Ole Miss Basketball: Grove Grinder, Great Hoops And Rankings

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

So far 2019 has been pretty good for Ole Miss basketball and now the national media is recognizing how wrong they were in 2018.

Sometimes the light even shines on Ole Miss and right now the national spotlight is solid on coach Kermit Davis and Ole Miss basketball. Sunday came for the Rebels and CBSSports.com released its weekly college basketball rankings and had the Rebels ranked No.14. Of course, Monday came and the Rebels found themselves ranked No.18 in the AP poll.

Naturally it is easy to get excited about this team and first-year head coach. The Rebels have racked up three consecutive SEC wins to open the season. The SEC road win Saturday over then No.14 Miss State was the Rebels tenth consecutive win and give Kermit Davis and Ole Miss basketball some serious momentum.

But Not So Fast

Ole Miss Rebels
Ole Miss Rebels /

Ole Miss Rebels

LSU came into Oxford Tuesday night and gave Ole Miss a stern 83-69 reality check while handing the Rebels their first SEC loss of the season. No loss is a good loss but this may be a good one for the Rebels if they can learn from it moving forward. Coach Kermit Davis has done an outstanding job thus far with a still very good Ole Miss basketball team even though the Rebels suffered a loss against LSU.

Do Rankings Really Matter?

Rankings are great but in the game of basketball they really don’t matter as any team can have a bad night and lose to an unranked team. Tuesday night was a perfect example of this even though LSU had a very good team. The Rebels failed to capitalize on the Tigers miscues and with poor shooting couldn’t stay in the game with LSU late.

The Rebels ten game win streak coupled with three straight SEC wins and two of those coming over ranked opponents was enough to convince voters the Rebels have a very good team and a No.18 ranking. However, rankings don’t win games. The Rebels will certainly face more great SEC and non-SEC teams this season and ranked or not Ole Miss will have to play better than they did Tuesday night or there will be more ugly losses. Still it is great to see the Rebels ranked in the AP and they deserve to be regardless of one lone SEC loss.

On Another Note

Beating a ranked team is always nice and last week was a great week for Ole Miss basketball. While the Rebels men’s hoops won over two Top-15  ranked opponents, Rebels women’s hoops knocked off No.16 Kentucky 55-49 on the road in Lexington this past Sunday.

Congrats to coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin and the Rebels on a huge SEC road win which was also the Rebels first SEC win of the season. This women’s hoops team is exponentially better under coach Yo and given more time to recruit she will build a great women’s hoops program in Oxford. The Rebels will host Florida this coming Sunday.

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We look forward to seeing more great hoops action from both the Ole Miss men’s and women’s hoops as the season goes forward. Good luck to our Ole Miss Rebels. Hotty Toddy!