Among the expected signees is Piney Woods, Miss., forward Dwight Coleby, a three-star prospect, who chose Ole Miss over Memphis in October. Bel Aire, Kan., forward Sebastian Saiz, as well as his teammate Janari Joessar, round out the early additions.
The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Coleby, rated the No. 23 center in the country by Scout.com, could contribute immediately.
He was widely regarded as the No. 1 prospect on Ole Miss’ recruiting board when he made his commitment to the Rebels, and averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blockers per game as a junior.
“He’s a big-time athlete that can score the basketball,” Piney Woods head coach Lemuel Jones said. “Very quick off his feet, very quick to the basket. The sky’s the limit. I think this kid’s going to be really big before it’s all said and done.”
Ole Miss loses veterans Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner following the 2012-13 season. The Rebels are 2-0 on the year following a 90-72 win over Coastal Carolina on Tuesday.
Holloway is the SEC’s active career leader in double-doubles. He notched his 27th career double-double against Coastal Carolina. Buckner sits as Ole Miss’ career leader in blocked shots.
“I can step in and play,” Coleby said. “Playing time’s important to me. I can come in and produce. They use their bigs all kinds of different ways. Rebound the ball, block shots. They bang the paint.”
There’s opportunity for Saiz, too.
Coleby and Saiz committed to Ole Miss in consecutive days, Saiz making his decision Oct. 15. A 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward, he averaged 6.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season for the Spain 18-and-under team.
He transferred to Sunrise Christian Academy this year.
“He could have gone to any school in the country,” Sunrise head coach Kyle Lindstead said. “He’s that kind of recruit. The difference is schools don’t really know about him because he’s from Spain. This is his first year playing in the States.”
In Saiz and Coleby, Ole Miss hopes it’s found capable replacements for Holloway and Buckner.
“He’s real good. He’s really good,” Lindsted said of Saiz. “He plays very hard, he’s got a motor. He’s 6-foot-9 and very, very long. He’s got a 7-foot-5 wingspan. He’s been very well-coached, so he’s very polished for his age. This is the kind of kid that could have ended up anywhere.”
Joessar, originally of Estonia, committed to Ole Miss on Monday after an official visit to the school last weekend.
“Ole Miss was on him early,” Linstead said. “(Ole Miss head) Coach (Andy) Kennedy came out here to talk to him in person. I think they developed a relationship with him.
“When Sebastian went there, and the European connection, I think it helped here. I think they wanted to continue their careers together. Him being with a high school teammate helps.”
The 6-foot-7, 200-pound Joessar averaged 12.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 2011 in the U-18 European Championships; this after posting 12.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in 2010.
A guard/forward, Joessar didn’t participate in AAU basketball this summer. However, that didn’t stop a number of colleges from showing interest. “He had a long list,” Linstead said, with a lot of attention coming from Big 12 and Big 10 teams.
Before moving to the United States, he played for Spanish Side CAI Zaragoza.
“They’re going to work together well,” Linstead said of Joessar and Saiz. “They like each other, they’re great friends. They have that European connection. They’ve been teammates here at Sunrise.
“Sebastian’s a hard guy to guard, and Janari knows it. They understand how good together they can be. I feel confident about both of these guys moving forward to the next level.”