Ole Miss basketball made some headlines when it announced its first McDonald’s All-American signee and two power five transfers in the off-season.
But, somehow, the reloading of talent and complete overhaul of Kermit Davis’ roster has not gelled half-way through his fourth season at the helm. Coach Davis called the team soft and low energy after a double digit road loss to Texas A&M, and this is one of those potential public moments where a team either responds to that kind of criticism or not.
The Rebels (9-6, 1-2 SEC) are now at the halfway point of the season with 15 SEC games and one non-conference tilt with Kansas St. left on the schedule. I went on the Twitterverse to get some mid-season report card grades for Kermit, and boy, hoo, fans are really not pleased with our once very cool, tea sippin’, NCAA tourney in only the first year head coach.
It’s baseball season— Tucker Italiano (@TuckerItaliano) January 13, 2022
what grade is “fired as fuck” ?— Big Stanky (@Trippcks) January 12, 2022
F grade, you never get two games in a row with high effort. Hasn’t found shooting guards in his 4 yrs @ Ole Miss. Bad recruiting on most of the roster. Poor basketball IQ ( Tennessee final possession).— JoeKing@OleMissKing (@OlemisskingKing) January 12, 2022
He has not fixed any of the problems his teams have had in the four years he’s been here. He hasn’t fixed the sloppy offensive play, closing out games, and just the overall ability to play offense in general. These have been problems since he got here.— Mr. Pennybags (@Mr__PennyBags) January 12, 2022
There is a pretty clear consensus the job isn’t getting done, or it’s getting done but on a less than average kind of return. None of this is news to Davis or anyone within the program, it’s obviously not anyone’s goal to be sitting where the Rebels are right now at this point in the season.
However, Davis just agreed to and signed an extension as a head coach for a full four years prior to this season tipping off. Now, the Cup has heard rumblings the contract was extended “in name only” and the salary, bonuses and buyout did not change, so it could be an extension only for recruiting purposes in the short term.
One thing to me seems very clear - the second half of the ‘21-’22 season seems make or break for the Kermit era at Ole Miss. If the Rebels can somehow float close to the .500 mark in SEC play, I think cooler heads will prevail given the talent on the roster growing and gelling together for another year.
But, if fans continue to see a fairly empty SJB Pavilion and a 5-13 SEC final record, it could be only a matter of time before we’re posting a hot board of coaching candidates for the future of the program.