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3-star forward K.J. Buffen commits to Ole Miss

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Kermit Davis secures a former signee.

NCAA Basketball: Western Kentucky at Middle Tennessee State Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The early signing period has been quite good to the Rebels. Kermit Davis has been able to secure two signees: JUCO All-American Brian Halums and Zach Naylor. Now, he has dipped back into the former Middle Tennessee signee list and snagged another one.

Three-star power forward K.J. Buffen, who originally signed with the Blue Raiders was released from his letter of intent in March, has decided to re-up with Kermit Davis and commit and eventually sign with Ole Miss. The Georgia native joins the aforementioned Halums and Naylor in Kermit’s 2018 class.

The No. 39 power forward per Rivals picked the Rebels over offers from Arkansas State, Buffalo, FGCU, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion, Rhode Island, South Florida, Tennessee Tech, and Wichita State among others. And after receiving his release from MTSU, he was receiving heavy interest from notable programs like Auburn, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

How does he fit in?

The Gainesville, Ga. native led the Red Elephants to a 25-5 record in the 2017-2018 season and was named to the 6A All-State team. The No. 10 ranked player in Georgia is a versatile player who his head coach, Benjie Wood, thinks will fit in nicely to Kermit’s scheme. He talked with Rivals’ Michael Gallagher about it.

“I think he’ll fit in very well. You’re going to get a very versatile forward who can defend all five positions. I tell people all the time that as far as what he’s going to contribute on the court, he’s similar to a Draymond Green-type forward who can defend all five positions. He’s a great teammate and he’s about winning. He’s not worried about stats, he’s worried about winning. That’s refreshing in this world.”

Kermit made quite the impression on Buffen and Wood last year when he was recruiting K.J. and that stuck with the Gainesville coach.

“Coach Davis actually came down here and had video clips and it was interesting because as we watched those clips, K.J. was calling out some of the things they do. We’re pretty similar to them in a lot of how they approach the game. The concepts are very similar to what we run here. I think he will be pretty well acclimated there.”

Being compared to Draymond Green is not the worst thing, right? The long and athletic wing will bring more of that same toughness that Davis likes and an underrated game in the paint. Despite being a little light in the britches (205-pounds), the 6’6 forward can take you off the bounce and finish with an array of moves at the cup. And, as expected, he has no problem getting out an island and defending the ball.

Don’t let the three-star rating fool you. This is an All-State player from Georgia who led a team to a state title game and won Region 8-AAAAAA Player of the Year. Really good pick up for the Rebs.

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