Nabbing No. 1

Ole Miss basketball made a splash Thursday, as highly-regarded prospect Martavious Newby committed to the school, Newby becoming the first commitment for the recruiting class of 2012.

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Newby, of Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tenn., has seen his stock soar this summer.

As a member of Memphis YOMCA, he performed well in the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C., and AAU Nationals. Newby had 10 rebounds in the championship game of the Peach Jam against BABC.

His most complete game, perhaps, was a 19-point, 13-rebound, 7.0-assist performance in the EYBL against The Family, a Michigan based team. With Newby, YOMCA finished 50-6 in summer play.

“He's a primetime athlete. He's more of a combo guard, but I project him more as a point guard on the next level," Jevonte Holmes, Newby's AAU coach, said. "He's super athletic. It's hard to find a point guard as athletic as he is. He can defend the one and the two. He's so strong, he's a great rebounder. He's a guy that fills up the stat book.

"I think Ole Miss got a steal with him."

Newby opened eyes when matched up with some of the nation's top rising talent in both tournaments. He was paired against Raleigh, N.C., guard Rodney Purvis, rated a five-star recruit, multiple times.

Martavious Newby
Jason Caldwell

"He defended so well. He defended better than I've seen any other guard defend," Holmes said. "He took on the opposing team's best perimeter player, like Rodney Purvis, one of the top point guards in the country. He shut him down. He's was a lockdown defender, and he shot the ball well."

Though his profile has yet to reflect the increased interest from schools in pursuit of his signature, Newby has earned offers from a host of top-flight schools, including Ole Miss, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Missouri, Auburn and Mississippi State.

"Newby is a big time athlete who plays the game all out, all the time," Brian Snow,'s national basketball recruiting analyst, said.

"With his motor that never quits combined with his strength and athleticism, he is someone who really stood out in July with his play. Also, Newby should be a dynamite defender once he gets to college."

A guard, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Newby is currently rated just a two-star recruit by However, to Snow, his ranking is likely to be bumped significantly following the next round of evaluations.

"This is a great pickup for Ole Miss," Snow said. "Newby is a super athlete. Very strong for a guard, and he plays with a high motor. Someone we will definitely discuss when it comes to rankings time."

Newby averaged 22.8 points per game, 3.8 assists, 11.2 rebounds and 3.7 steals as a junior for the Warriors last season. Booker T. Washington finished 21-6 overall.

Along with an impressive build, Newby runs a 4.3 40-yard dash and has a 43-inch vertical jump, according to a recent article in The Commercial Appeal. He is also a coveted football recruit as a linebacker and tight end.

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