Ole Miss Signs A Pair Of In-State Hoops Standouts

OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss men's basketball team has received national letters of intent from a pair of Mississippi high school seniors, head coach Andy Kennedy announced Wednesday. Highly touted prospects Demarco Cox of Yazoo City and Dundrecous Nelson of Jackson will join the Rebels for the 2010-11 academic year.

"We are very excited to welcome two outstanding Mississippi players to our team for next season," Kennedy said. "With the addition of Dundrecous Nelson and Demarco Cox, the future of Ole Miss Basketball looks very bright!"

A 6-foot-8, 285-pound center, Cox averaged 15 points and eight rebounds and led coach Archie Carlyle's Yazoo City HS to the North State Finals as a junior. The four-star recruit is rated the No. 80 overall prospect and No. 9 center in the nation by Rivals.com and No. 83 overall and No. 22 power forward by ESPN.com/Scouts, Inc.

A four-star recruit in football as the nation's 25th-rated offensive tackle, Cox received interest from many schools in both sports and chose Ole Miss over the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland and Mississippi State. He played AAU ball with MBA Hoops Elite under coach Omhar Carter.

"I believe Demarco will be a very solid SEC player," Carlyle said. "The chance to stay at home and play in the SEC was big for him. He's very strong, has great hands and moves exceptionally well for his size. Even though he is constantly facing double and triple teams in high school, he is still a very productive player for us. I know Coach Kennedy and his staff are excited to have him be a part of their program, and Demarco is very excited about Ole Miss."

A senior at Murrah High School, Nelson is rated the top player in the state of Mississippi by Scout.com a year after he averaged 17.5 points, eight assists and four steals per game as a junior under legendary coach Bob Frith, whose program has produced NBA players such as Othella Harrington, Lindsey Hunter and Mo Williams, as well as former Rebel standout Joezon Darby. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound guard is also rated the nation's 86th-best overall prospect and No. 21 point guard by Rivals.com and the No. 30 point guard by ESPN.com/Scouts, Inc.

"I think Dundrecous will fit right in with Ole Miss' up-tempo style of basketball," Frith said. "He brings a lot of quickness, and he's unbelievable going to the basket. He's an outstanding athlete, and his future is ahead of him. He has a lot of potential. I think in college he can actually be a better defensive player than a lot of people think, because he's so powerful. He ranks right up there with the best we've had come through our program."

Known for his slashing style and ability to finish at the rim, Nelson has been a member of the Jackson Panthers AAU team under the direction of coach LeMond Roy. Nelson picked Ole Miss over such schools as Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas State, Mississippi State and USC.

Both Cox and Nelson have been named preseason candidates for The Clarion-Ledger's Dandy Dozen, which honors the state's top prep basketball players each year. Each is off to a hot start this season, as Cox posted a 20-point, 14-rebound double-double in his first game back following the football season, and Nelson had 32 points and six assists in a win at McComb on Tuesday.

They represent the first Ole Miss signees from the Magnolia State since Kennedy arrived in 2006. The last in-state signee signee to earn a letter for the Rebels was Kendrick Fox (Oxford) from the 2000-01 class.

The duo will join a Rebel squad that should return the vast majority of its players next year after featuring only one senior this season, forward DeAundre Cranston.

Ole Miss tips off the 2009-10 season this Friday at 6 p.m. against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
 

 

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