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Ole Miss basketball recruiting: Kermit Davis missed on a few blue chips, hosts another this weekend

The Rebels have two strikes on them. What will they do if they strike out?

Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was brutal for Ole Miss basketball fans. Four-star forward Jaemyn Brakefield, who had once been thought to be the Rebels’ to lose, received an offer from Duke and quickly verbally committed to the Blue Devils that same day.

Then, two days later, four-star guard and teammate of Brakefield’s, A.J. Hoggard, announced his commitment to Michigan State after officially visiting Oxford last month for the Arkansas game.

But, all is not lost. The Rebels lone 2020 commit, Shon Robinson, reclassified and has enrolled and is already on the roster and practicing, trying to carve out a role on the 2019-2020 team. And spots are limited right now with just Breein Tyree leaving and his scholarship being taken by transfer Jarkel Joiner. So, the Rebels are married to the idea of taking someone just to take them in this class.

With that said, the staff will entertain four-star guard and Memphis native Matthew Murrell this weekend. And with no home football game, one would surmise that Kermit Davis and his staff will essentially have the town to themselves with no distractions to give their best sales pitch to the No. 45 player in the country.

The former Whitehaven star transferred to IMG Academy earlier this year and is a part of a LOADED roster in Bradenton, Fla. and it appears as of now that he is down to the Rebels, Florida, Texas, and Vanderbilt. The Ole Miss staff loves Murrell’s game, per sources, and they have been after him for a few years now. Vanderbilt is in this after new Commodores’ head coach Jerry Stackhouse hired Murrell’s coach at Whitehaven, Faragi Phillips. The Gators have the now in-state connection with IMG but might not have room after receiving a commitment from four-star guard Niels Lane. And Texas, who made the top five cut earlier this year, is still hanging around.

The No. 9 shooting guard in the country is an explosive athlete, as you can see in the above video, and he has the size and length that this Ole Miss staff covets for their defensive style. His 6’3, 200-pound frame is more than conducive for Kermit’s 1-3-1 press and is something that will give opposing guards fits in on-ball defense. On the offensive end, Murrell is an aggressive scorer off the bounce who can finish at the rim and is a terror in space with a quick handle and an ability to create separation and rise and fire.

In my opinion, he is a little more polished Terence Davis on offense, but nowhere near the rebounder that Davis was coming out of high school. Matthew is a dude who, if he gets going on the offensive end, can score in bunches.

But, if he were to pick the Rebels, the additions that Kermit has made to the front court should help him transition a little easier on and his ceiling on the defensive side is very high.

Murrell helped the Whitehaven Tigers to a AAA state semifinal appearance last season, losing to eventual state champion Bearden. On the AAU circuit, he averaged 15.2 points, two rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game as a member of Team Thad (Tenn.) out of Memphis.