Kermit Davis was introduced earlier this week as the newest Ole Miss Rebels’ head coach. His two staff members, Win Case and Ronnie Hamilton, joined him on the flight over and will be a part of his staff for next season. Task no. 1 for Davis is to find his third and final member of his staff. Right behind that is recruiting. Not only do they need to recruit the current players, commits, and signees, but also the 2018 class and targets for 2019.
As of this writing, per 247Sports, Ole Miss is ranked 136th in the country and 12th in the Southeastern Conference. Three-star power forward Anthony Higgs signed with the Rebs over notable offers from NCAA tournament teams Cincinnati, Kansas State, and Xavier. He tweeted out his intent on staying in the class despite Andy Kennedy’s career ending in Oxford.
Joining him, as of now, are junior college signees Brian Halums and Zach Naylor. But other than that, there isn’t anyone else on the radar. Until now. Naylor recently tweeted an image of him in an Ole Miss uniform after Kermit was officially announced so that has to be good news, right?
Davis has already been out and about this week, a mere two days removed from his press conference announcing him as the new head man at The Pavilion. He has already personally submitted an offer to three-star point guard Tyler Harris, from Memphis, and has been spotted in the house at the Junior College Tournament in Kansas. And he’s submitting offers left and right.
The junior college product averaged a double-double for Motlow State (13.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg) and was an integral part of their postseason run this week. The 6’6 guard from Tampa, Fla. would be a nice addition on the wing and would add some nice length.
Qualifier Brandon Mahan (6’6, Wing) of Chipola has offers from St Louis, Memphis, UCF, Dayton, South Florida, Jacksonville, Texas State, MTSU, East Carolina, Utah Valley and Loyola Marymount. Numerous others calling everyday
— JucoRecruiting.com (@JucoRecruiting) February 3, 2018
The Chipola College shooting guard is also a large combo guy who has a nice handle, is deadly off the bounce, and can fill it up. The 6’5, 200-pounder from Marianna, Fla. averages 13.5 points per game and shoots 50 percent from both the field and deep. He has notable offers from Cincinnati, Memphis, and Texas A&M.
And you know that Kermit loves the transfer market, much like Kennedy did, and he should because that’s a huge part of college basketball these days. But there are some capable guys out there right now that are on their radar.
Evansville grad transfer Ryan Taylor has heard from Butler, Northwestern, Vandy, South Carolina, Ohio St, Ole Miss, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Illinois, Georgetown, Creighton, Minnesota, BC, Indiana, UCLA, Arizona, Wake, Miami, Purdue, Baylor, Maryland & Missouri, source told ESPN.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 18, 2018
Taylor, who led the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring at 21.2 per game, but he is yet another big (6’5) guard who would be a nice solution to losing Markel Crawford on the wing. His potential graduate transfer destinations are impressive, but so are those current rosters. Kermit can pitch immediate playing time in a now really good SEC conference.
Davis is also being aggressive on the trail and conducting some in-home visits, most recently with four-star power forward Blake Hinson. The Sunrise Christian Academy product holds notable offers from Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Illinois, and Miami (Fla.) among others. He recently reclassified to the 2018 class so the clock is ticking.
Lastly, the aforementioned Harris is probably the most important target for Davis and his staff. The Cordova High School guard won Tennessee’s AAA Mr. Basketball this past season, averaging 30.4 points per game, the first guy in Memphis to average 30 or more since Randy Culpepper, the all-everything guard from Sheffield who played at UTEP. According to his 247Sports profile, Baylor leads his crystal ball predictions, but maybe Kermit can convince him to stay close.
Memphis’ signing class might fill up rather quickly with new head coach Penny Hardaway all of a sudden flirting with national names and the newly freed up three-star Alex Lomax. The Memphis East point guard was released from his letter of intent with Wichita State and it seems it’s only a matter of time before he joins Penny’s class.
But, if Kermit is able to make some headway with Harris, a top 70 player per Rivals, from Memphis no less, it would be fantastic. Especially since Breein Tyree and Devontae Shuler are flirting with possibly leaving.