Ole Miss Set to Thrill in 2016-2017 Season

Ole Miss Set to Thrill in 2016-2017 Season

The dazzling performances put forward by the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals have sparked a lot of interest, turning conversations away from talk of college football basketball lines to speculation about the future and potential of Ole Miss Basketball.

Admittedly, Andy Kennedy’s Roster doesn’t elicit much excitement when compared to the talent that the world champion contenders have to offer. Yet, watching the Warriors play, one cannot help but dream about the potential of Andy Kennedy’s offense in a perfect world.

The 12-year head coaching veteran’s program has taken notable steps this offseason, utilizing a more efficient offense that strives to apply constant pressure. The addition of Cullen Neal, who will be occupying the position of starting point guard in the coming season, will complement Deandre Burnett’s performance.

Having sat out the 2015-2016 season (following his transfer from Miami), Burnett should efficiently fill the void left by Stefan Moody after he departs. Burnett has acquired quite the reputation as a player that can drive and shoot, this complementing Neal’s passing abilities.

A lot of pundits are expecting great things from this dangerous duo, especially once Burnett and Neal develop the sort of chemistry that will allow them to emerge as one of the SEC’s most effective backcourt tandems. 

With the talents of Sebastian Saiz in toe, the rebels are looking to fortify their team. Saiz has always been a consistent offensive threat, his old-fashioned approach on the floor having proven effective time and time again. 

Not that the Rebels’ future is primarily dependent on Saiz, what with all the big names making a return this time round, from the athletic playmaker that is Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey to the spot-up shooter Rasheed Brooks and Marcanvis Hymon, a big and rather explosive man. This isn’t even taking into account effort wing Terence Davis.

Davis and Donte have proven their adept skills on the defense end, this along with making a consistent offensive improvement. Brooks has also shown more consistency in his performance this season while Hymon has always been a monster on the floor, capable of delivering on the same level as former Rebel Legend Murphy Holloway.

Names Tyrek Coger, Justas Furmanavicius, and Breein Tyree have been floating around on the vine and could contribute immensely this season. There are also the newcomers to consider, such as Nate Morris, a high school center; Karlis Silins and Dominik Olejniczak, a Drake center transfer. 

Morris has the potential to play the role of a truly valuable rim protector down the road, while Silins star is most definitely set to shine, this despite his relative obscurity. While Olejniczak will sit out the 2016-2017 season, he is bound to prove valuable in the three years of his eligibility that will follow. An NBA potential, the seven-foot-tall player could one day replicate the wonders of guys like Andrew Bogut. And that is something the Ole Miss Hoops program would benefit from.

Kennedy and his people seem set to succeed in the coming seasons, what with all the talent they have begun to assemble. The Pavillion is set to deliver some unexpected thrills in the coming years.