With that in mind, the Rebels' impressive 76-60 win over Arkansas on Saturday provided some evidence that the team's best basketball could be ahead of it.
Stefan Moody scored 17 points, Tomasz Gielo added 15 and Ole Miss climbed out of an early double-digit hole to easily beat the Razorbacks.
"There are no more excuses for us," Gielo said. "We have everybody back. The team is relatively healthy — everybody's able to play. Now it's time for us to step up and make the run when it matters."
Ole Miss (16-9, 6-6 Southeastern Conference) has won three of its last four games as it tries to make a move up the league standings in the season's final month.
The Rebels trailed for most of the first half, but rallied to beat Arkansas for the 11th time in 14 games in the series.
Five Ole Miss players scored at least 10 points, including Moody and Gielo. Anthony Perez and Sebastian Saiz both scored 11 while Marcanvis Hymon added 10 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
"It was a team effort for us," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. "The game had no flow for us early, but in the second half we were able to put together multiple stops with our man-to-man defense and that was encouraging."
Arkansas (12-13, 5-7) has a 1-10 record in games away from home this season. The Razorbacks were more competitive on Saturday than in their previous road effort — a 78-46 loss to Mississippi State — but still struggled to hit shots.
Moses Kingsley led Arkansas with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Anthlon Bell added 16 points. The Razorbacks' leading scorer, Dusty Hannahs, was held scoreless.
Ole Miss had a huge 47-29 rebounding advantage.
"They just outhustled us to those rebounds that you have to get so that comes down to toughness," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. "We didn't fulfill our part for 40 minutes. For 20 minutes, I thought we did. But for 40 minutes, we didn't."
Arkansas jumped out to an early lead, pushing the advantage to 19-8 by midway through the first half.
Ole Miss responded thanks to some big shots from unexpected sources like Gielo, Perez and Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey. Gielo was especially important, scoring 12 first-half points, including a pair of 3-pointers when the offense was otherwise stagnant.
The Rebels eventually rallied to take a 33-30 after a layup by Martavious Newby, but Arkansas bounced back for the 37-35 halftime advantage.
Ole Miss won despite a tough game for Moody, who made just 4 of 17 shots from the field, including 0 of 7 from 3-point range. He came into the game leading the SEC with 23.3 points per game.
Arkansas: Bell came into Saturday's game making 47 percent of his 3-point attempts, tops in the SEC. He was 3 of 9 from long range against the Rebels.
Ole Miss: Saiz played his second straight game since returning from an eye injury. The 6-foot-9 forward had surgery to repair a partially detached retina in his right eye in January and missed six games. He wore protective sunglasses because his eye is still partially dilated.
Arkansas hosts Auburn on Wednesday.
Ole Miss travels to No. 15 Texas A&M on Tuesday.