The 6-foot-8, 262-pound senior is averaging 15.1 points and 8.9 rebounds a game. He leads the SEC in field goal percentage (67.8 percent) and is second in rebounding. Curtis is averaging a double-double in SEC games (15 points, 10 rebounds) and has been one of the integral components of Ole Miss' surprising success in its second season under coach Andy Kennedy.
"He's a skilled basketball player," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "Great physical size and strength, tremendous hands, can really catch the ball, good passer. ... The guy has been doing it for awhile, too. He's been around the block."
Ole Miss' half-court offense runs through Curtis, but he also does some of his best work on the glass. He has an SEC-high 37 offensive rebounds in the Rebels' seven games.
Curtis isn't a high-flying, dunking big man, but excels below the rim. He nudges his way into the post and gets the ball. He has a wide array of low-post moves, great touch on his shots and rarely misses. Curtis was 11-for-13 against South Carolina and entered the week second in the nation in field goal percentage.
"He's really crafty around the basket," Arkansas center Steven Hill said. "He always finds a way to get his shot off."
One knock against Curtis is that his size doesn't really fit what Ole Miss is becoming under Kennedy. The Rebels want long, lanky post players who can run the floor. Curtis is much better suited in a half-court game even though he trimmed 20 pounds off his frame in the offseason and is in his best playing shape.
He isn't an intimidating defender, either. Curtis has four blocked shots. He often struggles against taller players in the post and will have his share of them with Arkansas big men like Hill, Darian Townes and Michael Washington.
How to Play Him
The most important thing for Arkansas will be limiting Curtis' touches. If Curtis gets the ball in good position he knows how to finish plays. If the Razorbacks don't box him out, he also has a gift for grabbing rebounds and getting putbacks.
"It's a little bit like (former LSU center Glen Davis) was," Hill said. "He's just a strong, big, physical guy that goes to the boards and gets a lot just based on his size."
Another key falls on the guards: Slow Ole Miss' dribble penetration. The more point guard Chris Warren slices into the paint and forces a post player to rotate over to defend him, the more opportunities Curtis will have for easy buckets.
Curtis may not receive the same recognition as other post players in the league, but has been remarkably valuable to Ole Miss in his career. He became the 30th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark and has been an integral part of a young team's success because of his leadership skills.
Curtis is practically a double-double machine. He ranks second in the SEC with 10 and five of those have come in league games. So trying to keep the big man from getting 10 points and 10 rebounds shouldn't be the goal for the Razorbacks. The Hogs just can't let him get too much, too easily.
MEN'S BASKETBALL: Scouting Ole Miss' Dwayne C
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Arkansas On Game Days | Tailgate TravelsAs much fun as it is being at an Arkansas football game, the pregame can be just as enjoyable, especially if you have an RV. Head out to Fayetteville to see what makes the…
Scout CFBFriday at 9:20 AM
Cats Picked To Win SEC CrownThe voters at SEC Media Days are convinced: Kentucky has reloaded.
Scout 2017 Rankings DirectoryThe Scout positional, state, regional, national and team rankings for the Class of 2017...
Scout FootballMonday at 7:00 AM
"They Are Playing Really Good Football"Arkansas Coaches Bret Bielema and Dan Enos talk about facing Auburn this weekend and the challenges that presents for the Razorbacks.
Inside The AU Tigers10/19/2016