A look back at the Lady Rebs Fall Class

Ole Miss women's basketball Head Coach Carol Ross announced the signing of two players in November.

Kayla Holloway of Dyersburg (Tenn.) High School and Kayla Melson of Sidney Lanier (Ala.) High School signed national letters of intent to join the Ole Miss women's basketball program beginning in the 2007-08 academic year.

“We are very pleased with our signing class,” said Ross, who is entering her fourth season at the helm of the Ole Miss program. “Both Kayla’s are not only outstanding players, but just tremendous people overall. Assistant coaches Jocelyn McGilberry and Renee Ladner did an excellent job of identifying these players as athletes we wanted in our program and we could not be more excited about them joining our team.”

Holloway, a 6-3 post player, is one of the top players in the state of Tennessee . She averaged 16.5 points, 14.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.9 blocks per game as a junior at Dyersburg High through the first six games before having to miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

Kayla played her senior season despite a torn ACL and averaged 12.8 ppg., 10.9 rpg., 4.1 apg., 1.8 bpg. She was named 1st Team All-West Tennessee for her accomplishments.

“Kayla Holloway gives us another strong body down inside,” said Ross. “She’s a player who comes out of a very good high school program in Dyersburg . She’s a prototypical Tennessee post player. She’s rough, tough and physical and she has that competitive fire in her that I love, and fans can appreciate as well.”

Holloway earned a spot on the Class 3A All-State Tournament Team in 2005 after leading her squad to a runner-up finish as a sophomore. She posted averages of 12.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists that season. Holloway was selected by Street and Smith as a High Honorable Mention player entering her senior season after a solid summer with the Nike Tennessee Flight AAU team. Holloway helped guide the squad to a ninth place finish at the 2006 AAU National Tournament while averaging 17.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per outing. Holloway, who is coached by Randy Coffman at Dyersburg , chose Ole Miss over Georgia , Vanderbilt , North Carolina State, Purdue and Middle Tennessee.

Melson, a 5-7 point guard, joins the Rebel program after leading her team to the Alabama Class 6A state title as a sophomore. During Lanier's state championship run, Melson averaged 17.1 points per game and 4.4 rebounds. She also had 97 steals and 73 assists and was named the Montgomery Advertiser Class 5A-6A All-Metro Player of the Year. Despite losing four starters from the championship team, she nearly took Lanier back to the state tournament in 2006. A 69-40 loss to eventual state champion Jeff Davis in the Southeast Regional finals ended the Poets' season. Melson led her team with 18.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while also collecting 116 assists and 100 steals as a junior at Lanier.

“Kayla Melson is a lead guard,” said Ross. “She has a point guard mentality but she’s capable of playing the one or the two. She plays the point position about the way Armintie Price plays the small forward. She’s relentless, she’s tough and she’s physical. She is a powerful leader. She gives a lot and she expects a lot. I’m real excited about what she can bring to our club. She’s a tough, competitive winner.”

A native of Montgomery , Ala. , Melson was selected for the 2006 Alabama North-South All-Star game, picking up Most Valuable Player honors after scoring 18 points, just four points short of the All-Star game record. Melson, who is coached by Steve Holloway at Sidney Lanier High School , chose the Rebels over Georgia , Auburn and Miami ( Fla. ).

Information comes from SID

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