Ole Miss Basketball: Devontae Shuler will be 2019-20 breakout star in SEC

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

Devontae Shuler has been an effective role player for Ole Miss basketball. Could he become a star throughout the SEC next season?

For the past couple of seasons, Ole Miss basketball has been led by perimeter players Terence Davis and Breein Tyree. But there was another guard who played a pivotal part in the Rebels quality 2018-19 season.

Devontae Shuler had a big year as a sophomore starter, averaging 10.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, and 3.0 apg. He’s one of just a few players in the SEC to have that kind of stat line and was an efficient offensive player overall. The 6’2 guard also stole the ball nearly twice a game to show his defensive acumen as well.

Shuler played well enough to decide to enter his name in the 2019 NBA Draft, although he’s expected to return for his junior campaign. It would be a great idea for the Rebels guard, as he could really elevate his stock in the SEC.

In the last few years, the SEC has been well-stocked with pro talent, particularly on the perimeter. However, much of that talent departed from their respective schools this offseason. LSU loses Tremont Waters, Tennessee’s Jordan Bone is gone, Jared Harper has decided to leave Auburn and Lamar Peters isn’t coming back to Mississippi State. The only top-tier point guard coming back is Ashton Hagans of Kentucky.

This presents a great opportunity for Shuler, to become one of the faces of the SEC backcourts. Even if Tyree returns as well, they can play well off of each other. With Davis gone, Shuler will have the ball a lot more and his numbers should explode. His all-around capabilities may not put him in nightly triple-double territory but look for some gaudy stat numbers from time to time.

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Shuler may not be a true NBA prospect at the moment but he has the skill and game to blossom as a star for Ole Miss. The SEC will be looking for some great guard play and Shuler…. along with Tyree as well could give the Rebels an edge next season in conference play against the other teams. An All-SEC acknowledgment would not be a surprise at all for Shuler if he comes back.