Men’s basketball hosts West Georgia for exhibition Tuesday night


Tuesday, November 1 • 6:30 p.m. CT • Oxford, Miss.
The Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss (9,500)

Western Georgia logo

OXFORD, Miss. –The offseason is officially over for Ole Miss men’s basketball, which hits the ground in an exhibition against West Georgia inside the SJB Pavilion on Tuesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT and admission is free for all fans.

Ole Miss enters fifth year under head coach Kermit Davisand will feature two of the SEC’s most exciting guards – junior Matthew Murrel and second Daechun Ruffin. This summer, the Rebels shone in Nassau on their road trip, where Ole Miss went 3-0 thanks to superb play by the sophomore goaltender. Jacques White.

Ole Miss will also sport eight new additions for the 2022-23 campaign. Rebels added ESPN’s 12th High School Signing Class for 2022-23 with Top 100 Signers No. 81 malique ewin#97 TJ Caldwell#98 Amarée Abram and another four-star high school signer Robert Vacher.

Additionally, Ole Miss added four transfers for the 2022-23 season: Jackson State graduate transfer Jayveous McKinnis (forward, 6-7, 225, Brandon, Mississippi); Transfer Loyola New Orleans Myles Burns (Forward, 6-6, 210, Houston, TX); Transfer to Louisiana Theo Akwuba (Forward, 6-11, 225, Montgomery, Alabama); and Buffalo transfer Josh Mballa (Forward, 6-7, 220, Bordeaux, France).

Ole Miss will open the 2022-23 regular season next Monday, Nov. 7 against Alcorn State at 8 p.m. CT inside the SJB Pavilion.


• Fifth year under head coach Kermit Davis, his 28th season as head coach. Davis stands at 533-324 (.622) overall as a head coach, as well as 467-299 (.610) in 24 years as a Division I head coach. Davis has a record 64-61 in four years at Ole Miss with two playoff trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2019 and the NIT in 2021.

• Ole Miss has beaten five AP Top-25 teams since February 2, 2021: 10 Tennessee (February 2, 2021), 10 Missouri (February 10, 2021), 24 Missouri (February 23). , 2021), No. 18 Memphis (December 4, 2021), and No. 25 LSU (February 1, 2022). That win for Memphis tied a school record of four straight Top 25 wins before a narrow overtime loss to No. 18 Tennessee on Jan. 5, 2022 with a shorthanded roster due to COVID.

• Ole Miss has eight new scholarship players for 2022-23: four from high school and four transferred.

• Davis and staff brought in ESPN’s No. 12 high school signing class this year, including three ESPN Top 100 signers: No. 81 malique ewin (Forward, 6-10, 220, Lawrenceville, Ga./Berkmar HS), No. 97 TJ Caldwell (Guard, 6-4, 190, Dallas, TX/Faith Family Academy (Oak Cliff)), #98 Amarée Abram (Guard, 6-4, 190, Port Arthur, TX/Southern California Academy), along with another four-star high school signee Robert Vacher (Guard, 6-5, 195, Grayson, Georgia/Southern California Academy).

• Senior transfer Theo Akwuba Louisiana was the only NCAA player in 2020-21 to finish in the top 10 in offensive blocks and rebounds, finishing eighth nationally in total blocks (68), ninth in blocks per game (2.6) and ninth in offensive boards per game (3.8).

• Senior transfer Myles Burns led Loyola New Orleans to an NAIA national title in 2022 and was a four-time All-American for the Wolf Pack. Last season, he won the Marques Haynes Award for most steals in all of college basketball with 152. Closest Division I comparison to Burns in combined offensive rebounds (151) and steals (152) was Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe at 179 offensive boards and 60 interceptions.

• Transfer of a senior colleague Josh Mballa Buffalo has 29 career double-doubles, was ranked sixth in the NCAA with 3.7 offensive rebounds per game last season and was MAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2020-21.

• Ole Miss also added a senior transfer in the state Jayveous McKinnis of Jackson State, where he was three-time SWAC Defensive Player of the Year.

• Rebels return 51.2% of their scoring from last year, including 57.2% of all three-point shots made – just 26.6% from juniors Matthew Murrel and 31.5% combined between Murrell and second year Daechun Ruffin.

• Ole Miss will have two of the SEC’s top returning guards for 2022-23 in Murrell and Ruffin — the top two recruits in program history, with Murrell ranking No. 39 and Ruffin coming out of high school No. 40. Last year, the duo combined for 24.7 PPG, 5.1 APG, 3.1 SPG, shot a combined .408 from the field and .343 from 3PT.

• Last year, Murrell became the third Rebel to go 5-of-5 from 3PT in a nearly clear 31-point game against Mississippi State. Murrell turned it on late in the season, finishing the conference only second in three-point shooting (.426), third in three-per-game (2.5), sixth in minutes-per-game (34.1), eighth in shooting (.466) and ninth in scoring (15.5).

• Ruffin is coming back from a torn ACL last February after a Herculean 19-point effort to help push Ole Miss past 25th LSU on February 1. Ruffin has been back in full contact since October 10. At the time of his injury, Ruffin was second in SEC steals alone per game (2.7), ninth in free throws (.833), and 10th in assists (3.9).

• Last year, Ruffin was the first SEC freshman of the week at Ole Miss since 2011 after averaging 16.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and .792 shooting from the free throw line in three games from Jan. 24-29. On the year, Ruffin averaged 12.6 points, 3.4 assists, 2.3 steals, and he was on course to break the Ole Miss freshman record for steals in a season set by Elston. Turner in 1978.

• Senior Robert Allen is also recovering from a torn ACL suffered against No. 18 Memphis last season.

• Second year Jacques White led the Rebels on their road trip to the Bahamas last summer, averaging 23.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists while shooting 64% overall in three games played.

For the latest Ole Miss men’s basketball news and updates, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMBBon Facebook at Ole Miss Men’s Basketball and on Instagram at olemissmbb.

About Kimberly Alley

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