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Ole Miss’ Kermit Davis Agrees to Contract Extension

Ole Miss Athletic Director Keith Carter announced on Tuesday that men’s basketball coach Kermit Davis has agreed to a new four-year contract that runs through 2025.

“Starting with his first season when he was SEC Coach of the Year, Coach Davis has increased the expectations of Ole Miss Basketball,” Carter said. “He strives for excellence is all areas throughout his program, and his players and coaching staff are great representatives of Ole Miss on and off the court. Recruiting has never been better as he has signed some of the top prospects in school history. We’re excited to see the team continue to rise under his guidance, competing for SEC championships and making runs in the NCAA Tournament.”

Davis emphasized his commitment to the program.

“Every morning I get up, I am so honored to be the basketball coach at Ole Miss,” said Davis. “Betty and I love everything connected to this great university and community. I’m very proud of what we are building here on and off the court, and I am extremely excited about this year’s team.”

Over his first three seasons, Davis led the Rebels to a pair of postseason appearances (2020 postseason was cancelled due to COVID-19). Predicted to finish last in the SEC heading into his first year, Ole Miss exceeded expectations. The Rebels finished sixth in the conference and earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament, while Davis collected SEC Coach of the Year honors along the way. He joined Rod Barnes in being the only Ole Miss coaches to lead the Rebels to the Big Dance in their first season guiding the program.

Last season, the Rebels just missed out on making the NCAA Tournament. Led by the SEC’s best scoring defense (65.4 ppg), Ole Miss won 10 of its final 13 games to receive a No. 1 seed in the NIT. The Rebels finished the 2020-21 season 3-0 against ranked teams, including two victories against top 10 squads, one of only four programs to go undefeated against ranked opponents throughout the year.   

With 51 victories as head coach of the Rebels, Davis is one of only four coaches in Ole Miss history to rack up at least 50 wins over their first three seasons.

Davis has coached four all-conference players during his three seasons in Oxford, including a trio of First Team All-SEC guards. Devontae Shuler was the latest Rebel to finish his collegiate career with First Team All-SEC honors along with winning the C Spire Howell Trophy as the best men’s basketball player in the state of Mississippi. Prior to Shuler, Breein Tyree earned first team accolades in back-to-back seasons (2018-19, 2019-20). Tyree’s game blossomed in Davis’ system, ranking in the conference’s top three in scoring as a junior (third-17.9 ppg) and as a senior (second-19.7 ppg). Current Sacramento King Terence Davis also found success under his new head coach as a senior (2018-19) before becoming the first Rebel in more than a decade to play in the NBA. 

Davis has also taken Ole Miss to new heights in recruiting, signing the two highest ranked recruits in program history. Matthew Murrell broke the record as part of the 2020 class, and 2021 Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year Daeshun Ruffin stayed in his home state and became a Rebel. Ruffin also was the first McDonald’s All-American to sign with the Rebels out of high school. Both cracked the top 40 nationally when they signed to continue their careers at Ole Miss.

Davis and the Rebels begin the 2021-22 campaign this week, hosting Trevecca for an exhibition inside the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss (Nov. 5). Friday night’s tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT with free admission. The Rebels open the regular season next week, hosting New Orleans (Nov. 9).

Staff Report

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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