New basketball coach Kermit Davis recently went in-home with three-star combo guard Serrel Smith, gave his sales pitch, and still released him from his letter of intent after he came to the decision that he still wanted to explore his options (including the Rebels).
Now, another signee is wanting out after Andy Kennedy was relieved from his post as head coach.
Anthony Higgs received a release from his LOI with Ole Miss, per a source. Higgs is a 6-7 forward out of Maryland.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) March 25, 2018
Three-star small forward Anthony Higgs has asked and been granted his release from his letter of intent by Ole Miss. Despite this seeming like an awful thing, it’s incredibly normal for coaching changes. Some say the right things, like Higgs, and claim that they want to go to Ole Miss and be a Rebel because of the program, or the culture, or the environment, but at the end of the day, kids commit to the man in charge and his staff.
Can’t blame Higgs for wanting to do some looking around after his future coach was canned. It’s normal procedure.
So what now?
Despite two signees asking for their release, Kermit Davis and his staff are still doing plenty of work despite being down a man. The Rebs are set to host a recently re-classified four-star forward who would certainly be a nice “replacement” for the newly-departed Higgs. The 6’7, 230-pounder from Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.) holds notable offers from Clemson, Florida State, Memphis, Missouri, SMU, and Wichita State.
To add to that impressive visitor, Kermit Davis offered another impressive specimen from Memphis, three-star small forward Antavion Collum. This time, it was in person.
After being on the job for 5 DAYS Ole Miss Head Basketball Coach Kermit Davis comes to Memphis ,TN today to OFFER 6’8 (Point Guard) Antavion Collum. We want to congratulate Antavion and his family. @AntavionCollum pic.twitter.com/MoLD1ZODYr— Tenn Prep Academy (@tennprepacademy) March 25, 2018
The 6’7, 215-pounder is somewhat of an afterthought in Memphis due to East High School’s loaded roster and Cordova’s Tyler Harris, but the Tennessee Prep Academy star has notable offers from Florida, Georgetown, Iowa State, Kansas State, Maryland, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and Western Kentucky. Despite being listed as a forward, “Dude” (as he’s known by friends) is athletic enough to handle the ball, bring it up the floor, and run an offense.
A local Memphis high school coach said Collum actually over-shadowed Kentucky commit and four-star D.J. Jeffries at Olive Branch before transferring to East and that he is certainly capable of headlining Kermit Davis’ first signing class at Ole Miss.
Davis and his staff had already offered from MTSU, but they went in-person with the No. 42nd-ranked small forward in the country to reassure him that he could join them in Oxford now if he wishes. The Olive Branch, Miss. native has played at Olive Branch High School, East High School (for Penny Hardaway), and now Tennessee Prep Academy in Memphis.
What about Davis’ Middle Tennessee class?
It’s pretty normal for commits/signees to want to follow their coach wherever he goes. As we mentioned above, no matter what, kids are attached to the coach and his staff, regardless of location. But, Kermit’s 2018 class are interesting prospects that could bring something to Oxford other than Tea Lizard loyalty.
All three are from Georgia. Three-star small forward K.J. Buffen is a top 200 player who holds notable offers from Georgia Tech, Rhode Island, Wichita State, and is drawing interest from Auburn, Florida, Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. The 6’7 Blue Raider commit led Gainesville High School to a 24-7 record this season and a state runner-up finish.
Three-star shooting guard Tye Fagan committed back in September right after Buffen over offers from College of Charleston, Georgia, Mercer, and South Florida. The 6’3 guard averaged 25.3 points per game for Upson-Lee High School in Thomaston, Ga. and would be a nice addition to the Rebels’ back court who lose Markel Crawford and Deandre Burnett to graduation. Fagan led the Knights to a perfect 31-0 record, a No. 47 ranking in USA Today’s Final Top 25, and their second consecutive 4A Georgia Title.
The third and final member of Kermit’s class in Murfreesboro in Carlos Curry, a 6’11 power forward from Albany, Ga. The post player from Dougherty Comprehensive chose to squad up with Kermit over impressive offers from Florida State, Oklahoma, and Western Kentucky. The Rebs desperately need size on the interior and Curry could be just that. The big guy averaged 13.9 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game, and 3.2 blocks per game.
It’s certainly not inconceivable that all three follow Kermit to Oxford, but there may not be enough room. But, like in football, the numbers usually work themselves out one way or another.