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Ole Miss basketball adds international guard to incoming class

Ole Miss men’s basketball coach Andy Kennedy hit the international market for the team’s latest addition.

The Rebels announced the signing of Ukrainian guard Illya Tyrtyshnik on Monday. Tyrtyshnik played this past season at Get Better Academy Prague, a prep school in the Czech Republic.

“We are excited to have Illya join our program,” Kennedy said. “He is a big, versatile lead guard who will help our backcourt in a variety of ways. The experience he has garnered in numerous international competitions should aid him in his transition to SEC basketball.”

The 6-foot-3 Tyrtyshnik is the fifth member of Ole Miss’ signing class for the 2017-18 season and the third guard, providing further depth to a backcourt that’s adding Memphis graduate transfer Markel Crawford and fellow freshman Devontae Shuler to the mix. Terence Davis and Deandre Burnett return after finishing as two of the Rebels’ top three scorers a season ago while rising sophomore Breein Tyree will also be back at the point.

The addition of Tyrtyshnik put Ole Miss at the NCAA-mandated limit of 13 scholarships for next season after Cullen Neal opted to transfer out of the program after one season, but that was before Parker Stewart, who inked with the Rebels during the early signing period, was given a full release from his scholarship later in the day.

Kennedy said he’ll explore all of his options before deciding what to do with the Rebels’ last available scholarship for next season.

Tyrtyshnik represented his home country in the U18 European Championships last summer and averaged 14.6 points, 3.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds to help lead Ukraine to a second-place finish. He’ll play in this year’s European Championships for the U20 Ukraine National Team in Greece in July before reporting to Ole Miss in August.