Ole Miss Rebels: SEC Contender or Pretender?

Ole Miss Rebels

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Ole Miss Rebels ended up winning the SEC tournament last year, but will they be contenders or pretenders in the conference in the 2013-14 college basketball season?

That really depends on when Marshall Henderson will be allowed to play. I would assume that he would return by the time conference play starts, but that is just speculation. Even with him in the lineup, Ole Miss is losing two key players in Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner.

Holloway averaged 14.5 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game last season and Buckner averaged 9.4 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Henderson did lead the team in scoring as he averaged 20.1 points per game. Ole Miss needs him on the basketball court. With him the team could compete in the SEC. Without him the Rebels will likely be near the bottom of the conference standings.

Still, Ole Miss is not going to be anywhere near as good as the Florida Gators and the Kentucky Wildcats. Heck, it probably will have trouble with LSU, Alabama and Tennessee as well. Plus, the Missouri Tigers cannot be counted out.

Ole Miss is probably a pretender even with Marshall in the lineup. If the Rebels did not win the SEC tournament last season they likely would have not made the dance.

Until Henderson returns and until Ole Miss can show that it can keep up with the better teams in the conference, I cannot buy into this team. I doubt the Rebels were expected to win the SEC tournament last season, though, so there is always hope.

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