Ole Miss basketball releases Parker Stewart from scholarship

Published 11:54 am Monday, June 5, 2017

Parker Stewart’s Ole Miss career ended before it began.

After some back and forth over his request for a release from his scholarship, Stewart has been granted a full release, Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. Stewart, a combo guard from Union City, Tennessee, was one of six members of the Rebels’ incoming recruiting class.

Stewart signed with the Rebels back in September but requested in recent weeks to be released from his scholarship, according to multiple media reports. The situation went unresolved until the school released him with no restrictions Monday.

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Stewart’s request came after his primary recruiter at Ole Miss, assistant Bill Armstrong, left to join LSU’s staff last month. Playing time for Stewart as a true freshman likely would’ve been scarce with Memphis graduate transfer Markel Crawford and top-100 recruit Devontae Shuler joining a backcourt that has Terence Davis, Deandre Burnett and Breein Tyree returning from a team that advanced to the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals.

Ole Miss also announced the signing of Ukrainian guard Illya Tyrtyshnik before Stewart was officially released from his scholarship, leaving the Rebels with an open spot for next season. Kennedy said he will explore all options before deciding what to do with the remaining scholarship.

A consensus three-star prospect, the 6-foot-5, 185-pound Stewart, who originally chose Ole Miss over Georgetown and Kansas State among others, averaged 19 points, six rebounds and two steals as a senior last season at Union City High. He shot 51 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range.

“His size coupled with his outstanding 3-point shooting ability give us a chance to use him in a number of different ways,” Kennedy said after signing Stewart in the fall.

Now the Rebels’ incoming class consists of Shuler, Crawford, Tyrtyshnik, prep school forward Jamarko Pickett and junior college forward Bruce Stevens. Pickett joins Shuler as the second top-100 prospect in the class while Stevens earned first-team NJCAA All-America honors after averaging 16.1 points and 11.6 rebounds at Jones County Junior College last season.

The group is the highest-ranked recruiting class in program history.