Piney Woods, Miss., forward Dwight Coleby, rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com and regarded as the No. 1 recruit on Ole Miss’ recruiting board, committed to the Rebels, becoming the first commitment for the class of 2013.
Coleby said Ole Miss beat out Memphis for his commitment.
“It’s good. It’s just good to make my decision, not having to worry about which school I’m going to go to,” Coleby said Monday. “They both had different things I liked. I think I fit in better at Ole Miss than at Memphis.”
Coleby announced his decision through his Twitter account, @daddysmooth22.
“I am going to ole miss :-)..#kooldeal..”
Coleby could contribute immediately. Veterans Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner are set to graduate following the season, which opens Nov. 9 against Mississippi Valley State.
“They’re losing two post players,” Coleby said in a previous interview with the Ole Miss Spirit. “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.”
Coleby is rated the No. 23 center in the country by Scout.com. He 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.
“There’s a lot of (schools) that like his motor. Most kids his size don’t have a motor like he does. That’s what’s so intriguing about him. Normally, you find big guys that are underdeveloped. They’re raw in certain areas. He can actually score the ball for his size.”
Coleby took an official visit to Oxford last weekend. As the only visitor in town, he received the full attention of Ole Miss coaches and players, including taking in an Ole Miss football game.
Coleby was in the stands for Ole Miss’ 30-27 loss to Texas A&M.
It wasn’t the first visit to Ole Miss for the 6-foot-9, 225-pound Coleby, and one of three confirmed official visits prior to his commitment. Other visits included, but aren’t limited to, Mississippi State and Southern Miss.
“As far as they’re losing two seniors in the post really separated them,” he said of Ole Miss. “I can step in and play. They’ll help me to develop more and be a better person and better player.”
Coleby chose the Rebels over Memphis, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and LSU.
He said he’s built a good relationship with Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy, entering his seventh season at Ole Miss, where he’s led the Rebels to five 20-win seasons and five postseason berths.
“I have a great relationship with Coach Kennedy,” Coleby said. “He and I have talked many different times. We talk on the phone a lot. He’s thinks I’d fit in. They get up and down in this offense, transition and stuff.”
His recruitment is behind him. Now, he'll focus on his senior season. His goals are relatively simple.
“I’m trying to stay focused and humble,” he said. “Trying to win a state championship. Now, I’m focusing on my school work and getting everything done. It’s very exciting. Playing college ball is a dream come true. I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity.”