OXFORD Ole Miss basketball began practice Monday with a handful of promising newcomers but without a mainstay from last year’s lineup.

Sophomore Blake Hinson was a promising young newcomer only a year ago. He started 31 games – the third-most by an Ole Miss freshman in the last 20 years – on a team that would reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015.

The Rebels went 20-13, 10-8 in the SEC in their first season under coach Kermit Davis.

A strong 6-7, 229-pound power forward, Hinson was feeling sluggish when players got a couple of weeks at home in August after the second summer term.

He’s been treated for what Davis calls a “blood abnormality” and has not been a part of organized team activities.

Davis is hopeful that Hinson will be back with the team sooner rather than later and in advance of the Nov. 4 exhibition against Mississippi College.

“He just went home, and his dad called me. He tried to work him out, and he didn’t really feel like working out,” Davis said. “He went to a hospital there, and those people were great, but we wanted to get him back here to our team of doctors. I think they’re about to find a starting point to where we can get him back going.”

Waiting on more tests

A series of blood tests were performed locally, and some came back with abnormal readings. Davis said he’s waiting on the results of another test that was performed Monday.

He is hopefully he’ll have Hinson back in two to three weeks.

A four-star signee out of Deltona, Florida, who attended prep school at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, Hinson averaged 8.3 points and 2.9 rebounds as a freshman.

He scored a career-high 26 points in the Rebels’ win at No. 14 Mississippi State in mid-January.

“Everything has been a lot more positive lately,” Davis said. “He’s back now on his own starting to run, shooting. He hasn’t done anything with our team. We’re kind of waiting right now for this next test to come back.”

parrish.alford@journalinc.com

Twitter: @parrishalford

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