2022 Record: 12-21 (3-15)
Head Coach: Chris Beard (Career Record 237-98) (1st Season at Ole Miss)
PG: Matthew Murrell (14.4 Pts, 3.5 Reb, 2.6 Ast)
SG: Brandon Murray (Georgetown 13.7 Pts, 3.9 Reb, 3.2 Ast) (Double Transfer, Waiver TBA)
SF: Allen Flanigan (Auburn 10.1 Pts, 5.0 Reb, 1.5 Ast)
PF: Jaemyn Brakefield (11.1 Pts, 5.7 Reb, 1.7 Ast)
C: Moussa Cisse (Oklahoma State 6.8 Pts, 8.0 Reb, 0.6 Ast) (Double Transfer, Waiver TBA)
6: SG Austin Nunez (Arizona State 4.5 Pts, 1.1 Reb, 0.9 Ast)
7: C Jamarion Sharp (Western Kentucky 7.4 Pts, 7.7 Reb, 0.2 Ast)
8: SG TJ Caldwell (4.7 Pts, 1.6 Reb, 1.2 Ast)
9: C Rashaud Marshall
10: SG Robert Cowherd (RS)
11: PG Jaylen Murray (Saint Peter’s 12.5 Pts, 2.9 Reb, 2.3 Ast)
12: PF Cameron Barnes
13: PF Jacob Gazzo
Ole Miss is entering a new era of their program as they swung for the fences and hired Chris Beard as their new head coach. The starters that stayed around in Oxford are Matthew Murrell and Jaemyn Brakefield. Murrell is a very talented and athletic guard. He can score at will when he needs to. He shoots free throws at a very high clip which could come in clutch in tight games. He can be inconsistent shooting sometimes despite his ability to be a volume scorer. He also takes care of the ball fairly well. Brakefield was one of the most analytically and efficiently sound players this past season. He does a lot of the little things well that don’t necessarily show up on the box scores but still help a team win. Ole Miss was at their best last season when Brakefield was on the court as the analytics reflect. He explored other options by entering the portal this offseason but quickly withdrew and decided to stay with Beard and the Rebels.
Other returners for the Rebels next season are SG TJ Caldwell and SG Robert Cowherd. Caldwell averaged 17 minutes per game this past season and averaged just over 4PPG. He played hard as a freshman and showed some potential that he can continue to grow into a reliable option. He should see more court time this upcoming season as he continues to grow and develop. Robert Cowherd also returns to the Rebels and he redshirted all of last season. Cowherd was a 3 star recruit in the class of 2022 who committed to the Rebels over programs such as Mississippi State, Clemson, and Baylor. Ole Miss also signed 3 players in the 2023 recruiting class headlined by Top 100 recruit center Rashaud Marshall ranked #94 in the 247 rankings. Ole Miss also signed PF Cameron Barnes ranked #172 in the 247 rankings as well as unranked PF Jacob Gazzo.
Ole Miss signed 2 transfers this offseason who are double transfers and will need a waiver to compete this season. Those players are SG Brandon Murray from Georgetown and C Moussa Cisse from Oklahoma State. Murray is a very talented player who has averaged double figures in both his seasons in CBB. He passes at a high level and is very talented at driving to the rim and finishing. He also has previous experience in the SEC as he played at LSU as a freshman. Cisse is a true defensive center and is a dominant force on the inside. The 7-1 big man attacks the glass and blocks shots at a very high level. He is a dominant force in the post as well. He really can’t do anything outside of the post though. He’s not a shooting threat at all and is only a 43% career free throw shooter. If both Cisse and Murray are deemed ineligible next season, the roster will take a bit of a hit and other players will need to step up more.
Some additional transfers that Ole Miss added this season are Allen Flanigan from Auburn and Jaylen Murray from Saint Peter’s. Flanigan followed his dad to Ole Miss who took a job on the staff as an assistant coach coming from Auburn. Flanigan has 4 years of experience in the SEC playing at Auburn and has really started to come on as a scorer. He will also play a major role as one of the better perimeter defenders on the team next season. Jaylen Murray is going into his junior season after spending his first 2 with Saint Peter’s. Murray was part of the Saint Peter’s team in 2022 that made a Cinderella run to the Elite 8. His strength is probably three point shooting as he shot 36% from beyond the arc last season. He struggles from the mid range at times. He will likely be a reliable outside shooter off the bench for the Rebels next season.
The remaining transfer Ole Miss added this offseason are SG Austin Nunez from Arizona State and C Jamarion Sharp from Western Kentucky. Nunez and Sharp will have elevated roles if both Brandon Murray and Moussa Cisse are deemed ineligible. Nunez had a productive season this past year as a freshman with Arizona State. He flashed at times showing limitless potential and showcasing he could be a key contributor in the SEC. He hasn’t hit his ceiling yet and still has room to grow. Jamarion Sharp is one of the tallest players in the country. Standing at 7-5, he is the best shot blocker in the country. He truly asserts his dominance in the paint making it very difficult for opponents to score on him. He’s not that much of an offensive threat but he can score on the inside at times and he’s good at scoring on second chance opportunities.
Ole Miss will be a much improved basketball team going into the 2023-24 season as they added some valuable pieces in the portal. They also have one of the best coaches in the country now. Their true ceiling will be determined when waiver decisions are made for Brandon Murray and Moussa Cisse. If both get cleared to play, this team could easily be a tournament team in Beard’s first season. If they don’t get waivers, this Rebels team could go thorough many growing pains this season. Either way, Ole Miss should be a much improved team and should finish around the 7th-9th range in the SEC this season a much improved position from their 13th place finish last year.