‘Felt like home'

Tennessee State transfer M.J. Rhett wasn't expecting much when he took an official visit to Ole Miss over the weekend.

Follow SpiritBen on Twitter

So, the Rebels rolled out the red carpet for the 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward. And, suffice to say, Rhett, a fifth-year senior who will graduate this spring and be eligible to play immediately, came away impressed.

"It went good," he said Sunday night. "It was way better than I thought it was going to be. I guess I underestimated Oxford. My relationships with the coaches, I really love my relationships with those guys – (Ole Miss head) coach (Andy) Kennedy, (assistant) coach (Bill) Armstrong and (Al) Pinkins."

Rhett averaged 10.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game last season. He scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Wichita State and had 14 points and five boards against Tennessee.

"They made it known that I was a priority and they need me," Rhett said of Ole Miss. "They need me to come in and score, rebound and be a factor in the SEC."

Ole Miss is in need of frontcourt help after finishing 19-14 a year ago and missing the postseason for only the second time in eight seasons under Kennedy. Ole Miss won the SEC tournament and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade in 2012-13.

Rhett said Ole Miss is one of his three finalists, joining Southern Cal and Miami. "That's my final three right there," he said. He said he will sign with his school of choice after visiting the Hurricanes on the 21st. Wednesday is the first day of the spring signing period.

"I'm going to compare it, see how I like it. I really felt like I was at home at Ole Miss," Rhett said. "Everything was right. Everything was going good. I liked the team, coaches and all that. I'm just going to go check out my other places and go from there. I grew up watching the SEC and being around the SEC, so I like that a lot."

Rhett, of Columbia, S.C., is primarily concerned with playing time. With only one year left, he isn't looking to sit.

"I've been starting since I've been a freshman," he said. "I'm not looking for somewhere to just be a piece that comes off the bench. I want to be a part of something and contribute and contribute to winning a championship and go on to play professionally after that."

Along with Ole Miss, Southern Cal and Miami, Villanova, Oklahoma State, Wichita State, Memphis, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Texas A&M and others have all shown varying degrees of interest.

OM Spirit Top Stories