Ole Miss Basketball Signs Touted JUCO Guard

Nov. 16, 2004

OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss' heralded early signing class grew even stronger Tuesday with the inking of one of the nation's top junior college prospects. The Rebels received a national letter of intent from Clarence Sanders of Florida's Okaloosa-Walton Community College.

Sanders, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound guard, is the lone transfer in the Rebels' class. Rated the No. 4 juco prospect in the nation by MidWest Scouting Services and top-20 by HoopScoop Online, Sanders was a First Team All-Florida pick as a freshman last year, averaging 18 pts, 4.5 assists, and 4.5 steals while knocking down 83 three-pointers at a 40-percent clip.

Sanders played his prep ball at Central High School in Phenix City, Ala., where he was a two-time Ledger Inquirer Player of the Year and as a senior competed in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game.

"This is an important signee for us. Clarence is a great scorer and will bring immediate help next year," said Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes. "He comes from a well disciplined junior college program. Clarence will be an impact player.

"We expect this to conclude our signing class." Sanders is the seventh member of what is one of the largest and most celebrated signing classes in Rebel history. Signees include guard Bobby Clark (6-6, 205, Jackson, Miss.) and frontcourt players Trey Hampton (6-7, 215, Hoover, Ala.), Mike Smith (6-7, 240, Jacksonville, Ark), Carl Swanigan (6-9, 340, West Valley City, Utah), Xavier Webb (6-9, 200, Atwood, Tenn.) and Marquis Young (6-9, 275, Chicago).

Recruiting publications have rated Ole Miss' class among the nation's best. Rivals.com placed the class 16th in college basketball, while HoopScoop Online has ranked it fourth-best.

"Ole Miss has a bright future with this class," Barnes said. "Our coaches have done a great job in recruiting. All the guys we targeted signed, and all the pieces are in place."

Seven 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 the roster 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 faces Illinois State today at 5:30 p.m. CT in the final day of the BCA Classic at Milwaukee's Bradley Center. The Rebels opened the 2004-05 season by splitting its first two games of the tournament, defeating South Carolina State Sunday and falling to Air Force Monday.

 

 

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