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Considered one of the rising coaches in the profession, Al Pinkins joined the Ole Miss basketball staff as an assistant coach in April 2011, and is in his third season in Oxford.
Last season, Pinkins helped guide the Rebels to the school's second SEC Tournament title and the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002. He helped tutor Marshall Henderson to SEC Player of the Year honors, Murphy Holloway to the All-SEC first team and Reginald Buckner to the SEC All-Defensive Team, as Ole Miss tied a school record with 27 wins.
The addition of Pinkins paid immediate dividends in 2011-12 as he helped lead the Rebels to 20 wins and an NIT bid. His work with the post players saw Terrance Henry earn All-SEC status for the first time in his career, Murphy Holloway named All-SEC honorable mention and Reginald Buckner named to the SEC All-Defensive team.
Pinkins came to Oxford after eight seasons at Middle Tennessee. He was involved in all aspects of the Blue Raiders program, particularly recruiting throughout the South and developing the post players.
Pinkins was instrumental in the development of two-time, first-team All-Sun Belt Conference forward Desmond Yates, who reached the 1,000-point club as a junior. Pinkins also helped develop 6-foot-10 center Theryn Hudson into one of Middle Tennessee's all-time leaders in field goal percentage and tops in the Sun Belt in 2007-08.
Pinkins helped shape the Blue Raiders' recent success in recruiting. He played a key role in landing a 2007 signing class rated No. 1 in the Sun Belt and No. 48 nationally by HoopScoop. The class also was rated the 13th-best among mid-majors nationally by Rivals.com.
Pinkins has played on nearly every level of college and professional basketball, and brings that wealth of experience to Ole Miss. Prior to his collegiate success, Pinkins was a standout high school player at Mitchell-Baker High School in Camilla, Ga. He helped lead his team to back-to-back state championships in basketball during the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons, and he also quarterbacked his football team to the 1990 Georgia state championship.
Pinkins got his collegiate start at Chipola Junior College from 1993-94, where he averaged 17.5 points and eight rebounds per game during his two-year career. From Chipola, Pinkins moved on to North Carolina State from 1994-97, where he battled injuries to average 9.5 points and seven rebounds per game during his career.
After his collegiate career wound to a close, Pinkins played professionally, starting with Team Baleno in Zaragoza, Spain, in 1998. He averaged 22 points and nine rebounds over the course of the season.
Pinkins also played for the Raleigh (NC) Cougars in the USBL in 1998, (14 ppg, 8 rpg), and for Minot (ND) in the International Basketball Assn, where he earned Most Valuable Player honors (19 ppg, 9 rpg).
Following his IBA stint, Pinkins played overseas for the Qatar Basketball Association in Doha, Qatar. (29 ppg, 11 rpg). He then played in the Chinese Basketball Association in Shenyang (11 ppg 8 rpg).
Pinkins received his bachelor's degree in sociology from N.C. State in 1998. Pinkins and his wife, Kara, have three sons - Patton, Pryce and Penn.
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