All Rodney Hood at Rumble In The South

JACKSON, MS - Playing in front of his future coach (Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury), No. 6 ranked small forward Rodney Hood did not disappoint on Monday, January 17th, scoring 29 points and grabbing 10 boards as Meridian beat Jackson Callaway 64-59 in the nightcap of the fourth annual Rumble In The South tournament which was held at the Mississippi College coliseum.

Other teams represented in the tournament were Pearl, Brandon, Ridgeland, McComb, Kemper County, Cleveland East Side, Jackson Prep, Jackson Academy, Madison-Ridgeland Academy and St. Andrews.

Below are recaps of how each of the top players performed during the tournament.


Rodney Hood, SF, Meridian - Jackson Callaway had no answer for Hood's outside shooting. He hit from all spots and the "how to pull up off the bounce" clinic he put on was worth more than price of admission. His ability to score will provide an instant impact in the SEC for Mississippi State next year. He scored 18 of his game high 29 points in the second half and finish the game shooting 8 of 13 from the field , a perfect 3 of 3 behind the arc, and 10 of 12 from the charity line. He also hauled in 10 rebounds, dish out four assists and had two of each in the blocks, turnovers, and steals category.

Johnny O'Bryant, PF, Cleveland East Side - Surrounded by his SEC west division foes (Mississippi State, Alabama and Ole Miss), LSU assistant Brent Scott was all smiles after he watched his 2011 stud signee grab the ball off the defensive cup and pushed it pass Wildcat defenders with an in and out move followed by a cross-over dribble at half court that led to a jumper off the bounce at the top of the key. O'Bryant plays a physical brand of basketball and Kemper County wanted no part of it. He finished with 18 points on 9 of 13 shooting and fell two rebounds short of recording a double-double. He did have four turnovers and failed to reject a shot.

Deville Smith, PG, Callaway - The Mississippi State signee struggled a bit with his shot in the first half against Meridian scoring 7 points on 1 of 7 shooting from the field. The second half was a different story for the 5'11 senior guard as he went away from his outside shot and began to attack the rim where a couple generous and-one calls and fancy shots took place. Smith finished the game with 19 points on 5 of 14 shooting, 1 of 3 behind the arc and 8 of 10 from foul line. His participation on defense led to five steals and three rebounds. He had five turnovers to three assists.

LeAntwan Luckett, SG, Ridgeland - Luckett, Mississippi top unsigned senior, had a quiet 15 points on 4 of 8 shooting. He missed his lone attempt from behind the arc, made 7 of 11 free throw attempts and pulled down eight rebounds. The 6'4 wing tallied most of his points driving to the basket, but displayed a couple nice pull up jumpers along the baseline. Although he doesn't have best outside shot, his athleticism and ability to finish at the rim should have some high majors considering him late. Missouri State and Murray St are the leading candidates for LeAntwan services.

Trey Brown, SF, Brandon - Brown, UT-Chattanooga signee, scored 11 points off 5 of 11 shooting, 0 of 2 from three and 1 of 2 from the line. The 6'7 senior small forward has one of smoothest strokes in the state. His size and ability to shoot from the outside should cause match-up problems on the perimeter down the line for Southern Conference opponents.

Ladarius "Snoop" White, SG, McComb - White, 6'4 senior guard, scored at will against the out matched Patriots of Madison Ridgeland Academy. The Ole Miss signee didn't have the best shooting performance but scored at the rim whenever and however he wanted. He scored 26 points on 8 of 20 shooting, 2 of 8 from the three, and 8 of 9 from the line. He also grabbed nine rebounds, had four steals, and dished out four assists to three turnovers.

Caleb Miskelly, PG, Madison Ridgeland Academy - Miskelly had the surprise performance of the event. His shot behind the arc worked early and often against McComb. He finished with a game high 28 points on 9 of 26 shooting, 6 of 15 behind the arc, 4 of 5 from the line and grabbed six rebounds. He turned the ball over nine times due to lack of strength against bigger and stronger guards. Caleb plans to take the prep school route after senior season. Low to Mid Majors should have him on their watch list because of his ability to shoot consistently behind the arc.


Twymond Howard, SF, Pearl - The 6'6 junior small forward had a strong performance against Jackson Prep. He has improved tremendously with handling the ball and creating his own shot from the perimeter. His range and ability to knock down the mid range jumper has come a long way since this summer. Howard finished with a Rumble in the South game high 34 points on 16 of 30 from the field, 1 of 6 behind the arc, 1 of 4 from the line, 10 rebounds, three assists, five turnovers, five blocks, and three steals. Mississippi State, Missouri, Tennessee and LSU are on his early list.

Devonta Pollard, PF, Kemper County - Devonta had a good showing against the East Side Trojans. The 6'7 athletic forward logged in a couple monster dunks and was a beast on the boards in his battle against Johnny O'Bryant. Pollard has improved in knocking down the 15 footer where he showed he can hit it from both sides of the floor. He also looked to be more comfortable stepping out and shooting the three. The final stats tallied to be a game high 30 points on 11 of 22 shooting, 1 of 3 behind the arc, grabbed 10 rebounds, one block, and three steals. Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Georgetown, Auburn, and Alabama are on his early list.


Treshawn Bolden, SF, Callaway - Bolden had a quiet night and at times seemed to be invisible on offense. The 6'8 sophomore power forward has a high ceiling with his size and ability to get to the goal and finish.. Once he learns to be aggressive on offense along with being a consistent rebounder, the state of Mississippi can chalk up another big time forward. As far as the game with Meridian, Treshawn scored 10 points on 4 of 9 shooting, 2 of 4 from the charity stripe, and 4 rebounds.


Tyler Adams, C, Brandon - The Georgetown signee did not have a productive day on Monday. Ridgeland did a good job of keeping Tyler, a 6'9, 255 pound senior, off the glass and forced him to shoot the outside shot instead catching it on the block. Adams finished the day with 9 points on 4 of 9 shooting and 1 of 6 from the line, five rebounds, four steals, two blocks, two assists and turned the ball over five times.


Not only was the Mississippi State coaching staff in full force at the Rumble in the South (Stansbury and two of his assistant coaches) but Bulldog players Renardo Sidney, Shaun Smith, Ravern Johnson, Dee Bost, Jalen Steele and Brian Bryant were sitting courtside to watch Meridian take on Jackson Callaway. They were there to see future teammates Rodney Hood and Deville Smith battle it out in the last game of the evening

On a side note, former Mississippi State basketball player Elgin Bailey has enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana for the second semester and began practicing with the basketball team on Tuesday. Bailey, a 6'8 junior, will be eligible for 21 games next season for the Lions.


Mississippi State's Rick Stansbury was the lone head coach in the building Monday, but Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, South Alabama, Southeastern Louisiana, and Georgetown were all represented by assistants.

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