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Kermit Davis has Ole Miss looking competitive even without Daeshun Ruffin

A completely rebuilt roster is off to a 6-1 start

NCAA Basketball: ESPN Events Invitational Mississippi vs Oklahoma Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

It’s November, so if you’re the average Ole Miss fan, you most likely have watched 5-10 total minutes of college basketball thus far this season.

So let’s give you a quick recap. The Rebels (6-1) are off to its strongest start in years after winning its first six and dropping a four point contest to Oklahoma over the weekend. Matthew Murrell leads the team in scoring with 14.1 points per game, but freshman guard Amaree Abram has been the most exciting addition to the team thus far chipping in more than 12 PPG.

Now, why is Abram exploding onto the Rebel basketball scene? Well, firstly he is a top 100 recruit, so he certainly showed the chops in high school to do well at the next level. More importantly, returning starting point guard Daeshun Ruffin has not logged a single minute of play this season, which is nearly a quarter of the way done. There has been chatter Ruffin will see the court for his first minutes against Memphis, Dec. 3 at the FedEx Forum.

Transfers have also made an impact already with senior Myles Burns leading the team with 22 steals and second on the team in rebounding. The former NAIA player has shown a certain grittiness and relentless pursuit of the ball not seen in Kermit Davis’ teams the last two years.

Jayveous McKinnis, who transferred from Jackson St., has added some consistency at times down low though he is only logging 16 minutes per game. The big man from Pearl, Miss. has averaged about five points and four rebounds per game though he is shooting 64 percent from the field on the season.

I don’t want to overstate the start just yet, but if I would have had to guess this team’s record knowing Ruffin wasn’t playing, I doubt I would have thought 6-1 would be the conclusion. With the point guard’s return, the challenge for Kermit Davis will be how to keep the guards all happy with playing time and translate it all to more wins. Fans should reasonably expect to be 10-2 entering SEC play when the top 25 Tennessee Volunteers come to Oxford on Dec. 28, which will be a major test for this revamped roster.

The next time fans can see the Rebels in actions is Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. against the Memphis Tigers. ESPN2 will broadcast the regional rivalry, and tickets can be bought for as low as $10 if you want to be there in person.