OXFORD, Miss. — Following the graduation of senior Breein Tyree and the departures of Franco Miller and Carlos Curry, head men’s basketball coach Kermit Davis recently picked up two signees through the transfer market: grad-transfer guard Dimencio Vaughn from Rider University and forward Robert Allen out of Samford. Coach Davis and his staff continue to blaze the recruiting trail, garnering interest from some of the nation’s best.
Vaughn comes to Ole Miss as ESPN’s No. 7-rated graduate transfer and will be eligible to play in the 2020-2021 season. He averaged double figures the last two seasons, earning First Team All-MAAC honors both years, and last season his stat line included an average of 14.8 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 1.8 STL. Vaughn shot 39% from beyond the arc which could help the Rebels, who shot 32% from deep collectively last year.
“Dimencio gives us a very talented, versatile athlete that plays with a high motor,” Davis said recently.
— Ole Miss Men’s Basketball (@OleMissMBB) April 15, 2020
Prior to attending Rider, Vaughn won a Mississippi high school state championship at Callaway in 2015. He was coached there by former Ole Miss alum David Saunders. He also took a prep year at The Masters School in New York where he averaged 24 PPG paired with 8.5 RPG.
The second addition is Robert Allen, a 6-8, 200-pound forward from Samford, who gives the Rebels some front court depth. He is expected to redshirt the next year, per NCAA regulations (unless the NCAA approves a one-time transfer for student athletes), and would have two years of eligibility remaining.
In his last season at Samford, Allen averaged 14.1 PPG and 7 RPG. Allen brings with him some shot blocking prowess having finished third in the Southern Confernce in blocks. Allen started in 63 of his 65 contests while at Samford.
“Robert will bring tremendous energy to our gym every single day,” Coach Davis said of Allen.
— Ole Miss Men’s Basketball (@OleMissMBB) April 15, 2020
Prior to playing at Samford, Allen played high school ball at Edgewater High School in Orlando Florida.
Ole Miss adds Allen and Vaughn to a class that already features consensus Top-40 high school player and IMG product Matthew Murrell who signed in the spring. The Rebels also signed Wildwood, Florida point guard Marcus Niblack, but he was not announced due to ongoing efforts on Niblack’s part to meet NCAA eligibility requirements.
“He still has some academic work to do,” Coach Davis said. “We think he’s one of the very best guards in Florida. Some people think he may be the best senior guard in Florida. But he’s still working through some academics, and we knew that up front. He’s working really hard with that,” Davis added.
Ole Miss can also look forward to potential contributions from Oxford native and former Cal State Bakersfield guard Jarkel Joiner and redshirt freshman forward Shon Robinson.
Joiner, who sat out the 2019-20 season in Oxford, started 61 of 64 games at CSB and led the team in scoring his sophomore season, averaging 15.6 PPG. Joiner will be eligible to play this coming season. Robinson, a 6’11 forward, was ranked a four-star prospect and No. 85 nationally in the 2020 class by ESPN, but finished high school in the summer to reclassify and become part of the 2019 class.
Recruiting never stops….
There is reason to believe Coach Davis and the Rebels may not be done recruiting as of yet. Ole Miss has had discussions with Holy Cross guard Drew Lowder and VCU forward Marcus Santos-Silva.
Lowder was a shifty guard at Holy Cross last year when he was on the floor as he saw action in 12 games, starting six of them. He shot 29-69 from beyond the arc for a 42% clip. Hailing from Jackson, Michigan, Lowder has received interest from Ole Miss, Memphis, Colorado State, and Oakland per CBS Sports Jon Rothstein.
I’ll put y’all on notice before he blows up. Drew Lowder is a mid-major stud y’all will want to keep an eye on this season. He had 24 and 5 in his college debut against #7 Maryland and his highlights are ridiculous 🔥 pic.twitter.com/UoNASzVrMm
— ♦️ CollegeHoopsAlert ♦️ (@AlertHoops) November 8, 2019
Santos-Silva was a junior this past season at VCU where he started every game the past two seasons. Silva is a hard worker down on the blocks, having averaged double figures in points the past two years. Last season, he notched 10 double-doubles, including highlight performances against Tennessee (22 points, 11 rebounds) and LSU (17 points, 11 Rebounds). At first sight, Santos-Silva may seem small-ish (6’7), but his massive frame (250 lbs) and footwork make him a menace down low.
Marcus Santos-Silva is set to earn his degree in July and will be immediately eligible for the 20-21 season, per his father.
Decision expected in 7-12 days. https://t.co/AAl73bXelp
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 24, 2020
Class of 2021
On the high school front, Briarcrest Christian phenom Kennedy Chandler recently had a FaceTime call with Coach Davis. Ole Miss has been on the Top-20 junior guard from Memphis for a while now, and he looks to cut his list down soon. A junior, Chandler held nearly 30 scholarship offers when he named his top 10 teams back in mid-January. Along with Ole Miss, Duke, North Carolina, and Tennessee, Chandler is said to be considering Kansas, Florida State, Kentucky, Memphis, Michigan and USC.
Chandler has expressed his desire to play in college; however, the NBA G-Leauge has been in contact with Chandler’s parents, so that will be something to watch also. The G League is the NBA’s official minor league. According to its website, 52 percent of players on last year’s end-of-season NBA rosters had G League experience.
Five-star junior Kennedy Chandler has facetimed Ole Miss’ Kermit Davis and Tennessee’s Kim English during the pandemic. He updated @Stockrisers on his recruitment. Says all schools still in contact and he will cut list soon. | Story: https://t.co/zVncwa9SDo pic.twitter.com/nuQdMCEOPb
— Jake (@jakeweingarten) April 5, 2020
Ole Miss has also recently offered wing Scotty Washington from St. John Bosco Prep. The 6-foot-4, 170-pound Washington currently holds offers from Mississippi State, TCU, and Cal State Bakersfield. The Rebels have also offered 2022 wing Joseph Pinion from Morrilton, Arkansas. The 6-foot-6, 180-pound Pinion is a currently a four-star prospect according to Rivals.
Coach Davis and staff have been very active on the recruiting trail in the past couple of months, and while we are starting to see the roster come together a little bit, there is one thing we are certain of — Coach Davis is aggressively going after talent that fits his team for both the short and long term. This is especially important with the NCAA set to vote on a one-time transfer exception.
“I think the new norm in college basketball is changing rosters, evolving rosters,” Coach Davis said recently.
“You have to be recruiting all the time. We’ll definitely see that in the next two or three years when this one-time transfer rule passes. It’s going to pass eventually, whether it’s going to take place in the next month or next year. We don’t know right now. It seems like it’s leaning more favorably in the last three to four weeks that it might come into play this summer. We’ll find it out by the vote. We’re still actively recruiting.”