Rebels and Tigers Square off at 8 pm CT on SEC Network
When former Ole Miss associate head coach Peggie Gillom-Granderson announced her retirement in 2009 after 22 years on the sidelines, Rebel head coach Renee Ladner was faced with the daunting task of replacing one of the most recognizable faces ever to be associated with Ole Miss women's basketball. Ladner opted to replace one Rebel legend with another when she tabbed Ole Miss great Armintie Price as her newest assistant coach.
Price, one of the most successful players in Ole Miss history, will begins her second season on Ladnerr's staff at the beginning of the 2010-11 season, just three seasons removed from leading the Rebels to the 2007 Elite Eight.
In her first season as an assistant coach, Price helped Rebel guard Bianca Thomas became an All-SEC first team selection for the second straight year.
Thomas finished the season first in the SEC and 10th in the nation with 20.9 points per game to become the first Rebel to lead the conference in scoring since Jennifer Gillom in 1986. Thomas finished her career at Ole Miss sixth all-time in scoring with 1,511 points and second in three-pointers with 226.
Price also helped Thomas finish the season 10th in the NCAA with 3.1 three-pointers per game and set a new single-season school record with 100 treys. Thomas ended her career second on the Ole Miss all-time list with 226 three-pointers.
Rebel point guard Kayla Melson also flourished under Price in 2009-10 and finished the season first in the SEC and 10th in the NCAA with 5.9 assists per game. Melson put together four games of at least 10 assists and turned in just the third triple-double in school history when she finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the season opener.
Melson also developed into one of the league's top scoring threats and ended the year 19th in the SEC with 12.2 points per game and featured a three-game stretch in which she scored 20 points. Melson more than doubled her scoring output from her sophomore year when she tallied 5.7 points per game.
Currently in her fourth year in the WNBA, Price spent two and a half seasons with the Chicago Sky and played an instrumental role in the Sky's rise as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. She was recently traded to the Atlanta Dream where she reunited with former Ole Miss head coach and current Dream assistant coach Carol Ross.
Price helped the Dream finish the 2009 regular season with an 18-16 overall record and a berth in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, as the Dream earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. She played an instrumental role in helping Atlanta increase its win total by 14 games from its inaugural season a year ago. That season, the Dream finished with a 4-30 mark and finished with the fewest wins in the WNBA.
The third overall selection in the 2007 WNBA Draft, Price started all 34 games for the Sky that season and finished third among rookies in both scoring (7.9) and assists (2.9) per game en route to her selection as WNBA Rookie of the Year.
Price finished her rookie season ranked 15th in the WNBA in rebounds (6.0 rpg) and 20th in assists (2.9 apg).
She played an integral role in helping the Sky improve from five wins in the franchise's inaugural season of 2006 to 14 wins in 2007. She also helped keep the Sky in the playoff picture until the final week of the regular season.
A native of Myrtle, Miss., a graduate of Ole Miss and a two-time team captain, Price engineered a trip to the Elite Eight for the Rebels in her senior season. It marked the first time Ole Miss had advanced that far since 1992. In her illustrious collegiate career, she joined Cheryl Miller as the only two players in NCAA history to amass 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 assists and 400 steals.
During her senior season in Oxford, Price averaged a team-high 19.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.7 steals per game in leading the Rebels to the Elite Eight. In addition, her 3.7 steals per game also led the NCAA. She had 15 double-doubles on the season, bringing her career total to a school-record 57, and also recorded the second triple-double in Ole Miss history with 34 points, 15 rebounds and 12 steals versus Illinois.
At the conclusion of the season, she was named to the ESPN.com All-America first team as well as the Kodak/WBCA All-America team. She joined 2009 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and Ole Miss great Jennifer Gillom as the only two Rebels in school history to be named to the Kodak/WBCA All-America team.
Price currently ranks third all-time at Ole Miss in career points (2,165), second in rebounds (1,198) and first in steals (403).
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