Ole Miss basketball arguably had its most successful decade in the last ten years, certainly since the advent of things like the three point line and a shot clock.
Sitting down to pick the best five players from the last ten years of the program is still not like selecting the Mount Rushmore of the Lakers or anything like that, but the talent level and interest level in the program has considerably increased.
There was three trips to the NCAA tournament, and there was an SEC Tournament Championship. Jersey popping. Fan taunting. Tens of millions of dollars poured into a state of the art basketball complex WITH A RAISING CANES INSIDE THE DADGUM ARENA. Plus, we can buy ice cold beers at the games, and tears are welling now, Truly, a golden age for Ole Miss basketball, let’s be honest.
That being said, picking only five players was not enough for me, so I added a sixth man off the proverbial bench who was the spark plug for the last ten years of Ole Miss basketball. I WONDER WHO THAT COULD BE?!?!
Point Guard — Stefan Moody
Moody crossed the half-court line, and he was in range to shoot and make. He averaged 16.6 and 23.6 points per game in his two years in Oxford, and he led the team to an NCAA tournament appearance in 2015 then engineered a dramatic comeback against BYU in the first round for a 94-90 win. He dropped 26 in that game, but it was his explosive jumping ability that allowed the 5’10 guard to dunk and get the crowd on its feet.
Was he a traditional, pass-first point guard? Absolutely not, but he could easily change the outcome of a game with the ball in his hands.
Shooting Guard — Breein Tyree
Tyree is going to end up one of the top ten scorers in Ole Miss basketball history by the time this season ends. He will finish his career averaging most likely more than 15 points per game across a four-year playing career. In 2018-2019, he was instrumental in leading the Rebels back to the NCAA Tournament when almost no one expected them to and he has the team in position potentially to make a return trip in 2020.
He’s a career 35.3 percent from behind the arc, and his workload has been tremendous at Ole Miss. What gets him to this starting five, however, is his ability to create and finish at the rim offensively more than just be a pure outside shooter.
Forward — Terence Davis
There was a whole year where I thought Davis would never pan out, and his freshman year was marked by very few minutes and some poor decision making when he did get on the court. Then with the wave of Andy Kennedy’s magic wand, Davis transformed into a cog on the defending NBA champions roster. What? Yeah, he went on in the next three years to average double digits every year, snag an average of five rebounds per game over that span, and cap his senior season with a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
His athleticism is pretty unbelievable even from a two-sport athlete in high school who also played wide receiver. He scored more than 1,500 points in his four-year career, and he logged more than 50 steals in a season twice. All around, he’s the best wing in the last decade at Ole Miss, but he’s also one of the top-20 players the school has ever had.
Forward — Murphy Holloway
No list like this would be complete without Big Murph. Although he only played a couple seasons in this decade, he averaged nearly a double double in that span while playing more than 30 minutes in almost every game and was an integral part of the SEC title team. He was an absolute force to be reckoned with, though he was not an imposing big man. He just wanted it more than who he went up against and he won over fans by his doggedness on the court.
Murph helped lead the Rebels back to its first NCAA tournament appearance in many years in 2013 and then its unlikely upset of top-25 Wisconsin in the first round in a 5 vs. 12 match-up where the Badgers had three NBA players on its roster. He recorded nearly 1,500 points in his four-year career and logged 50 or more steals three times in his Rebel career.
Forward — Sebastian Saiz
Saiz logged one of the most productive seasons as a big man for the Rebels ever, averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds per game his senior season. He battled through an eye injury that caused him to wear these sweet Rec Specs afterward, giving him a little Horace Grant swagger on the court.
Saiz was incredibly dependable, and undoubtedly, if you put him on this season’s team or last season’s team, the stock for the squad and the winning percentage would exponentially increase.
Sixth Man — Marshall Henderson
I mean, really, could we leave off Marshall? No, we can’t, because he took Ole Miss basketball into a stratosphere it hadn’t seen since the Provine Posse nearly twenty years before his tenure in Oxford. Henderson was electric when he was in games, electric in his taunting of fans, and his brash style made him “our asshole swagger” guy that most college basketball fans absolutely hated.
He popped his jersey at Auburn, ripped the hearts out of Vanderbilt with a half-court shot, chomped at the Gators on the way to an SEC title, and he apologized for very little of it. When he was hot, there was no one hotter from three point range, so he would make the perfect off the bench option for this hypothetical team.
So there’s our starting five and a sixth man from the 2010’s for Ole Miss basketball, where did we go wrong? What did we get right? Comment or tweet @redcuprebellion with your starting five.