Ole Miss Basketball Scores Three More Signees
Nov. 12, 2004
OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss basketball team inked three more signees Friday, including two of the nation's top frontcourt prospects. The Rebels received national letters of intent from guard Bobby Clark of Jackson, Miss., and centers Carl Swanigan of West Valley City, Utah and Marquis Young from Chicago.
The lone in-state member of the signing class is Clark, who originally inked with Ole Miss in the class of 2004. The 6-foot-6, 205-pound guard is currently attending Mt. Zion Christian Academy prep school in Durham, N.C.
A four-year high school starter, Clark spent two seasons each at Callaway and Lanier High Schools in Jackson. He averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists over those four years and earned All-State distinction three times. HoopScoop Online ranks Clark as the 52nd-best prep prospect in the country.
"It's always special for our program to sign a young man from the state of Mississippi," said Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes. "To add a big guard with the talent and ability of Bobby gives us an opportunity to match up with some of the nation's top teams. We are grateful to he and his family for the loyalty they have shown to Ole Miss, and we're looking forward to adding Bobby to this family."
Swanigan is tabbed the nation's 10th-best senior center according to Rivals.com and among the top 30 overall prospects by HoopScoop Online. The 6-foot-9, 340-pounder was the 2004 Utah 5A Player of the Year, racking up 17.8 points and 14.6 rebounds per game. Swanigan led Hunter High School to the school's first state title in 2004, nailing the game-winning free throws with 4.5 seconds remaining in the championship game.
He spent the summer playing for AAU team Blessed IJN in Ft. Wayne, Ind., and has remained in the Hoosier state to complete his final year of high school ball at New Creation Chapel in Richmond.
"We're very thankful to add the first commitment of this class in Carl," said Barnes. "He has great size and athleticism, but he can also shoot the three and handle the ball real well for a guy as big as he is. We feel his versatility will help us put a big lineup on the floor. Carl has a huge upside."
Young was deemed the fifth-best center and 21st overall prospect at last summer's Reebok ABCD Camp in New Jersey, which hosted some of the nation's top prep talent. HoopScoop Online lists Young as the 43rd-best prospect.
Beginning his third year as a starter at Austin Community Academy High School, the 6-foot-9, 275-pound Young posted over 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks per game as a junior and was named All-Chicago and All-Conference.
"Marquis is a big skilled player with great hands," Barnes said. "He had a great summer. He understands the game very well, and we feel his best basketball is ahead of him."
This trio joins a large and celebrated Ole Miss signing class, which is heavy on forwards. The Rebels picked up high school seniors Trey Hampton (Hoover, Ala.) and Xavier Webb (Atwood, Tenn.) on Wednesday and added Mike Smith (Jacksonville, Ark.) Thursday.
Rivals.com is rating Ole Miss' class No. 16 in college basketball, while HoopScoop Online has it fourth-best in their latest ranking. Six different states are represented in the class, and five of the signees are frontcourt players.
Include Auburn transfer Dwayne Curtis, and the Rebels will add four 6-foot-9 players to their lineup in 2005-06. Due to NCAA transfer rules, Curtis is ineligible for the upcoming season, but the 6-foot-9, 290-pound sophomore center may begin playing in the 2005-06 campaign with three years of eligibility remaining.
Ole Miss opens the 2004-05 campaign at the BCA Classic, Sunday through Tuesday at Milwaukee's Bradley Center. The Rebels face South Carolina State in the first Sunday at noon CT.
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