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Ole Miss basketball faces Arkansas tonight, begins climb out of SEC basement

Daeshun Ruffin might be ready to take the next step leading this team.

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi at Texas A&M Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss fans were undoubtedly a little shocked by a 16-point win over Florida earlier this week to notch the program’s second SEC win this season.

The Rebels (10-9, 2-5 SEC) were without leading scorer Jarkel Joiner, and the team seemed to have lost any positive momentum after beating Mississippi State in the second SEC game of the season on Jan. 8, dropping four straight conference games. Things were looking bleak to say the least, and the staff at Red Cup were just waiting for a news dump about Kermit Davis’ future.

Somehow though, this team cobbled together a win, and while it doesn’t fix the season, it has to give fans some about of confidence the Rebels can win some more home games down the stretch. Enter Arkansas and Kansas State, both of whom have NET rankings lower than the aforementioned Gators.

Yes, I know... it’s the hope that kills you.

But also, Ole Miss is still a few weeks away from baseball season, so it would be entertaining to at least see a few more wins for this beleaguered squad. If it can somehow overcome the next two home opponents and sit at 12-9 overall, I still don’t see more than maybe three more wins after that and a 15-16 final record, but it is much better than how I felt a week ago.

I still think it’s fair to say no one saw this kind of season coming for Ole Miss basketball. High-end transfers like Nysier Brooks and Jaemyn Brakefield and one of the highest touted high school players ever in Daeshun Ruffin had all the makings of a team that would maybe face some early struggles but come together when it really mattered to get the Rebels back to the NCAA Tourney.

While there’s still a ton of basketball left to be played, it’s become very evident Ole Miss fans will just have to enjoy whatever wins this team can string together in Oxford and in the offseason some drastic overhauling is in the works for better seasons in the future.