Kermit Davis Anticipating 25% Arena Capacity, Chance to Increase Throughout Season

Nate Gabler

Announced on Wednesday, the NCAA will be pushing back the start of college basketball until Nov. 25. 

At this point, the Ole Miss season will start at home on Dec. 1 against Rider, as the Cayman Islands Classic tournament they were scheduled to play in is still up in the air. 

If no games are added to the schedule – and the Ole Miss athletics department is working to add an early-season non-conference tournament – that leaves the Rebels with seven non-conference games. 

What will Ole Miss basketball fandom look like for the 2020 season? Head coach Kermit Davis anticipates fans inside The Pavilion will look something like how it looks inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium once the football season kicks off.

"If I had to say today, I think it would be the same as football: 25-percent," Davis said. "Hopefully what football is, we're hoping it starts at 25-percent and it gets increased based on the success they have. Right now, if I had to make a guess, I hope the talks start at 25 percent.

"I'm hoping we have some students will be able to come to games and everybody that buys season tickets will have the opportunity to come to The Pavilion this year."

Of course, the major difference between The Pavilion and Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is that basketball is played indoors. 

That said, things are starting to open up more. Such decisions will be made on a state-by-state basis. Here in Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves has recently begun to ease COVID-19 related restrictions on businesses. For example, the state recently increased the regulation on restaurant capacity to 75-percent, up from 50-percent. 

Additionally, the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 within the state has been slowly trickling down in a linear fashion. Continued progress in this regard will only help increase such stadium capacities. 

As far as what the Rebel basketball schedule will look like, that is still a bit up in the air. The school is trying to add games, even loosely throwing around the idea of an early-season tournament here in Oxford. Such schedule finalizations can be anticipated in coming weeks. 

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