Injuries piling up for Ole Miss basketball

Published 11:11 am Thursday, January 17, 2019

Fighting through a screen in the first minute of last Saturday’s game against Mississippi State, Ole Miss’ Breein Tyree caught his left shoulder on a Bulldog player’s elbow, falling to the ground in a load of pain.

Tyree would go to the locker room briefly to be examined before coming back into the game. He would gut it out, fighting through pain and surviving on adrenaline to finish off the road win. He would play 35 minutes in the game.

Head coach Kermit Davis said on Tuesday in his teleconference that Tyree had x-rays done on the shoulder that came back negative. He was limited in practice early in the week, but would play in all but four minutes in Tuesday’s loss to LSU.

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It’s unlikely that Tyree is at 100-percent – he’s 3 of 13 in his last two games from 3-point range – but he seems good enough to go for Ole Miss. The team may not have a choice, either.

Adding to the Tyree injury, Kermit Davis revealed after the LSU game that fellow guard Devontae Shuler has been dealing with a foot injury the past week-and-a-half or so.

Terence Davis speculated after the game that he believes Shuler may have a stress fracture in his foot. Stress fractures are not super painful, and certainly possible to play through, but can cause lingering long-term effects.

Stress fractures in his feet caused Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid to miss the first few seasons of his NBA career. Bill Walton’s career ended due to stress fractures.

Obviously, all injuries happen at varying degrees of severity, and we are unsure if Shuler actually has a stress fracture. But if he does, it would probably be in his long-term interest to sit for a few weeks.

If Shuler misses any time, it would raise serious issues among the depth of the Ole Miss bench. Shuler plays 32.8 minutes per game. Tyree and Terence Davis can hardly afford to play any more minutes. Therefore, that’s 32 minutes that would have to be split among a handful of bench players with limited experience who are likely not ready to be thrown right into the heat of SEC play.

Former walk-on D.C. Davis, who is generously listed at 5-foot-11, and freshman Luis Rodriguez, who has played seven total minutes in three SEC games, would be in line to fill most of the void should Shuler be unavailable.

The Rebels have already been dealing with a season-long injury to Franco Miller Jr., who was expected to challenge Shuler for the starting point guard spot.

Ole Miss’ strength on the year has been their guard play, and it’s suddenly looking very suspect and shallow.