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Coach Kermit Davis, Rebels look ahead to first true road test at Memphis Saturday

Coach Kermit Davis, Rebels look ahead to first true road test at Memphis Saturday

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss men’s basketball team has its first true road test of the 2022-23 campaign this Saturday at Memphis. The team is currently coming off a 2-1 showing at the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando last week.

Head coach Kermit Davis saw promise from his Rebels at the tournament, and he continues to see some trends from his team throughout the early season.

“Except Oklahoma [lone loss], we really had some good second halves,” Davis said at his press conference Friday.

I love the toughness of our team. I love the togetherness of our team, and their spirit and will. I think it will show up tomorrow night [against Memphis]. It has to.

Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis on the Rebels

The 6-1 Rebels head to the FedEx Forum Saturday night for a contest against the 5-2 Memphis Tigers. Davis knows the significance of this game as not only the group’s first road test, but also for the growth of his team.

“I don’t know if it a measuring stick, but it is a game we should be looking forward to,” Davis said.

It is a meaningful game in December in the South. Our NET [NCAA Evaluation Tool] is around 50. Their NET is around 26. It is one of those Quad I games that…will mean a great deal in March.

Kermit Davis on what the Memphis game means

The Rebels prevailed over the Tigers, 67-63, in their matchup in Oxford just about a full year ago. Matthew Murrell, who came off the bench in that matchup, was the leading scorer of those still on the ’22-23 roster with 19 points.

A big factor in the game on Saturday will be the availability of guard Daeshun Ruffin back from injury. Davis touched on his availability and the possibility of seeing him take the floor this weekend.

“It will be a game-time decision,” Davis said about Ruffin.

He went non-contact on Wednesday and a little contact [on Thursday]. We will see how he warms up and will go from there.

Coach Davis on Daeshun Ruffin

While Ruffin may be on the verge of returning to play, Davis mentioned his team may be a little more banged up than he may like.

“We are still trying to fight through some different things,” Davis said.

One of those banged up players is forward Jayveous McKinnis, who is a game-time decision because of a small injury sustained at practice earlier this week. However, Davis expressed confidence in that position group to step up if McKinnis is unavailable Saturday.

Next Up:

The Rebels will look to post a quality early-season win this Saturday on the road against the Memphis Tigers, with tipoff at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

Trevor Terminie
Trevor Terminie

Trevor is a senior at Ole Miss pursuing a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Sports Communication and Promotion. He has previous experience covering sports for another site, including a variety of Ole Miss sports. Growing up in New Orleans, La., he has the Pelicans and Saints running through his blood. He also grew up in an LSU family, but his love for Ole Miss continues to grow. Trevor hopes to cover sports back in his hometown after college. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

About The Author

Trevor Terminie

Trevor is a senior at Ole Miss pursuing a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Sports Communication and Promotion. He has previous experience covering sports for another site, including a variety of Ole Miss sports. Growing up in New Orleans, La., he has the Pelicans and Saints running through his blood. He also grew up in an LSU family, but his love for Ole Miss continues to grow. Trevor hopes to cover sports back in his hometown after college. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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