What we know for a fact is this:
Ole Miss graduated PG Todd Abernethy, 2G Clarence Sanders, and 3G Bam Doyne.
PG Justin Cerasoli also left the team early on during the season.
In the November signing period, the Rebels signed PG Christopher Warren (5' 11", 165), 3G Zach Graham (6' 5", 190), and C Kevin Cantinol (6' 9", 240).
How did the 3 Fall Basketball Signees fare this season?
was named the game's MVP.
Insiders revealed to us early on that Zach was Ole Miss' number one recruit on their board, regardless of position, for the early signing period. He will be looked upon to take over Bam Doyne's old spot.
Chris Warren led Dr. Phillips (FL)
to the furthest it has ever been in the playoffs as they reached the Class 6A
State Championship game before losing a heartbreaker to Ely in the final seconds.
Warren was spectacular in the biggest game of his life as he poured in 38 points,
11 assists, 5 steals, and 4 rebounds.
Chris will be looked upon to do big things in Todd Abernethy's old spot next year. Some say the Rebels will go as far as Christopher will lead them next season.
Kevin Cantinol also took his
club, Calvary Christian (FL), to its first Final 4 appearance.
season, Cantinol averaged 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots a game.
Ole Miss is bringing back all three of their "big bodies" next season, so Cantinol's role could be limited but important at the same time, as he will be tutored to take over the following season.
Now to the million dollar question; what will happen in the Spring signing period?
Ole Miss has committed Combo Guard Trevor Gaskins (6' 2", 205) and SF Wesley Jones (6' 8", 200).
Trevor Gaskins competed in the
Atlanta All-star shoot-out with Rebel signee, Zach Graham, on Saturday. He was
slated to compete in the Slam Dunk and 3 point shoot-out.
As a sophomore, Trevor played at at St. Francis. Trevor was accompanied with 3 D1 players and still averaged 15 points and 9 assist a game. Last year he transferred to Milton (GA). They needed him to be more of a scorer, so he averaged 24 points and 5 assists a game.
This season, Trevor played for Chattahoochee High and picked the Rebels over FSU and Tennessee. All three schools offered.
Trevor has played point guard his whole career but is thought of as a combo guard due to his ability to shoot the ball and handle the rock. He could relieve Chris and Brian Smith at the one or go to the two if needed.
Wesley Jones was the second leading
scorer in the Mississippi juco ranks as he poured in 24 points and 10 rebounds
a game this year.
The 6' 8", 200 pounder is known to play "above the rim" and will give the Rebels another "Kenny Williams" type athlete but with a little more versatility on the offensive end.
Look for Jones to be an immediate impact player for Ole Miss at the 3 and 4 positions.
Will Ole Miss sign anybody else in the Spring Signing Period?
It all depends on how the coach's meetings go with the guys who are slated to return for next year's club. How will the players respond to what will be demanded of them?
The next two weeks will be pivotal for the players in question.
We do know for sure that Ole Miss will sign Wesley and Trevor on April 11th, and they could sign 1 or 2 or possibly 3 more in the 6 week signing period that starts on April 11th and ends in late May.
For right now, the Rebels would like to sign a total of 7 or 8 players and they have 5 either committed or signed right now.
Our best guess is that during these meetings, two or three current players will be given no choice but to leave.
Who are the candidates to sign if some current players do leave the team?
The hot names right now are SF Tirrell Baines (6' 6", 210) out of Patterson Prep (N.C.), SF Steppfon Pettigrew (6' 5", 210) out of Elizabeth (KY), SG Matt Walls (6' 3", 175) out of Georgetown (KY) and juco prospects SG Emanuel Holloway (6' 2", 180) out of Iowa Western CC and SG Kelvin Davis (6' 4", 210) out of College of Southern Idaho.
Tirrell Baines took an official
visit to Ole Miss in early March and is also considering Baylor and Illinois.
All three have offered.
Baines helped led his team to the National Prep School Championship game this season.
Steffphon Pettigrew absolutely
tore it up this season as he averaged 33.4 points and 13.4 rebounds a game. He
is down to UMass, St. Louis, Ole Miss, Duquesne, and Western Kentucky.
Matt Walls averaged 21 points and
6 assists a game this year for Scott County and told the Courier-Journal
on March 21st that he was down to Western KY, Morehead State, Xavier and Wake Forest.
We feel like Ole Miss can ink Matt if needed.
Emanuel Holloway transferred to Iowa Western from Mercer University. He sat out last year and was a redshirt sophomore.
Holloway averaged 20 points and 5 assists as a senior at Woodland High (GA) and was named the 2004 N' West Georgia Player of the Year for his on the court accomplishments.
Kelvin Davis is from Connecticut and averaged 15.1 points and 2.7 steals a game. Kelvin is currently holding a scholarship offer from Arkansas with several more colleges in pursuit.
Could there be some more prospects on the board that we have not let out?
You didn't think we were going to let all of the cats out of the bags did you?
There are a couple more names out there that Ole Miss is keeping quiet for obvious reasons.
What are their goals for the remaining players on their board?
Very simple; they want to add athleticism, toughness, and players who want to compete.
You could see a potential impact transfer to come in and sit out, ala David Huertas.
Another big time shooter will definitely be one of the top priorities for the Spring class.
Changing the mind set at Ole Miss was goal number one, and they believe they have accomplished that with this year's team.
Now they are looking to take the next step, which is to change the talent level of the team.
In order to upgrade the talent, they must part ways with some players and hit on the ones they are bringing in.