It’s year five of the Kermit Davis era at Ole Miss, and in the last month, all the wheels are falling off of a once promising start to the season.
The Rebels (8-4) have lost four of its last six games capped off by a home loss to a sub .500 North Alabama team on Tuesday at the SJB Pavilion. The losses at Memphis and on a neutral court to Oklahoma are not damning by any stretch necessarily, but the Rebels have to have a higher standard than losing two of its last three in non-conference play to directional state schools.
Next up is SEC play opening with four top 25 squads in Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State, so right now, it’s very likely an 0-4 start to the conference slate is coming. At that point, we’re staring at a 8-8 team in mid-January with very little prospects of making the NCAA Tournament. The pressure to win for the Ole Miss basketball program is somewhat high, but this is not some kind of destination job where the expectations are massive - make the tourney every few years and fans in my opinion will be able to live with it.
What was telling to me as I sat in the Pavilion yesterday was just the lack of care from the fans to a one-point loss at home to a less talented team. Everyone there seemed to just head for the exits and shrug its collective shoulders - not to mention the stadium could not have had more than 2,000 butts in the seats, granted it was an afternoon Tuesday tipoff.
At some point, Keith Carter has to make a move to get the program back to some level of relevancy. The recruiting seems to be there at times, but the wins are not following the last few seasons.