Nelson, Jones Dismissed

Sophomore Dundrecous Nelson and freshman Jamal Jones have been dismissed from the Ole Miss basketball team for a violation of team rules, head coach Andy Kennedy announced Thursday.

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Nelson was the Rebels' leading scorer at 11.6 points per game. Jones had played five games in a limited role.

Ole Miss (10-4) returns to action Saturday at LSU at 12:30 p.m.

"Terribly disappointing," Kennedy said. "I realize very clearly that at the end of the day when you make your living with numbers by your name, meaning Ws and Ls, ultimately those numbers better make sense for you to be able to continue to do your job. But it goes a lot deeper than that.

"When you see kids have to be dismissed for poor decisions that they make at very influential times of their lives, it's hurtful. It's hurtful to me as their coach, it's hurtful to me as the guy who brought them into our extended family. I'm terribly disappointed."

Nelson was arrested and charged early Wednesday morning for drug paraphernalia in his apartment, as first reported by The Ole Miss Spirit.

In the police report, filled out by reporting officer Zachary White, police responded to the Lafayette Place apartments for a smell of marijuana coming from Nelson's apartment early Wednesday morning.

Police knocked on the door, but there was no response. A pizza delivery person arrived shortly thereafter, delivering a pizza to Nelson's apartment. When Nelson opened the door, police confronted him, asking why he didn't respond initially. Nelson didn't reply.

According to the report, police could smell a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the apartment. White asked to come in. It was in the apartment that police discovered marijuana paraphernalia.

There was a previous marijuana-related incident at the apartment involving Nelson, according to the police report. Nelson was a repeat offender. Jones was one of four other people involved, though Jones wasn't charged.

Dundrecous Nelson
Bruce Newman

"He was our leading scorer and a guy who was certainly capable of scoring the basketball for us," Kennedy said of Nelson. "It's like anything else. When Murph (y Holloway) goes down, we lose our leading rebounder. We can't automatically ask somebody to come in and get the 10 rebounds Murphy was getting.

"We have to ask everybody to do a little bit more. We'll take the same approach as it relates to the production that we lose with Dundrecous no longer being with us."

Nelson played in every game this season, including four starts. He ranked in the top-20 in the Southeastern Conference in scoring. Kennedy mentioned Nick Williams, Maurice Aniefiok, Ladarius White and Jelan Kendrick as players who will have to step up to replace the production lost in Nelson.

"Just got to be the next man up, I guess. Obviously we're hurt about the whole situation," Williams, a junior, said. "Just got to be next man up. Somebody else's just got to step up and fill the void. He's like a brother to us. We're just hurt by whatever happened. We just got to move forward. He's still our brother. Whatever he needs from us, we're going to try to do it for him."

"Very prepared. Always prepared. I'm always ready," said Aniefiok, who scored a season-high eight points in an increased role against SMU Tuesday, a 50-48 win. "We're losing the guys, and I know it's something that kind of hurt us as a team, but we have to step up. I have to step up. Jelan. We're a very deep team. I really think it's not going to hurt us so bad."

Nelson played in all 34 games with starts in the last seven games of his freshman season. He averaged 15.1 minutes per game. He was fourth on the team in scoring, third in 3-pointers and third in free-throw percentage. He set the Ole Miss freshman record with a 30-point outburst at Auburn as a freshman, tying the freshman record with seven 3-pointers.

Jones was in his true freshman season at Ole Miss. He was a second-team All-State selection by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette as a senior at Searcy High School in Searcy, Ark., and a three-time All-Conference pick. He averaged 23 points, six rebounds and three blocks per game as a senior.

"It's a shame, really. It's a shame," Kennedy said. "There's a process. You get to the point of no return, and obviously the most severe thing you can do is dismiss someone from your program. That's where we are."

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