Irony is, as Ole Miss basketball awaits the fate of the program with the hiring of Kermit Davis, the NCAA Tourney is beginning today.
First, just because Ole Miss basketball isn’t playing in the postseason doesn’t mean we all don’t have an interest in basketball at the moment. Right now Ole Miss administration is trying to fill two head vacancies in the women’s and men’s programs. After having some time to really think about the events which led to the two empty spots I believe there is a lot to be learned here.
Of course, as the NCAA Tourney begins today, Ole Miss admin and Kermit Davis are working out the details of a deal which will land him in Oxford. It’s a fact there is a obvious split among Rebels faithful when it comes to this decision by Vitter and Bjork. While many Ole Miss basketball fans are still seething over the way the basketball season ended, now there are many Rebels who believe this is a bad hire.
Sure, we need a coach now more than ever. Some believe the coach we are hiring is not a top-tier coach. When we think of top-tier teams our minds don’t immediately jump to Middle Tennessee State. MTSU is not typically thought of as a contender in the NCAA Tourney talk. However, in recent years since MTSU went to Conference USA they have been a very good team.
A Few Davis Facts
Ole Miss Rebels Basketball
Kermit Davis has a 453-259 record as a head coach and has been the head coach for MTSU for 16 seasons. During that time MTSU has only had one losing season and have had six twenty win seasons.
Kermit Davis actually began the Blue Raiders best years a couple of years before. In 2012-13 when he compiled a 28-6 record and made it into the NCAA first four. During the 2015-16 season he went 25-10 and coached the Blue Raiders into the NCAA round of 32.
Kermit Davis saw his best season for MTSU during the 2016-17 season. MTSU went 31-5 and made the NCAA round of 32. Davis currently has MTSU in the NIT this season and many believe were snubbed in the NCAA tourney.
Kermit Davis, Jr is a Leakesville native and former player for Miss State. His dad Kermit Davis, Sr was a former coach for the Bulldogs. It is no secret this bothers a number of Ole Miss basketball fans.
We Don’t Have Much Choice?
Whether you think the hire is good or not is left up to you and how well we do in the future as a program. However, as Ole Miss basketball fans we really aren’t left with any other choice than to hope it is. First, we wouldn’t be in this mess had it not been for the same administration which is responsible for this hire. Second, Kermit Davis will still have to deal with that aspect of the Ole Miss program. It’s hard to gauge his future success when you figure in everything he will be up against.
As much as many of us may not fully appreciate the fact of him being a former bulldog, there is an upside. Let’s face it Ole Miss basketball has been getting its butt kicked by Miss State when it comes to recruiting in-state talent. Being from Mississippi could be very beneficial for the Ole Miss program in terms of recruiting for Davis. Many pundits believe for him to be successful at Ole Miss he’ll have to be able to out-recruit Howland at MSU. As long as Howland stays at TSBU Davis will have his hands full in that area.
So as we await the fate of the Ole Miss basketball program this Rebels fan believes we’ll be ok. The program will ultimately move forward with Kermit Davis. Of course, he wasn’t my first choice but he wasn’t my last either. Today as I watch the NCAA tourney I’ll be thinking. I’ll be wondering how long it will be before Ole Miss gets back to the Big Dance? We all just have to wait and see….Hotty Toddy!