Kermit Davis and the 2018 Ole Miss Rebel basketball team started real, live, American basketball practice Monday.
Another major men’s sport is here, you guys. Soak it in.
The biggest news of the presser was most likely the injuries to newcomers G Franco Miller (kneecap) and G/F Luis Rodriguez (meniscus), who are both dealing with knee issues. Both are slated to miss three to five weeks or pretty much the entire pre-season.
Coach Davis addressed how the missed time would affect their progression for the season and when fans could expect to see them back 100 percent.
“It’s tough for freshmen (to make it back),” he said. “These guys are missing so many mental reps ... It’s going to put them back, realistically to the first of December to being effective in college games.”
The loss of two potential guards hurts the depth that already lost Markel Crawford and Deandre Burnett from last season. The Rebels will be running with returning guards Devontae Shuler, Terence Davis, Breein Tyree, DC Davis and newcomers Brian Halums and Blake Hinson in the interim until Miller and Rodriguez return.
Coach Davis is in his 37th year coaching college basketball, and his experienced eye has told him that “bad body language” had to be addressed early on and during the team’s trip to Canada.
“Our ball movement is better than it was (in Canada),” he said. “Defensively we’re making strides, but we’ve got to become a team that can grind possessions.”
Shuler and Terence Davis were two players Coach Davis called out for being leaders, but said they both had to focus on becoming elite defenders. Davis said he feels like Kermit’s intensity has brought the team together in the early practices.
“We look better defensively as a team,” Terence said. “He coaches the same way every day, so that consistency from him we gotta bring the same energy and consistency.”
Other wacky notes from an otherwise typical preseason presser:
- Big man Bruce Stevens (6’8, 252 lbs) has been given a goal weight of 245 lbs by coaches to get playing time at the four position opposite of true five Dominic Olejniczak (7’, 255 lbs).
- Stevens said Coach Davis stays on everybody from the coaches to the managers every da,y which is the biggest difference in the past coaches
- Coach Davis said fans should expect to see a tough, physical, rebounding and willingness-to-pass kind of basketball team this season