Adding Another

Wichita, Kan., forward Sebastian Saiz committed to Ole Miss basketball on Monday, the second commitment for the Rebels in as many days.

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The commitment of Saiz comes on the heels of Ole Miss landing Piney Woods, Miss., forward Dwight Coleby, who committed to head coach Andy Kennedy and staff Sunday.

Saiz, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward, took an official visit to Ole Miss over the weekend. He brought his mother with him on the visit. Saiz transferred to Sunrise Christian Academy this year, after playing for the Spain 18-and-under team last season.

Sunrise coach Kyle Lindsted said Saiz's relationship with Ole Miss assistant Sergio Rouco, who was born and raised in Cuba and has coaching experience in the Dominican Republic, is what won out in the end.

"They did a good job," Lindsted said. "Coach Rouco has scouted Spain for about 25 years now, so he knows about everything that goes on over there. So, when we got him, the first day they could come out, they were out here and (Ole Miss head) Coach (Andy) Kennedy saw him.

"Serg speaks Spanish, so that was a big advantage for them. Serg and (Saiz's) mom built a good relationship. She was able to go over on the visit with him. Andy and Serg did everything right. It was the perfect fit for them."

Saiz averaged 6.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season for the Spain U18. Lindsted said a number of other schools showed interest in signing Saiz, but Ole Miss was far and away his favorite school.

"He could have gone to any school in the country," he said. "He's that kind of recruit. The difference is schools don't really know about him because he's from Spain. This is his first year playing in the States."

Sebastian Saiz

Saiz, as well as Coleby, are notable additions to a front court set to lose two starters following the 2012-13 season. Seniors Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner, two of the more accomplished big men in school history, will graduate following the year.

"He's real good. He's really good," Lindsted said of Saiz. "He plays very hard, he's got a motor. He's 6-foot-9 and very, very long. He's got a 7-foot-5 wingspan. He's been very well-coached, so he's very polished for his age. He's going to be in the mix wherever he goes. This is the kind of kid that could have ended up anywhere."

Holloway enters his senior season ranked ninth in school history with 743 career rebounds, eighth with 25 double-doubles, ninth with 136 steals and seventh with a .538 field-goal percentage.

Buckner sits as Ole Miss' career leader in blocked shots with 228, which ranks 16th in Southeastern Conference history. He owns three of the top six single-game block efforts in school history.

In Saiz and Coleby, Ole Miss hopes its found two capable replacements.

"He just needs to work on slowing down a little bit," Lindsted said. "The speed of the game, if you slow down a little bit, it's going to make your individual moves better. Being under control. He's really quite polished. Honestly, he is. There's not many kids I can say that about.

"He just needs to keep developing in all areas. He can shoot the 3, put it on the floor a little bit. He needs to get a little bit stronger. I think he'll do that this year. The college game is another step up. He's going to be able to compete for a spot right away."

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