It’s here. It’s happening. FINALLY, Kermit has come back...to the Pavilion for some Ole Miss basketball. Yes, head coach Kermit Davis and Rebel men’s basketball team will start its season against Jackson State at 7pm in Oxford.
Ole Miss will be the last of all Power 5 conference schools to start its season after COVID positive tests and contact tracing pushed back the start of the season from Nov. 25. The Rebels will be looking to rebound from a disappointing sub .500 record last season, which ended with an Southeastern Conference tournament loss to Georgia prior to the ultimate cancellation of March Madness.
The Rebels return with a revamped roster. adding transfers Jarkel Joiner at guard, Dimencio Vaughn at guard/forward, Robert Allen at forward, and Romello White at forward, plus the program’s most highly rated recruit ever in freshman guard Matthew Murrell. So, yeah, things are going to look very different in terms of depth and experience for the program.
Returning for the Rebels is do everything guard Devontae Shuler for his senior campaign who is a second team All-SEC preseason pick. Bigs Khadim Sy, KJ Buffen, Sammy Hunter, Dude Collum and Shon Robinson should bring a little chip on their collective shoulders after a tough year in 2019-2020, and guard Luis Rodriguez will be coming back from a injury shortened season last year after he showed a lot of promise early on.
Ole Miss and JSU has only played three times in the more than 100 years of basketball in Oxford with the Rebels winning all three games. The two teams last tangled in 1999 with the Rebels winning 69-55 — coincidentally, the current head coach of the Tigers, Wayne Brent, was on the Ole Miss staff for that game.
The Rebels have never lost to a Southwestern Athletic Conference team in basketball (37-0), and it’s hard to predict there would be an upset tonight. HOWEVER, it’s college basketball, anything can happen with a new squad learning to play together potentially.
Ole Miss is 15-1 in home openers over the last 16 years.
Line: Ole Miss -22.5
How to watch
Where: The Pavilion at Ole Miss, Oxford, Miss.
When: 7:00am CST
TV: SEC Network
Online streaming: WatchESPN