April 16, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy announced the signing of junior college standout guard Roderick Lawrence and Tennessee-Martin transfer Terrence Smith Wednesday. Lawrence and Smith will join the Rebels for the 2014-15 academic year.
A 6-4 shooting guard, Lawrence averaged 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season for head coach Steve Green at South Plains College en route to all-conference and all-region 5 honors. He scored 20-plus points three times including a career-high 24 against McMurry. Lawrence lead the Texans to a 29-6 record and the NJCAA National Tournament quarterfinals. In the three National Tournament games Lawrence averaged 16 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2 assists per contest.
"Rod is an athletic wing who possesses a skill-set that will add versatility to our returning backcourt," said Kennedy. "We needed to get more athletic on our wings and Rod will bring a play-making ability to our team. He showed tremendous leadership in helping guide his junior college team to the quarterfinals of the National Tournament."
Lawrence originally signed with Miami of Ohio out of Dr. Philips High School in Orlando, Fla., which is the same high school that Ole Miss legend Chris Warren attended, where he averaged 16.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.0 steals a game as a senior and helped the Panthers amass a 23-6 record and a regional semifinal appearance.
Smith, a three-year starter at UT-Martin, transfers to Ole Miss with one year to play after leading the Skyhawks in scoring last year at 14.6 points per game as a junior. The 6-4, 195-pound Russellville, Ala., native ranked third in the OVC in three-point field goal percentage (.438), hitting 60 of 137 attempts. Smith also added 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steal per outing with a near 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
"Terence is a veteran guard who has produced at the Division 1 level for three seasons,"Kennedy said. "His ability to score, as well as, create for others is well documented during his time at UT-Martin. Any time you can add a college graduate to your program, you know you are getting a mature, focused young man."
Smith, a career 1,000-point scorer and 40 percent 3-point shooter (101-253), scored 20-plus points five times his junior season, including season-best 23 points twice, and scored a career-high 26 points as a sophomore vs. SEMO. A three-time OVC Commissioner's Honor roll selection, Smith will graduate with his Marketing and Management degree in May.
A three time all-state honoree at Russellville High School, Smith played for his father, Michael Smith, and helped lead the Panthers to a school-record 32 consecutive victories and graduated as Russellville's all-time leading scorer with 1,681 points.
Lawrence and Smith join J.T. Escobar, Marcanvis Hymon, Stefan Moody and Rauno Nurger, who all signed with Ole Miss in the fall.