#53 Ole Miss Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Ole Miss Rebels
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #53
Conference Rank: #7 SEC
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Mississippi took a step back in Coach Kermit Davis’ second season leading the program. After reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2019, the Rebels fell to 15-17 overall last season. But that is about what most expected from Ole Miss last season and the expectations are growing heading into the 2020-2021 campaign. Losing Breein Tyree leaves a hole in the scoring department, but there should be plenty of players ready to step up and help fill that void.
2019-20 Record: 15-17, 6-12
Coach: Kermit Davis
Coach Record: 35-30 at Ole Miss, 438-268 overall
Key Departed Players:
Breein Tyree, Guard, 19.7 ppg
Blake Hinson, Guard/Forward, 10.1 ppg
Bryce Williams, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Carlos Curry, Forward, 0.7 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Devontae Shuler, Senior, Guard, 11.7 ppg
KJ Buffen, Junior, Forward, 10.1 ppg
Khadim Sy, Senior, Forward, 9.0 ppg
Luis Rodriguez, Junior, Guard/Forward, 5.8 ppg
Sammy Hunter, Sophomore, Forward, 2.9 ppg
Austin Crowley, Sophomore, Guard, 2.8 ppg
Antavion Collum, Sophomore, Forward, 1.3 ppg
Key New Players:
Robert Allen, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Samford, not eligible
Jarkel Joiner, Junior, Guard, Transfer from CSU Bakersfield
Matthew Murrell, Freshman, Guard
Shon Robinson, RS Freshman, Forward
Dimencio Vaughn, Senior, Guard/Forward, Grad Transfer from Rider
Romello White, Senior, Forward, Grad Transfer from Arizona State
Senior Devontae Shuler is the team’s top returning scorer at 11.7 points per game. He also added 4.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals. Shuler’s scoring efficiency took a step back last season since he was asked to take more shots, but he still had a very good season and is more than ready to take the big shots for the Rebels. The frontcourt was a concern heading into last season, but KJ Buffen and Khadim Sy stepped into starting roles and did quite well. There is room for improvement on the glass and defensively, but those two will provide an interior scoring threat. Luis Rodriguez took a step forward last year and a trio of sophomores will look for more playing time this season as well. But the newcomers could have the larger impact. Arizona State transfer Romello White will immediately help with the poor rebounding and add a much needed shot blocking threat as well. After averaging 10.2 points and 8.8 rebounds with the Sun Devils last season, White will be looking to make a huge splash in Oxford. Fellow graduate transfer Dimencio Vaughn averaged 14.8 points and 6.6 rebounds with Rider last season. The 6-5 wing will have one chance to show what he can do against tougher competition in the SEC and he will want to make the most of that opportunity. Jarkel Joiner will find a spot in the rotation as well. He spent two years at CSU Bakersfield where he earned First-Team All-WAC honors in 2018-2019 behind 18.6 points per game. This Mississippi team has talent. Some of it is unproven at this level, but it is there. This team will not lack for scoring options and the addition of White should make a huge difference on the other side of the floor. A trip to the NCAA Tournament may be asking a little bit too much, but Ole Miss can get very close.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.0 (237th in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.5 (157, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.2 (202, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (162, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.0 (287, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.0 (250, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.0 (109, 7)
Rebound Margin: -1.0 (231, 12)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (192, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.2 (183, 7)

Madness 2020 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#38 Matthew Murrell