Ole Miss Basketball Inks Arkansas Tandem

Nov. 12, 2003

OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss basketball team strengthened both its frontcourt and backcourt Wednesday, receiving national letters of intent from Arkansas natives Jeremy Parnell, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward/center from Gosnell, and Brandon Patterson, a 6-foot-6, 180-pound swingman from Altheimer.

Parnell and Patterson are the Rebels' first two signees of the early signing period and will attend Ole Miss beginning in the 2004-05 academic year.

"We're very excited about both players," said Rebel head coach Rod Barnes. "The future of our program looks bright with the commitment of these two young men."

An All-State first team pick a year ago, Parnell averaged 20 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks as a junior at Gosnell High School, where he was coached by Len Whitehead. Included in his 2002-03 campaign was a triple-double performance against Senath (Mo.), tallying 21 points, 11 boards and 10 blocks.

Parnell, who is rated the 16th-best prep center and 136th-best senior player in the nation by Rivals.com, was also a standout with his Arkansas Wings AAU squad. At the Kingwood Classic in Houston, he turned in a double-double in the first half of one game with 15 points and 10 rebounds by halftime.

"Jeremy is a great catch for us," Barnes said. "He was one of the better AAU post players we saw over the summer. Jeremy also comes from a good high school program with Coach Whitehead. He is a great kid and is very athletic with good size. He could make an immediate impact on our frontline."

Coached by Leon Harris, Patterson helped guide Altheimer High School to a 34-1 mark and a 2A state championship as a junior a year ago, earning state tournament MVP honors along the way. For the season, he averaged 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

An All-Arkansas selection, Patterson posted 36 points and 18 boards against Whitehall, and dropped in 28 in a victory over Melbourne, who entered the game 40-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state.

Patterson's winning touch on the court also extended into the AAU ranks, where he helped lead the Arkansas Hawks to a first-place finish in state as well as in the Great America Shootout.

"Brandon is a very talented perimeter player," Barnes said. "We've been watching Brandon for a long time. He has won a lot of games at both the high school and AAU level. He is a versatile player who could play point, off-guard and small forward for us. Brandon is also a good student and will fit in well with our returning players."

Ole Miss defeated Southeastern All-Stars in an exhibition game Tuesday, 103-91, and continues preseason play with Carson Newman Sunday at 2 p.m. in Oxford. The Rebels officially open the new campaign against Arkansas State, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at Tad Smith Coliseum.

 

 

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