Ole Miss Basketball: 3 key storylines for Rebels in 2019 offseason

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

2. Addressing the frontcourt depth

Compared to an average SEC team, Ole Miss wasn’t a “big” team last year. They only had one guy in their rotation over 6’8 and played small ball for the most part. It didn’t hurt the Rebels statistically, ranking well in the key categories of rebounding and field goal percentage (both offensively and defensively).

But that could very well change next season thanks to the departures. As mentioned before, leading rebounder Davis along with Stevens has graduated, along with the transfer of Olejniczak. That leaves rising sophomore forward KJ Buffen as the best returning frontcourt player, who averaged 6.1 ppg and 4.4 rpg in 20 minutes a night off the bench. Starting wing Blake Hinson also should receive some time at the forward position again as well in 2019-20.

Among the incoming freshmen, two of them project as frontcourt players for Ole Miss. One of them is Sammy Hunter, a 6’9 power forward from the Bahamas. He’s more of a traditional forward but will take some time before truly being a rotational piece. Three-star center Rodney Howard is much more likely to make an impact out the gate. The 6’10 and 230-pound center is a solid defender with a growing offense. He has more potential than Olejniczak so the freed up scholarship probably benefits the Rebels anyway.

There is always still the transfer market, with some frontcourt players still available that can make an impact. The Rebels have already struck there, so can they do it again?