Is Kermit Davis the Right Coach for Ole Miss Basketball?
64 wins and 61 losses.
That’s Kermit Davis’ record as the head coach of the Ole Miss men’s basketball team. In his first season at Ole Miss (2018–2019), the Rebels went 20–13 and made it to the NCAA tournament. Since then, Ole Miss has gone 44–48 under Kermit Davis.
Is Kermit Davis still the right fit as the head coach of Ole Miss basketball?
Before becoming the head coach at Ole Miss, Kermit Davis was the head coach at Middle Tennessee for sixteen seasons. His teams went 332–188 during those sixteen seasons.
Middle Tennessee won six regular-season championships, one conference tournament championship, and appeared in the NCAA tournament three times under Kermit Davis. It’s worth noting that it took Middle Tennessee eight seasons before winning their first regular-season championship under Davis.
Kermit Davis also spent a few seasons as the head coach of Idaho and Texas A&M before coaching at Middle Tennessee.
As a fan of Ole Miss, Kermit Davis’ background reminds me that he has plenty of experience. He has had his share of failure and success. He has built a program up to a high level (Middle Tennessee) when given enough time.
Fans often want a team built into a yearly contender overnight. But that rarely, if ever, happens.
Recruiting Classes at Ole Miss
The 2019 recruiting class was Kermit Davis’ first at Ole Miss. He brought in six players — five 3-stars and one 4-star. According to 247 Sports, the class ranked 42nd nationally and 10th in the SEC with an average player rating of .8950.
The 2020 recruiting class included one high school player and three transfers. The high school player, Matthew Murrell, was the highest-rated basketball player (.9850) Ole Miss had ever signed.
The 2021 recruiting class included four high school players and three transfers. The recruiting class was ranked 33rd nationally and 7th in the SEC. The class included the second highest-rated recruit in Ole Miss basketball history — Daeshun Ruffin (.9797).
The 2022 recruiting class currently includes four players. While none have played at Ole Miss yet, the class is projected by 247 Sports as 25th nationally and 6th in the SEC. The class includes another top recruit — Malique Ewin.
Kermit Davis is recruiting very well for Ole Miss basketball. He keeps improving the talent on the roster each season. I believe he will stack an Ole Miss team with plenty of talent if given enough time.
So what should Ole Miss do?
Kermit Davis is at least sending the public message that he will be back next season. He believes he has the support of Athletic Director — Keith Carter — behind him.
When you consider what Kermit Davis had to face during the worst days of Covid (2020–2021) and then this year losing many of his starters to injuries (2021–2022) — I think the work he put in up to this point supports the decision to bring him back for at least one more season.
He has experience behind him. He continues to recruit well.
Eventually, everything should translate to more wins on the basketball court. I think the right decision is to stick with Kermit Davis. While it might not be the “exciting” move that fans want — I believe it will pay dividends in the long run.
Here’s to hoping that the 2022–2023 basketball season is much better for Kermit Davis and the Ole Miss Rebels.
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