Ole Miss Basketball: Evaluating potential impact of transfer target Khadim Sy

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Ole Miss basketball is one of the favorites to land coveted JUCO transfer Khadim Sy. Here’s the potential impact he could have on the Rebels next season.

Ole Miss Basketball is hoping to build on what was a surprisingly successful first year under head coach Kermit Davis but with some key players leaving — particularly in the frontcourt — the Rebels need to find high-level replacements.

Davis has tried to address his team’s need for frontcourt depth in this recruiting class and is bringing in two three-star big men (Rodney Howard, Sammy Hunter), but he’s also looking for help in the transfer market.

Their biggest target there is 6-10 forward Khadim Sy, a redshirt junior who began his career at Virginia Tech before transferring to Daytona State.

More from Ole Miss Basketball

A physical presence, Sy was able to demonstrate a solid all-around game in his one season playing for Daytona State, averaging 16.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per contest. And, while he’s more of an interior presence, he was able to make 32 percent of his three-pointers.

Sy started 28 games for the Hokies during his freshman season but wasn’t much of an offensive threat and wasn’t able to make a tangible impact on the game on a consistent basis. Ole Miss is convinced he’s poised to do so now as they offered him a scholarship back in October.

So, why are the Rebels so high on Sy?

For starters, he’ll give them some much-needed rim protection and size. Ole Miss ranked just 152nd in block rate a year ago and were generally average on the defensive end (80th in adjusted defensive efficiency) because they had no one to serve as their anchor. They only averaged 3.6 blocks per game as a team this past season, which is only one per game more than Sy averaged himself.

He demonstrated the ability to be that shot-blocking defensive anchor at Daytona State, which will allow his teammates to play much more aggressively on the perimeter.

Sy’s size (say that five times fast) will also make a major impact on the glass. Ole Miss ranked outside of the top 100 nationally in offensive rebounding percentage and were among the worst power conference teams in defensive rebounding, largely due to a lack of size and strength on the interior. It’s one of the biggest reasons why Davis has been so aggressive in pursuing frontcourt players in this class, and Sy might have the biggest impact in this area of all of them.

That’s the other reason landing Sy is important for the Rebels – he fills a major need.

Starting center Bruce Stevens is gone and backup Dominik Olejniczak is transferring. Howard and Hunter, their two incoming freshmen big men, play more of a face-up game. Sy is more of the traditional back-to-the-basket, physical big man they’ve lacked and desperately need on their 2019-20 roster.

Plus, he’ll be able to provide some upperclassman leadership. KJ Buffen and Blake Hinson, the only two returning frontcourt players who had a significant role last year, will be sophomores.

Related Story. Key Offseason Storylines for Rebels Hoops. light

Ole Miss is one of the favorites to land Sy and, if they do, he figures to give them everything they’re looking for – size, rebounding, and shot-blocking.