stay with him and it didn’t matter,
Foster’s up to 23 now. (intense upbeat music) – [Narrator] With the Ole
Miss lead down to just one, Creighton has proven why they were the fastest scoring team in the nation, and with that momentum on the
12 ranked Blue Jays’ side, it was just too much for
the Rebels to overcome. – [Announcer] Burnett with the basketball off the high screen, to the elbow, another jump shot, he nails that one. How about Foster saving
that one, out to Hegner, and Creighton has come back from 11 down for their first lead since
12 minutes in the first half. The Blue Jays are gonna come away with another early season
tournament victory. They grinded their way there. The Blue Jays have won the US
Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. – It was great down here man. It’s hard to win the ship, but you can’t win the ship sometimes. – I think we all had a good time out here, we learned a lot about ourselves, we learned how resilient we are, we learned how good we can be. I’m kinda sad we didn’t
get out here with a dub, but nobody’s gonna go undefeated, so. – It was a pretty good weekend, would have been better if we got the win. But we goin’ in the right
direction as far as what’s next, so learn from this loss
here and just be ready for what’s coming next. (upbeat music)