Ole Miss Hoops in Limbo

Gary LloydSenior Analyst IDecember 19, 2008

Those poor Rebels can’t catch a break. 


First, it was sophomore guard Trevor Gaskins tearing the ACL in his left knee Nov. 6. 


Second, it was junior guard Eniel Polynice learning he needed season-ending surgery on his left knee Nov. 18. 


Third, it was head coach Andy Kennedy supposedly punching a cab driver while yelling racial slurs at the man Dec. 18.


That same night, it was sophomore guard Chris Warren, the fourth leading scorer in the SEC, tearing the ACL in his left knee, inevitably ending his season as well.


Probably the only legitimate threat left on the roster is junior David Huertas, who is currently averaging 20.9 points-per-game. 


Ole Miss lost its two top big men from a year ago in Dwayne Curtis and Kenny Williams to graduation. Curtis, an All-SEC second team selection a year ago, dropped 14.9 points and grabbed 9.6 boards his senior year. Williams contributed 8.5 points and 6.6 rebounds. 


And we’re not even to conference play.


Now, I did the math, and these numbers are staggering.


Last season, Ole Miss averaged 79.5 points-per-game. Of that total, the five aforementioned who have either graduated or torn a left knee ligament accounted for 55.8 points, or 70 percent. 


The Rebels ranked 12th nationally a year ago with 40.6 rebounds-per-contest. Of that, 25, or 61.6 percent, were made by  the five contributors.


Ole Miss dished 15.9 assists-per-game last year, and 11.7 of those came from these five players, or 73.6 percent.


Finally, the five previously mentioned Rebels took away 4.7 of the team’s 6.9 steals-per-game. That number is good for 68.1 percent.


So there you go. The numbers don’t lie. That’s absolutely staggering for a team that lost only two major contributors to graduation.


Can the Rebels recover?


Most would say no, based on those statistics and the negative publicity the program is currently receiving. 


But it’s the SEC West, and any team can reign supreme in that division.