Flanigan, Hicks Sign To Play With The ABA Memphis Houn'Dawgs For Playoffs
April 6, 2001
SOUTHAVEN, Miss. - Former Ole Miss teammates Jason Flanigan and Marcus Hicks have agreed to free agent contracts with the Memphis Houn'Dawgs of the ABA 2000 professional basketball league.
The duo will join Memphis for the ABA postseason East Division tournament, which starts on Tuesday in Detroit. The Houn'Dawgs, who finished second in the ABA East, will take on the third place Indiana Legends at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Regular season divisional champ Detroit will battle Tampa Bay in Tuesday's second game.
The winners will meet on Thursday, April 12, for the East Division title and the right to play in the first ever ABA 2000 Championship Game on April 14 in Kansas City against the ABA West Division winner.
The addition of Flanigan and Hicks comes one day after Memphis lost to players to the NBA - former University of Memphis guard Chris Garner who signed with the Golden State Warriors and former Providence forward Jamel Thomas, who inked a free agent contract with the New Jersey Nets.
"We are pleased to have two solid players available to move into our group like Jason and Marcus," said Memphis head coach Jim Baxter. "They both are tremendous players from one of the better college programs in the nation. There is no question that both of these men will help this team in our postseason."
Terms and conditions of the two contracts were not disclosed.
The addition of Flanigan only two weeks after completing his collegiate eligibility is unprecedented in professional basketball.
Flanigan, a 6-1 guard from Little Rock, Ark., led Ole Miss to its best NCAA Tournament finish ever this past season, advancing to the Sweet 16 before losing to eventual runnerup Arizona.
Ole Miss also earned its highest ever postseason national ranking, finishing 9th in the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches Poll. The Rebels finished 27-8 this past season, a record for the most wins in school history, and captured the Southeastern Conference Western Division title with a 11-5 mark.
Flanigan averaged 7.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game at Ole Miss as a senior this past season. His free throw with :02 remaining lifted Ole Miss past Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament second round, advancing the Rebels to the school's first "Sweet 16".
The former Parkview High School (Ark.) standout also set a new Ole Miss record for career number of games played with 127.
"Jason was a key part of the success we have had here at Ole Miss," said Rebel head coach Rod Barnes. "I am pleased that he is getting this opportunity to showcase his talents on a national stage so quickly following his college career."
Hicks joins the Memphis Houn'Dawgs after an all-star season in the International Basketball League with the Siouxland Bombers in Sioux City, Iowa. Hicks led Siouxland in scoring and rebounding, averaging 18.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He was named IBL Rookie of the Year.
The former Jackson, Tenn., native led the IBL in field goal percentage (.626) and ranked sixth in scoring, seventh in rebounding, and fifth in blocked shots (91). The Bombers finished third in the IBL East Division with a 19-21 overall record.
While at Ole Miss, Hicks averaged 13 points per game during his two-year career with the Rebels, including 14.3 as a senior. The 6-6 forward also led the SEC in field goal percentage as a junior (.638), ranking among the NCAA leaders as well.
"I am so proud of Marcus and the professional career he has already had," added Barnes. "He is a hard-worker on both ends of the floor and brings a lot of great athleticism to any team.
"This is a great day for Ole Miss basketball to have two of our players recognized for their talents and being given the opportunity to further their careers," Barnes said.
Memphis finished the regular season with a 19-21 record, just one and one-half games behind the Detroit Dogs.
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