Ole Miss Basketball can still add another player to their 2019-20 roster. Which grad transfers could make a big impact with the Rebels?
After a 20-win season in which ended with a trip to the 2019 NCAA Tournament, Ole Miss basketball looks to make a return trip next year. There’s reason for optimism in that regard, including the expected returns of leading scorer Breein Tyree and star breakout candidate, Devontae Shuler.
While there is talent returning, the Rebels will have to replace a few graduating seniors, particularly All-SEC player Terence Davis. Although the team has a top-40 recruiting class coming in, there could always be a grad transfer coach Kermit Davis and the staff can use to make an immediate impact.
There are hundreds of NCAA basketball players with transfer eligibility for the 2019-20 season. Many of the top options have either already picked a team or have a final list that doesn’t includ Ole Miss. However, there are still some under the radar who can be picked up. With the frontcourt being a more pressing need, here are four grad transfer options the Rebels should go after.
Khadim Sy – JUCO via Virginia Tech
After getting dismissed from Virginia Tech as a freshman, Sy turned things around at the JUCO level before being eligible to come back to the D-1 level. In his short time with the Hokies, the 6’10 forward showed that he’s an adept defender with potential on offense.
Sy is the best available grad transfer option for Ole Miss, listed in his final five and has taken an official visit. The Rebels have enough offense but will provide needed interior defense down low.
Shakur Juiston – UNLV
Another former JUCO star, Juiston only played eight games this past season due to a knee injury. He averaged 14.6 ppg and10.0 rpg for the entire 2017-18 season and is a monster rebounder. He’s an undersized forward who can’t spread the floor and the injury may have sapped some of his strength (athleticism). The Rebels could take a flyer on him to at least provide some depth. Not many power conference teams are calling at the moment.
Deng Geu – North Dakota State
A career bench player for the Bisons, Geu only averaged 9.6 ppg and 4.9 rpg in 18 mpg last season. But he was very efficient while on the court, producing 21.0 ppg and 10.7 mpg per 40 minutes. The 6-foot-8 forward could breakout if given more opportunities. He showed in the non-conference games against superior competition that he can hold his own.
Deion James – Colorado State
Another player coming off of an injury, James averaged double figures a couple of seasons ago with the Rams. The 6-foot-8 forward is a very good offensive rebounder who has the ability to operate on the perimeter. James wouldn’t come in as a starter but could be a good fit if accepts a bench role.
Admittedly the frontcourt options on the graduate transfer market aren’t great overall so it’s important for the Rebels to land Sy. But as we’ve seen in recent seasons, transfers from smaller schools can make a big impact. Let’s see if Ole Miss makes a big effort to land these or any other players for next season.