Holloway Cleared

Ole Miss junior forward Murphy Holloway was cleared to play immediately by the NCAA Friday, according to a source close to the program. Holloway confirmed the news via his Twitter account this afternoon.

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Holloway played two seasons at Ole Miss before transferring to South Carolina a year ago. Once a two-year starter, he led the Rebels in rebounding in each of his two seasons. He averaged 10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in 2009-10, his final season at Ole Miss.

His 259 total rebounds led the team by a wide margin, and he also logged the third-most minutes of any player at 25.7 minutes per game.

"Murph is a great player. Tenacious rebounder. We're going to need that," junior guard Nick Williams said Thursday. "I know some games last year, rebounding was a big part of why we didn't win games. Murphy's going to bring that to us."

Transfers, by rule, are required to sit out a season. In this case, however, the NCAA waived the year-in-residency requirement, allowing Holloway to rejoin the program.

Murphy Holloway
Associated Press

The 6-foot-7 Holloway transferred from Ole Miss to South Carolina in April of 2010, citing a need to be closer to his home to care for his then 6-month-old daughter.

Holloway walked on at South Carolina. He paid his way over the course of his transfer stay.

He must still be cleared by the Southeastern Conference. However, sources indicated such clearance is usually a formality.

Holloway, who enrolled in classes in the summer and has been a full participant in practices this fall, joins a loaded Ole Miss front court featuring fellow veterans Terrance Henry and Reginald Buckner.

"He's a big contributor to the team," Buckner said Thursday. "He's focused, and he's a great leader. He's still the same Murphy, but he's gotten a lot stronger, quicker and his jump shot's developed a lot more."

Ole Miss, fresh off a 20-14 season and first-round exit in the National Invitation Tournament, opened official practices Friday. Holloway is expected to play the four, with Henry moved to the three, where he is better suited. Henry is the team's leading returning scorer.

"What he can impact to our program obviously goes without saying," head coach Andy Kennedy said of Holloway in his preseason press conference Thursday. "We know what Murph can give us. We've seen him get 20 rebounds in an SEC game. We've seen him have multiple double-doubles. He was on pace when he left here as a sophomore to have a chance to be the all-time leading rebounder in the history of our program.

"Obviously his value is unquestioned."

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