Class of 2017 three-star guard Parker Stewart committed to Ole Miss on Friday, after heavy consideration to both Nebraska and Kansas State. He becomes the Rebels’ first commit for the 2017 class.
The 6’5″, 185-pound shooting guard from Union City HS in Union City, Tennessee, Stewart shirked a local offer from Memphis and from top flight programs such as Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Georgetown. He’s ranked as the third-best player in the state of Tennessee in his class.
Stewart also plays on the premier high school program, “Team Penny” dubbed for Memphis native and former NBA star, Penny Hardaway. The Memphis recruiting ties are with the Rebels, who had three players on their roster alone last season that called Memphis home.
After a run of the mill 20-12 finish in head coach Andy Kennedy’s 10th season at the helm for Ole Miss, the team did not so much as attend the NIT. After winning an NCAA Tournament game in 2014-15, the Rebels took a step back in the senior season of Stefon Moody and Anthony Perez.
For a program that has never gone deeper than the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament (which happened back in 2001), the team has won just two NCAA Tournament games in Andy Kennedy’s tenure. As the SEC has improved as a basketball conference (led by Kentucky head coach John Calipari and his continuously loaded freshman classes), Ole Miss has had to attempt to keep up. The team won the conference championship in 2013, but finished just 10-8 in conference play last season.