Milwaukee transfer visits Ole Miss for the first time

Akeem Springs grew up in Mississippi.

He could very well finish his college basketball career there.

Springs is originally from Greenwood. However, he’d never been to Ole Miss before visiting Thursday through Saturday. Springs is a one-year graduate transfer from Milwaukee. He decided to leave after head coach Rob Jeter was fired last month after 11 seasons at the school.

When you hear people talk about it, you never really understand how nice it is until you see it,” Springs said of Ole Miss during a Periscope chat. “It was real cool.”

Springs, who averaged 13.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists as a junior last season, didn’t know what to expect when he arrived on campus. He was impressed by what he saw.

“It was crazy to see how much history’s on campus,” he said. “You’ve got the walk that the football team takes during the game. Everybody knows about the Grove. The fans were crazy. Everybody’s about Ole Miss.” 

Ole Miss is looking to add multiple players in the spring signing period (which opens next week), and the Rebels are currently focused solely on transfers. The Rebels have already hosted and appear to be a favorite for New Mexico guard Cullen Neal, while Memphis guard Avery Woodson is a target as well.

Springs would fill a need in the Rebel backcourt, which lost Stefan Moody, Martavious Newby and Anthony Perez to graduation, and Sam Finley and J.T. Escobar to transfer. Ole Miss has three open scholarships to fill. The Rebels signed five players in the fall.

“The coaches are real good people,” Springs said. “They’re all easy to talk to, they all got energy about them. It’s cool to see how everybody’s got their own personality. (Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy), real good guy. He’s so cool and motivated. What he’s been talking to me about is how hungry he still is. He’s done some things that haven’t been done here, but he’s still hungry and ready to get it. That’s exciting to me. A.K.’s a good guy. The whole coaching staff is so energetic and ready to get something done.”

Springs is expected to graduate this summer. He will be eligible to play immediately in 2016-17. He’ll visit Minnesota next. Florida State, Creighton, Butler and Virginia Commonwealth are among the other schools to show interest in the 6-foot-3, 210-pound guard.

“Last night when I’m out, they did this ‘Are You Ready’ and they started chanting something,” Springs said. “It was cool. The facilities are dope. It’s crazy. It’s crazy just seeing how some of the strength coaches work with the players. The team was cool. Overall, it’s beautiful. My family came up. My mom, she’s not from too far. My brother was here, which is always big. My dad came up.”

Ole Miss finished 20-12 last season and missed the postseason. The Rebels have reached the NCAA Tournament in two of the last four seasons.

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