Spring Signing Period
April 10 - May 15th
All colleges are allowed to sign players until the last day of their school's registration (usually early September), but their letters of intent are only binding for the conference they signed with and not the out of conference programs if their signature does not take place between April 10th - May 15th
In other words, if a player were to sign with Ole Miss in June, he would be binded to play for the University of Mississippi in the SEC for one year. The signee would be free to attend an out of conference school without having to sit out a year if he did not sign his scholarship papers between April 10 - May 15th.
As of right now, Ole Miss is out of scholarships. But, if a current player were to leave the program or one of the Fall signees does not qualify, it would open a slot for the Rebels to sign a prospect in the Spring.
Our sources feel like it is a 55/45 chance that a scholarship will free up before it is all said and done.
Of the 7 fall signees, the only grade concern they have is Carl Swanigan.
Swanigan attended Indiana New Creation this Fall (prep school) and averaged 25 points, 15 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 1.8 steals per game. Due to New Creation being on the quarter system, Carl was able to go to a prep school located in Utah so he could be back with his new born kid. Right now, it is anybody's guess as to the odds of him making his grades or not. It is all up to Carl, as he has the time and resources to finish up his needed work, but there is still some concern if he is going to get it done or not.
Clarence Sanders (2G),
Webb (3G/SF), Marquis Young
(C/PF), Bobby Clark (3G), Trey
Hampton (3G/SF), Mike Smith (C/PF), and Dwayne
Curtis (C and is already in school) are expected to qualify.
Which direction is Ole Miss going in if a scholarship does becomes available?
Our sources have indicated to us that if a scholarship does become available, they would prefer to sign either a PG or a Wing prospect, preferable a juco or transfer recruit.
If the transfer is better than the juco prospect, then they will take the transfer. They want to sign the best available prospect, regardless. Whether the prospect has to sit out a year (transfer) makes no difference to them, as they want an impact player.
An emphasis has been put on of not signing anymore "projects" or players that are athletic but need "developing". Our sources feel that their recruiting level has passed that stage, as evident by the Fall Class.
When would a transfer become available?
There are a lot of rumors already going on, but nothing usually shakes out until after the Final 4 takes place. The coaches will get back from the Final 4 and the college players from around the country will start to decide if they are going to stay or leave. Three of the main reasons players transfer are: 1. Their head coach gets fired or leaves for another job, ala Virginia, Wisconsin Greenbay, UMass..etc... or 2. Unhappy with playing time...or 3. Their current school recruits some hotshot recruit who will most likely take his job.
All of this will not be known until the start of the middle of next week.
Will Ole Miss sign a player early on during the Spring Signing Period or wait around?
They will probably wait around and see which transfers they have a legit shot with before they throw out a scholarship. An example would be last year's transfer, Dwayne Curtis. If the Rebels would have signed someone early in the Spring, then they would not have had room for big Dwayne, who our sources feel like will be an All-SEC player NEXT YEAR!
It was obvious through our conversation with our sources that the Rebels have a couple of potential transfers in mind. Because these players are still binded with their current school, no names were given, but there could be something brewing. It would not surprise us if one of these possible potential transfers comes from an elite program.
Which position would they prefer to sign, WG or PG?
They feel good enough about their guard rotation with Todd Abernethy, Brian Smith, Clarence Sanders, Londerick Nolan, Brandon Patterson, Xavier Webb, Trey Hampton, and Bobby Clark.
Here is the deal, they would prefer to leave Todd Abernethy at the PG position and not rotate him at PG and 2G like they did this past year. If they were to able to sign another big time Wing guard they could keep Todd at the point guard, and rotate Clarence Sanders and Brian Smith at PG when Abernethy is taking a rest. Our sources feel that Clarence has the dribbling skills and vision to more than handle the PG position when needed. But make no bones about it, Clarence's main responsibilities with be at the 2G.
If the Rebels decide to ink a PG, then they will utilize Todd as they did last year, more of a combo guard. One series he will play PG and then the next series he will play SG.
Talent will not be a question for next year's club. The only worries remain are keeping their players happy with their minutes and jelling a very talented but inexperience together. And for that "jell" to take place, the players are going to have to be happy with their minutes.
Candidates to sign in the Early Signing Period?
As we mentioned earlier, it would not be ethical or legal to name the potential transfer candidates.
And please keep this in mind, nobody has been offered yet (transfers, juco or high school prospects). As we mentioned before, there are not any scholarships available at this point in time.
The three juco prospects who are being looked at the hardest are:
Jamaal Brown signed with North Carolina Greensboro out of high school but wound up at Utah Valley (UT) CC after failing to qualify. He took a medical redshirt at Utah Valley in the '02/'03 season.
Jamaal transferred to Dixie State (UT) CC in the summer of '03 after playing for Utah Valley (UT) CC as a freshman. He averaged 15.1 points, (11th in the Scenic West Athletic Conference) and 4.5 assists per game (4th) for the year. Brown signed with Oklahoma State but failed to graduate from Dixie-State
Brown then transferred to Southern Idaho in the summer of '04 and helped them to a #6 National Ranking (NJCAA poll). For the season, he averaged 15.6 points, 8 assists, and 3.9 rebounds and was named his Conference's Player of the Year.
Jamaal attended Westinghouse Vocation in Chicago (ILL) during his senior year in high school. Ole Miss' connection comes from, well you guessed it, Coach Dildy. Coach Dildy's cousin actually coached Jamaal Brown in high school.
Brown is the consensus #1 available PG in the country. Illinois, Arizona, Oklahoma State, and Ole Miss are the main players. .
We do know that Terrance was the leading scorer off of the 2004 ACCC Division 1 National Champions. In 2003, Shelton State CC were the runner-ups. Crump averaged 14 points and 7 rebounds for the '04/'05 season.
Crump is considered the 2nd best available PG in the Spring market, behind Jamaal. UAB, Auburn, and Ole Miss are thought to be the main players for Crump's services.
Pelton was then placed at Chipola CC by Coach Dildy at Auburn. Rember, former Ole Miss signee, Mario Jointer, attended Chipola CC last year. Kandarius helped lead Chipola to the Panhandle Conference Championship over Okaloosa Walton CC, where Ole Miss signee, Clarence Sanders, attends.
Remember, the Rebels are going to sign the best available player at the wing or point guard position, regardless if he comes from the juco or transfer ranks.
Do not be surprised if a week or two go by in the early signing period without the Rebels inking a player.
And lastly, no offers have been dished out at this point in time.
Stay tuned, as we will be conducting interviews with the three possible recruits in the coming days.