April 15, 2008

Holloway makes final decision

Murphy Holloway has made up his mind.

There will be no last-second change of heart, he said Tuesday afternoon. Goodness knows, however, plenty of people in and around his hometown of Irmo, S.C., encouraged second thoughts.

"It's been real hard for the last couple of weeks," Holloway said. "You think about changing your mind and all these people come up to you and tell you they want you to do something else. But my mind is set on Ole Miss."

Holloway told RebelSports.net he will sign with Ole Miss at 9:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period.

The 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward withstood a hard charge by new South Carolina coach Darrin Horn, who was hired to replace retiring Gamecocks coach Dave Odom.

"South Carolina was asking, 'Do we have a chance to change your mind?'"Holloway said. "I told them, 'It's just so close to signing day.' They've tried, but it's over."

Holloway's affection for and comfort with the Ole Miss coaching staff was the primary reason he held firm to his commitment to the Rebels. Ole Miss assistant coach Torrey Ward was in South Carolina late last week making sure Holloway knew he was still desperately wanted by Andy Kennedy and his staff.

"Torrey Ward is a great recruiter and a great friend," Holloway said. "That's one of the big reasons I'm going to Ole Miss."

Ole Miss is still scouring the country looking for a post player, but Holloway's signing will all but wrap up one of the top recruiting hauls in Rebel hoops history. Holloway joins four-star forward Terrance Henry, forward Brandon Wilson, shooting guard Terrico White and point guard Will Bogan in a class that is expected to contribute early and often in Oxford.

"I'm excited," Holloway said. "We want to come in and compete for a national championship with this class we have coming in."

Holloway said he's been told to be prepared to push for playing time at the small forward and the power forward positions in Kennedy's preferred up-tempo, pressure-defense style of play.

"I think I can have a big impact as a freshman," Holloway said. "I think I'm coming to a program where I can play and help early. I'm more college-ready to play the 3 (small forward). To play the 4 (power forward), I have to get in the weight room. I'm working hard.

"Tell the Ole Miss fans to be ready to be surprised when Murphy Holloway gets to Oxford."

Holloway also had scholarship offers from Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson and DePaul.

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