By Fredderick Nettles Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations
We all have that fantasy as a child. In our back yard, counting down from three seconds, with the key crossover, pulling up the shot yelling your favorite athlete’s name while nailing the game winning shot to defeat your most hated opponent. Each time you did it, the feeling greatly exceeded the previous one. For many people, they never get the chance to experience that limelight, that moment of stardom.
For Murphy Holloway, a senior on the Ole Miss men’s basketball team, that dream is slowly taking its course as he prepares for his final season and a potential record breaking year for the Rebels.
Growing up in Irmo, S.C., the 6 foot 7 inch, 195 pound high school senior dreamed of taking his basketball talents to another level. Averaging 28 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals per game, Holloway dominated the South Carolina basketball area and was selected to the North Carolina versus South Carolina All-Star game.
After a stellar senior campaign, Holloway had various offers. From those offers, he narrowed his choices down to Clemson, Ole Miss and Maryland. Without any hesitation, Holloway chose the Rebels.
Working his way up the depth chart, as well as the record books, Holloway had, as some would say, a pretty “decent” freshman year. In 2008-09 he averaged 8 points and just under 7 rebounds per game.
Following his sophomore season, in May of 2010, Holloway left the Ole Miss Rebel basketball program due to family reasons. He transferred to the University of South Carolina and had to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules. Once his family situation was handled at home, Holloway jumped at the opportunity of a possible return to Ole Miss.
“I was very excited and relieved at the same time to return to Ole Miss,” he said. “When my child’s mother finished school, I knew I wanted to come back. I told Coach (Darrin) Horn (then South Carolina coach) that I wanted to go back and called Coach (Andy) Kennedy.”
Upon his return to the Tad Pad last year, Holloway averaged just over 11 points and 9 rebounds per game as a junior. He became the second Rebel since 1980 to average 9.0 or more rebounds per game for an entire season. Holloway added to that load, playing a team-high 31 minutes per game.
This summer, Holloway was selected to attend the Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy camp held in Chicago, Ill.
“It was a great experience,” he said. “It was fun and a lot of great athletes were there. NBA scouts, coaches and former coaches were there just giving us advice and telling us what we needed to work on. It was a great experience for me.”
Ole Miss hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 2002, making the NIT the last three years and five of the last six. Holloway has very high expectations this season.
“It would definitely be a huge monkey off my back,” he said. “I would definitely compare making the NCAA tournament to my daughter being born. The accomplishment would be great.”
One of three seniors, Murphy said that he feels that he, Nick and Reggie can “lead the guys, if they’re willing to follow.” “We just have to push them and go as far as we can,” he said.
A fifth-year senior, Holloway has never experienced the atmosphere or the pressure of being in the NCAA tournament.
“Personally, I definitely dwell on it,” he said. “You always go back and think about what you could’ve done better the previous game. It’s a very thin line between winning and losing, but you just have to buy in as a team and have that one goal. And that’s to be successful.”
Holloway says that fans can expect great things this upcoming season. “Our talent level has definitely increased,” he said. “Our coaches are doing a great job with recruiting. I don’t see why we shouldn’t make the NCAA tournament.”
Having Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Texas A&M visiting the Tad Pad this season, Ole Miss definitely has a challenge on its hands to protect home court.
“Our crowd is definitely going to be a factor this season,” Holloway said. “If we can take care of business and defend our home court, a win a few big road games we’ll be fine.”
This is the fourth installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more
The Ole Miss Volleyball team remained undefeated at 14-0 and matched last year's win total with a 4-0 weekend at the Rebel Classic capped by wins over Lamar (3-0) and Jackson State (3-1) Saturday. The last three sets against Jackson... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 4 - ULL (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 2 and The Season: Ole Miss... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' open date and return to action on Saturday, Sept. 27 against Memphis.Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:50:18 mark. For the... read more
NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., visited Ole Miss on Wednesday. The Olive Branch, Mississippi, native spoke to various student groups, including the football team. Stenhouse Jr. presented head coach Hugh Freeze with a firesuit, and Freeze presented him with an... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 8-14, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss captured the Magnolia Invitational this past weekend to improve to 10-0, its best start in school history.- The Rebels downed UAB and Mercer 3-0 and then defeated Jacksonville State 3-1... read more
After a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Ole Miss moved up four spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, released on Sunday. Despite breaking into the top 10, the Rebels remain fifth among Southeastern Conference Western Division... read more
This is the third installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more
Leading 1-0 after controlling the play for much of the game, Ole Miss opened up a 3-0 lead on Middle Tennessee with a pair of goals in the final minute of the first half on the way to a 4-0... read more
Senior cornerback Senquez Golson has come a long way since he was a freshman. That season, he was most notably on the receiving end of a highlight reel juke from Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Three years later, as part... read more
Three areas to watch as Ole Miss faces Louisiana-Lafayette in its home opener Saturday. Wearing the Bull's-Eye After a 2-0 start with wins over Boise State and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll,... read more
With a chance to make history, Ole Miss dropped a first set for the first time this season. The Rebels answered the bell winning the next three sets to defeat Jacksonville State 3-1 and improve to 10-0 on the season,... read more
Rebel Nation goes into its home opener Saturday excited for the return of football at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but also saddened by the loss of one of its most renowned voices.Stan Sandroni, 64, passed away of a heart attack late Wednesday.... read more