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Rebels likely won’t max out scholarships

Ole Miss’ men’s basketball team could still sign another player for the upcoming season, but that’s not necessarily the plan.

Subbing in for head coach Andy Kennedy on the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference Monday, Ole Miss assistant Tony Madlock said the Rebels aren’t likely to add to its roster despite having another scholarship remaining. The NCAA limits Division I teams to 13 scholarship players, a number the Rebels are one short of with seven departures from last year’s team and six signees.

“This time of year, it’s always a question mark of what’s still out there in terms of being available,” Madlock said. “I think we’re probably just going to leave it open and hopefully fill it at the end of the (fall) semester for next year.”

Ole Miss was at the scholarship limit until junior college signee Tyrek Coger was recently released from his scholarship after an SEC transfer rule kept Coger from enrolling. SEC and ACC rules require junior college transfers to be in school full-time for three straight semesters, which Coger wasn’t. Coger, who has since committed to Oklahoma State, tweeted on June 21 that his appeal of the rule was denied.

That leaves international big Karlis Silins, junior college forward Justas Furmanavicius, high school signees Breein Tyree and Nate Morris, New Mexico graduate transfer Cullen Neal and Drake transfer Dominik Olejniczak as the newcomers. Olejniczak, a 7-footer, will sit out the upcoming season per NCAA transfer rules and have three years of eligibility beginning in 2017-18.
Not all the signees have made it to campus yet, Madlock said.

“We’ve got a couple of international students that won’t be here until August, and then we have a couple more guys that will be in,” Madlock said.

Ole Miss lost three of its top five scorers from a season ago, including the SEC’s leading scorer in guard Stefan Moody. Senior forward Sebastian Saiz is the only returning player who averaged double figures (11.7 points).