Rebs add "centerpiece" to basketball class

Zach Graham (Wing, Suwanee, GA) - The Rebels centerpiece for the Early Signing period lied on the shoulders of Peachtree Ridge's two sport athlete.

The 6' 5", swingman was one of the more hotly contested prospects in Georgia, as he had scholarship offers from the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Miami, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, South Carolina, and Florida State.

He is Ole Miss' most highly recruited player to ink since Justin Reed in 2001.

What makes Zach so special?

"Ole Miss is getting a slashing style of player that is very aggressive on the basketball court," commented scout.com's national basketball recruiting analyst, Dave Telop. "His game is all about getting to the rim and making plays in a straight attack mode. He is a high energy kid. Graham will catch your attention by getting in the paint and forcing the defense to move to him. He is one of those guys that will make a lot of ESPN highlights."

Dave Telop knew the importance of Zach for Coach Kennedy's program.

"This is a guy Kennedy pointed to from day one for his program. You hate to label anyone as a must have, but I think Coach Kennedy would even tell you that he was a must for their program. They aggressively went after him, even though they were behind some other programs like Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgetown when Ole Miss got involved. Coach Kennedy wanted him to be the centerpiece for their class and they got him. Zach was also very important for the Ole Miss program because Georgia will be loaded with talent for the next few years, and Zach carries name recognition with a lot of those guys."

How does Dave feel about Ole Miss' early signing period class?

"At the end of the day, Coach Kennedy has built a solid foundation to build on. You have to love what they got in PG Christopher Warren and Zach Graham. Those are the type of players it takes to win against the Florida's and LSU's in the SEC. Going forward, after he gets some wins under his belt and hopefully updating his facilities, you can expect to get good results on signing day."

As a freshman at Peachtree High School, Graham averaged 18 points and 4 boards per game. Zach's junior season saw him average 21 points and 6 rebounds a contest. However his coming out party was last summer at the Reebok ABCD Basketball Camp where he wowed the scouts with his ability to get to the basket and play larger than his size. He also had an impressive summer showing in AAU ball with the Georgia Hurricanes.

“What makes Zach so special is his work ethic,” said Sean Jones, Graham’s AAU coach. “He always makes eye contact, is well-mannered and very intelligent. He picks things up very quickly. He’s versatile and can play four positions on the court and really create mismatches. He’s got a great knack for getting to the free throw line and his outside shot is getting better.”

Zach would describe his game in this manner.

"I would say it’s unique. It’s flashy in a way. It’s efficient," Zach told scout.com.

And how would Graham defend himself?

"I think an opposing team would play me to drive to the basket. I can shoot from the outside but I am more of a slasher than anything else."





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