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‘That’s Ole Miss women’s basketball’: Yo built ‘Dictate and Disrupt’ style with March in mind

Ben Garrettby:Ben Garrett03/22/24


Ole Miss women’s basketball has landed on near-unprecedented year-to-year postseason consistency under head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin.

All because the Rebels went defensive way back in Year 3. 

That’s when McPhee-McCuin, now in her sixth Ole Miss season, transitioned her Rebels into their modern-day ‘Dictate and Disrupt,’ defense-first style of play.

Charlton ‘C.Y.’ Young is currently an assistant at Missouri. However, back then, at least for McPhee-McCuin, he was simply a basketball mentor for a finding-her-way head coach. Young comes from the Leonard Hamilton coaching tree. Hamilton has served as the head coach of Florida State men’s basketball since 2002.

“One day, he just pulled me aside and said, ‘Yo, if you want to really be a (NCAA) tournament team, you’ve got to have a defensive system, and right now, you don’t have one,’” McPhee-McCuin recalled. 

“He spent the whole summer with me, teaching me their system for the Florida State men. I’m a student of the game. I followed it to the tee — from how we play out of bounds, to what we do defensively. He said, ’If you keep doing it, you’ll be able to be deep in the tournament.’

“And the reason why is because it’s very hard to simulate.”

Ole Miss is a seven-seed this week in the NCAA Tournament. 

It’s the third straight year dancing for the Rebels

They’re the 7-seed in the Albany 1 Region. Ole Miss (23-8) takes on 10-seed Marquette (23-8) Saturday at 3:45 p.m. CT on ESPNU. The winner gets No. 2 Notre Dame on their home floor in South Bend, Indiana, in the round of 32.

“It’s a system, so usually when we play teams we don’t spend a lot of time saying, ‘Hey, with this action, we’ll guard it this way.’ No, we have a way we guard actions and ball-screens, etc,” McPhee-McCuin continued.  “That’s where our players’ confidence is built.”

There’s no arguing the results. 

Ole Miss has earned three consecutive bids to the tournament for the first time since 1994-96. Saturday will mark the 20th appearance by the Rebels in the NCAA Tournament in program history.

Ole Miss finished third in the SEC this season and won a school-record 12 league games. The Rebels are in the same region as No. 1 overall seed South Carolina.

“People do what works for them,” McPhee-McCuin said. “They change (their style) for the opponent. We don’t change our philosophy, which is to Dictate and Disrupt. That’s Ole Miss women’s basketball. 

“(Florida State) didn’t call it ‘Dictate and Disrupt.’ Once we started really buying into it and living it, we started saying this is what we’re going to do.”

Rebels Tyia Singleton and Madison Scott joined McPhee-McCuin on Thursday to preview the tournament. Here’s everything the trio had to say.

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