Ole Miss basketball signs fourth portal addition to revamped roster

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May 16—OXFORD — Ole Miss announced the signing of former Buffalo forward Josh Mballa on Monday.

Mballa is the fourth transfer the Rebels have landed this offseason. He will have one year of eligibility remaining.

The 6-foot-7 forward was second-team All-MAC the last two seasons. His best year with the Bulls came in 2020-21, when he averaged 15.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game and was the conference defensive player of the year. For his career, Mballa averages 10.7 points and eight rebounds per game.

Mballa is the latest player the Rebels (13-19, 4-14 SEC in 2021-22) have added to their revamped roster. Other additions this offseason include: Louisiana center Theo Akwuba, Loyola New Orleans forward Myles Burns and Jackson State's Jayveous McKinnis. Ole Miss also signed four-star high school guard Amaree Abram, four-star center Malique Ewen and three-star guards T.J. Caldwell and Robert Cowherd.

Akwuba averaged 10.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game in two seasons with the Ragin' Cajuns. He began his career at Portland. McKinnis is also an elite shot blocker, as he ranked ninth nationally with 2.93 blocks per game last season. He averaged 12.4 points and 11.4 rebounds over the last two seasons.

Burns comes from an NAIA program that won the national championship last season. He was a second-team NAIA All-American in 2021-22 and averaged 15.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game for the Wolf Pack.

With the additions of Mballa, McKinnis and Burns, Ole Miss is expected to have five players on its roster between 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-8.

The Rebels also lost a few players, headlined by leading scorer Jarkel Joiner, who transferred to NC State. Veteran guard Austin Crowley (Southern Miss), as well as forwards Luis Rodriguez (UNLV) and Sammy Hunter (Akron), have also left the program in recent months. Forward Grant Slatten (Tennessee Tech) and Eric Van Der Heijden (UNC Wilmington) also departed the roster this offseason.

MICHAEL KATZ is the Ole Miss athletics reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at michael.katz@djournal.com.