Newly hired head coach Chris Beard has wasted no time reaching out to college basketball’s best transfer players. Ole Miss athletics has become synonymous with the transfer portal, so it is no surprise that Beard is dipping his toes into the portal to revitalize a team that went 12-21 last season.
Some of Beard’s efforts have already paid off. He has received a commitment from former Georgetown guard Brandon Murray. The six-foot-five athletic combo guard will come to Oxford as a junior with a lot of Big East experience.
In a move that seemed inevitable, former Arizona State point guard Austin Nunez announced he would transfer to Ole Miss for the 2023-2024 season. In minimal playing time for the Sun Devils, the freshman averaged 4.5 points per game, but he will bring some much-needed quickness around the perimeter.
Undoubtedly, Beard will continue his quest to revamp this roster, but the question remains, who else should he target?
Perry is a name that many Ole Miss fans have rightfully fallen in love with. The 5-foot-11 point guard from North Texas posted averages of 17.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.
He led his team to win the National Invitational Tournament against in-conference rival UAB. Perry has been on an official visit to Ole Miss, and there is a lot of momentum for a decision to be made soon.
With Daeshun Ruffin heading to Jackson State, the door is open for a new floor general to take the helm for Ole Miss.
The junior forward averaged only 5.4 points and 1.7 rebounds for Kansas State, but he showcased what he is really capable of during the Wildcats’ run in the NCAA Tournament.
He showed clutch shot-making against both Kentucky and Michigan State and tremendous defense for the duration of March Madness.
Massoud’s frame alone will excite many Rebel fans, as he stands at 6 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 225 pounds. He would provide some much-needed size and strength for Beard and his coaching staff. The type of player Massoud projects to be would thrive under Beard’s system, which is precisely why Beard has reached out.
Morris was a part of Beard’s star-studded 2022 recruiting class. After Beard and Texas parted ways, Morris made the decision to enter the portal and seek a new home. The former No. 1 ranked point guard in the 2022 class averaged just 4.6 points and 1.4 rebounds per game as a part of the crowded Texas backcourt.
He struggled to find a consistent role with the Longhorns, and with Texas letting go of the coach that recruited him, Morris decided it was time to find a change in scenery.
The 6 ‘3, 190-pound guard would find himself in a great environment where he could truly hone his skills as a player if he were to choose Ole Miss. Beard saw the potential in Morris when he recruited him at Texas, which is precisely why he reached out to the former Kimbell high school superstar.
In his first offseason at the program’s helm, Beard has made it his mission to be aggressive and assertive in trying to make his roster as good as possible. The moves he has already made and the moves he has in place mirror this sentiment, and one thing is for sure: He does not plan on slowing down anytime soon.
Beard knows how to build contending rosters — the evidence was in his Texas and Texas Tech teams — and this offseason is thought to be just the start of something special in Oxford.