OXFORD, Mlle. – Men’s basketball Ole Miss has secured the transfer of forward Josh Mballa from Buffalo, head coach Kermit Davis announced Monday.
Mballa, a 6-foot-7 forward from Bordeaux, France, spent his first season at Texas Tech in their second domestic season in 2018-19 before moving to Buffalo the past three seasons, where he was a suit. strength for the Bulls as an All-MAC and two-time All-Defensive MAC selection, as well as the 2020-21 MAC Defensive Player of the Year.
In his 99-game career so far, Mballa has posted 29 double-doubles, recorded 12 games with at least 15 rebounds, and has nearly had a career-long double-double with 10.7 points (1 058 total) and 8.0 rebounds (790 total). ) per game. Last season, Mballa was one of the top offensive rebounders in the nation, leading the MAC and ranking sixth in the NCAA with 3.7 offensive rebounds per game.
“Josh Mballa has an incredible drive and fantastic work ethic, and he brings tremendous talent, character and experience to Ole Miss,” Davis said. “He’s already a 1,000-point scorer with nearly 800 rebounds and 29 double-doubles in his career. I’m impressed with Josh’s skill level and feel like he’ll take a huge leap forward in the game this season in the SEC. We’re very excited. Nice to have Josh join us. our Ole Miss family. »
Mballa’s best season at Buffalo came in 2020-21, where he helped lead the Bulls to their first NIT finish in 16 years after averaging a double-double for the season with 13.0 points and 8.6 rebounds. That season, Mballa was named MAC Defensive Player of the Year, made the MAC All-Tournament Team, and was named a finalist for the Lefty Driesell Award given annually to the best defensive player in college basketball. . Mballa is off to a strong start this season, scoring a career-high 27 points and adding seven boards against Syracuse on Dec. 19.
Mballa trained at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut, where he led the team to a 38-4 record and the program’s first national championship in 2018. Mballa was born in Detroit but raised in Bordeaux, France, where he played for Kameet Academy while growing up. before returning to the United States for high school. Mballa has international experience as a member of the French national team, playing for France in both the FIBA U17 World Championship in 2016 and the FIBA Europe U18 Championship in 2017.
Mballa is the eighth new addition to Ole Miss for the 2022-23 season, joining a high school signing class currently ranked No. 12 in the country according to ESPN with Top 100 Signers No. 81 Malique Ewin (Ahead, 6-10, 220 , Lawrenceville, Ga./Berkmar HS), No. 97 TJ Caldwell (guard, 6-4, 190, Dallas, TX/Faith Family Academy (Oak Cliff)), No. 98 Amaree Abram (guard, 6-4, 190, Port Arthur, Texas/Academy of Southern California); another four-star high school undersigned Robert Cowherd (Guard, 6-5, 195, Grayson, Ga./Academy of Southern California); Jackson State Graduate Transfer Jayveous McKinnis (forward, 6-7, 225, Brandon, Mississippi); Loyola New Orleans trades Myles Burns (forward, 6-6, 210, Houston, Texas); and Louisiana transfer Theo Akwuba (forward, 6-11, 225, Montgomery, Alabama). Caldwell, Ewin and Cowherd were the first to sign last November, while Abram was announced on April 13.