KJ Buffen

KJ Buffen, who finished with 21 points, works inside against Mississippi College on Monday night.

OXFORD Several newcomers will play key roles for Ole Miss this season, but it was a veteran – of sorts – that fueled the Rebels in a 69-43 win over Division II Mississippi College Monday.

A sparse gathering at The Pavilion watched sophomore K.J. Buffen, playing mostly power forward, put up 21 points and six rebounds.

The anticipated debut of junior college transfer Khadim Sy produced nine points and five rebounds for the big man expected to be a rim protector and rebounder when the regular season begins Friday against Arkansas State.

Sy didn’t start at the 5 because he was just cleared Monday from recent concussion protocol. He also had four turnovers. Redshirt freshman Carlos Curry started in his place.

Good place to start

“It was good for our team. You can tell we’re a work in progress. We got a lot of guys tons of minutes,” Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. “I thought we guarded for periods of time, but it’s been a problem in preseason we don’t share the ball. We turn it over because it doesn’t move.”

Ole Miss, using 12 players, had 13 assists and 20 turnovers.

The most active among the newcomers was freshman Austin Crowley. A high school standout at West Point first then Sunrise Christian Academy, Crowley originally signed with Vanderbilt but was allowed to transfer after the coaching change there.

Crowley was 0-for-3 from the floor but had three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 23 minutes.

Junior college transfer guard Bryce Williams had 10 points, 2 for 3 from 3-point range and 4 for 4 from the free throw line.

“Thirteen assists, 20 turnovers … that’s got to get so much better. We’ll emphasize that in the next few days,” Davis said.

parrish.alford@journalinc.com

Twitter: @parrishalford

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