Ruffin out for rest of season with knee injury
OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss men’s basketball freshman Daeshun Ruffin will miss the remainder of the 2021-22 season after suffering a knee injury that will require surgery.
Ruffin was injured late in the Rebels’ 76-72 upset over No. 25 LSU on Tuesday night, after leading Ole Miss with 19 points, three assists and two steals alongside a 6-of-11 line from the field, a 2-of-4 clip from three and a perfect 5-of-5 streak from the free throw line in 20 minutes of game action.
“Daeshun was just hitting his stride and was establishing himself as one of the best point guards in the SEC,” said Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis. “I feel badly for Daeshun, but I know he will attack rehab with a great maturity and will return stronger than ever next season. Our team has been very resilient all season long, and we expect no difference against a really good Florida team on Saturday.”
Ruffin has been electric since returning to the team following an eight-game absence due to a broken right hand suffered in the season opener against New Orleans on Nov. 9. On the season, Ruffin averaged a team-high 2.3 steals per game and led the Rebels with a 52-of-69 (.754) clip from the charity stripe, to go along with 12.6 points, 3.4 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game. In SEC season he’s been just as impressive against some of the best teams in the nation, ranking second in the conference in SEC-only action in steals (2.7/game), ninth in free throw shooting (.833) and 10th in assists (3.9/game). Furthermore, his five steals at No. 18 Tennessee on Jan. 5 ranks tied for the second-most in an SEC game this season.
He was particularly effective for the Rebels stepping up for the injured Jarkel Joiner, averaging 12.5 points, 3.8 assists, 2.5 steals and shooting 36 percent overall and 77.8 percent from the free throw line in Joiner’s absence since Dec. 21.
Most recently, Ruffin was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday (Jan. 31) – the first such honor by a Rebel since Jarvis Summers on Dec. 5, 2011. His honor came courtesy of an excellent three-game stretch from Jan. 24-29, during which he averaged 16.0 points, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals with a 19-of-24 (.792) mark from the free throw line – at one point hitting 14 in a row during those three games. Included in there is a career-high 21 points vs. Florida on Jan. 24, with 15 of those points coming in the second half. In just 14 career games played, Ruffin has scored in double-digits in 10, scored 15 or more in six contests, and has had multiple steals in nine games.
Ruffin came to Ole Miss following a superb high school career at Callaway High School in Jackson, Mississippi, joining as the first McDonald’s All-American signee in program history.
Ole Miss (12-10, 3-6 SEC) will remain on the road this Saturday, traveling to Gainesville to attempt the season sweep of Florida (13-8, 3-5 SEC), with tipoff set for 2:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
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