Markel Crawford intends to transfer to Ole Miss after graduating from Memphis in May, according to Scout’s Ben Garrett. The shooting guard, who could potentially play the two or the three for Andy Kennedy, will be immediately eligible to play in Oxford as a graduate transfer.
Crawford, who was ranked just outside of the nation’s top 100 coming out of high school in 2013, averaged 12.8 points in just over 30 minutes per game as a redshirt junior for Memphis last season. His shooting percentage from the field (48 percent) and length (6’5) is even more enticing. Ole Miss’ offense needs someone to help shoulder the load of replacing Sebastian Saiz and Crawford is another outstanding athlete who will join Deandre Burnett, Terence Davis, Cullen Neal and Breein Tyree in the backcourt who can help alleviate the pressure of replacing the All-SEC big man.
With Saiz and his double doubles gone, there's been some concern that Ole Miss won't have anyone that can score next season. Terence Davis showed signs of brilliance at times last season and Deandre Burnett came on strong at the end, but the options behind them are limited. Crawford can bring some stability to an offense that needs someone to score buckets and grab rebounds (he averaged 4.4 boards per game in 2016).
His arrival also allows Ole Miss to keep quite a bit of length on the floor, especially at the guard position. The Rebels could potentially have a starting five of Breein Tyree (6’2), Terence Davis (6’4), Markel Crawford (6’5), Marcanvis Hymon (6’7) and Dominik Olejniczak (7’0). Throw in fellas off the bench like Deandre Burnett (6’2), Cullen Neal (6’4), Justas Furmanavicius (6’7) and Karlis Silins (6’11) and Ole Miss all of a sudden has some big bodies to throw at opponents next season. And don’t forget about newcomers Devontae Shuler (6’3), Parker Stewart (6’5), Jamarko Pickett (6’7) and JUCO transfer Bruce Stevens (6’8).
Crawford will bring an explosive scoring mentality and an ability to get to the rack and finish. The Memphis native scored 15 or more points 13 times last season, including big-time games against South Carolina (28 points and seven rebounds), UConn (19 points and eight rebounds), Tulane (24 points and five three-pointers) and South Florida (30 points, seven rebounds and five three-pointers). The former four-star recruit should be a lot of fun to watch alongside explosive playmakers Davis and Tyree.