Rebels will feature mix of skilled signees and returning talent in Coach Davis’ first season as head coach
OXFORD, Miss. — As soon as Kermit Davis was introduced as the new head coach of Ole Miss men’s basketball on March 15, he quickly hit the road visiting recruits for the Rebels’ 2018 class. Though he has been on the job for just three months, Coach Davis has already put the finishing touches on his first class for Ole Miss and is now focused on the 2019 class.
Coach Davis’ 2018 Ole Miss signees
Let’s take a quick look at the Rebels’ 2018 class.
Itawamba Community College transfer Brian Halums signed with the Rebels on November 8, while Andy Kennedy was still the head coach—and the 6-foot-5 guard decided to stick with Ole Miss after Kennedy stepped down as head coach in February, 2018.
With the 2018 class, Coach Davis filled spots on an Ole Miss roster that was looking for size, shooting, and athleticism heading into the upcoming season.
Davis and his staff also picked up three-star recruits Blake Hinson (6-foot-7, 230 pounds) and K.J. Buffen (6-foot-7, 205 pounds).
Hinson, who plays power forward, was rated as the top prospect in the state of Kansas and 26th overall in his position on 247Sports.com. He can space the floor for Ole Miss next season, thanks to his ability to shoot from the outside. He’s not scared to put the basketball on the floor and could be a nice complementary piece to Bruce Stevens.
Buffen, who committed to Middle Tennessee State before Coach Davis’ departure to Oxford, is ranked 11th in the state of Georgia and 48th at small forward. He is a solid defender and has the ability to defend the opposing team’s point or shooting guard. Buffen has a niche for attacking the basket and doesn’t mind sticking his body into the paint for a rebound.
Crestwood High point guard Franco Miller Jr., signed with Ole Miss on May 10. He’s a score-first point guard and could draw double teams each time the basketball is in his hands. Miller can score in different areas on the court, which is a plus.
On May 17, Coach Davis and his staff added size to the frontcourt with the addition of three-star power forward Carlos Curry. The Albany, Georgia native is 6-11 and can space the floor with his outside shooting.
Two weeks ago, Davis signed 6-6, 200-pound small forward Louis Rodriguez, who can be considered the icing on the cake for the 2018 class. The Los Angeles native was rated a four-star recruit by 247Sports and first overall in the state of Connecticut.
2019 signing class
Coach Davis and the Rebels have also picked up a commitment for the 2019 class in four-star power forward Rodney Howard out of Roswell, Georgia. He’s ranked ninth in the state of Georgia and 21st in his position on 247Sports. Howard’s commitment brings much-needed size, as he is 6-10, 230 pounds.
The 2018 signees will bring tremendous potential to Coach Davis’ inaugural Ole Miss team–that when combined with the returning players should help the Rebels overcome some of their struggles from last season.
Those key returnees include: Breein Tyree, Devontae Shuler, Terence Davis, and Stevens.
With Davis back in the fold after testing the NBA waters, Ole Miss should have offense to score somewhere in the 80s each game.
As it stands now, Ole Miss could reach new heights next season, and people can thank Coach Davis and his staff for wasting no time recruiting talent to a conference that has improved year-after-year in college basketball.
Even though the season is six months away, Coach Davis has the Rebels moving in the right direction.
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.