Ole Miss basketball’s 86-83 season-opening win over UT Martin on Friday night was very much a hard hat tour of an offense still scrambling to finish up its post-Stefan Moody construction. With its fulcrum, big man Sebastian Saiz, limited to just 17 minutes by foul trouble, the Rebels’ offensive machinery lurched and sputtered at times, coughing up 24 turnovers and letting UTM hang close enough to take not one, but two game-tying shot attempts in the final 7 seconds.
Saiz’s absence pushed the scoring onus outwards to the guards, and that’s where this game did provide some encouragement. Miami transfer Deandre Burnett, who’s expected to take over as the go-to scorer, looked the part with an efficient 23 points. And sophomore shooting guard Terence Davis, well, I’ll let Andy Kennedy run you through his numbers off the bench.
“Look at his stat line: he had 19 points, six rebounds, 9-of-13 from the floor, two assists, a block and a steal. Looking at that stat line, it is easy to think Davis played great.”
Though AK dropped Davis’ grade down to a “B-minus” because of sloppy defensive play (and two boneheaded turnovers in the final minutes didn’t help, either), he noted that “when Terence Davis is in attack mode, he looks pretty good.”
I’ll say. Davis, who averaged just 1.8 points and 6.6 minutes per game as a freshman last season, provided a critical spark off the bench. With Ole Miss down 7 points with just under two minutes left in the first half, Davis swatted away a UTM shot, grabbed the rebound, raced down the floor and finished with this sexy layup.
After a Skyhawks 3-pointer cut Ole Miss’ lead to 81-78 with a minute and a half left in the game, Davis showed up with this filthy throw-down.
A former top-200 recruit, Davis has the athleticism to become an elite playmaker. And at 6’4, 201 pounds, the former high school football star has the size and affinity for contact to establish himself as a knifing scorer. He still has plenty of developing to do—his spectacular highlights will probably continue to be interspersed with dumb mistakes like his needless throwaway while Ole Miss was trying to milk the clock—but in the meantime, he could be a hell of a weapon off the bench.