College of Central Florida wing Malik Dunbar

College of Central Florida wing Malik Dunbar is set to visit Ole Miss this weekend

The Ole Miss basketball season ended some three weeks ago, but head coach Andy Kennedy and staff have done anything but slow down.

With the NCAA spring signing period set to begin April 12 and run until May 17, the Rebels are busy trying to put the finishing touches on their roster for 2017-18. They secured a commitment from Jones County (Miss.) Community College forward Bruce Stevens last week, and next up is a visit from College of Central Florida wing Malik Dunbar, who is set to arrive in Oxford Friday for a weekend stay. 

“He’s got about 20-25 offers right now, with most of those being low-major schools,” College of Central Florida head coach Tim Ryan said. “He’s been offered throughout the year by South Florida, Auburn and Ole Miss. He also has an offer from Little Rock, and then he’s gotten a ton of interest from schools like Mississippi State, Texas, Memphis and others. I know I’m forgetting other schools, but they’ve all been in the gym and had interest in him.”

College of Central Florida wing Malik Dunbar

The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Dunbar appeared in 28 games last season. He averaged 15.6 points and 6.4 rebounds, shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 29.3 percent from 3. As a freshman, he played in 31 games with 29 games, totaling 10.6 points per game and 4.9 rebounds. He scored 10 or more points in 18 games. 

Should the Rebels land Dunbar, he would become the 13th player on scholarship, meaning the roster — at least for the time being — would be full. Ole Miss was 22-14 last season, its year coming to a close with a 74-66 loss to Georgia Tech in the quarterfinals of the NIT.

“As far as players go, he’s a high-major athlete,” Ryan said of Dunbar. “High-major body, slasher, finishes really strong. He’s very capable from the outside. He’s a catch-and-shoot from the outside. The best part of his game is his ability to finish at the rim. He’s strong at the rim. I think his high-major athleticism and high-major body is going to help him transition smoothy.”

Dunbar visited Little Rock two weeks ago. He’ll last visit Auburn next week.

“I’m sure after his visit to Auburn he’ll make a decision,” Ryan said. “He’s not going to drag this on.”

Ryan said Dunbar is equally impressive off the court.

“He’s a great kid,” he said. “He was a great teammate, great personality. He brings it every day, and everybody just loves the kid.”

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