OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI/Ole Miss Athletics) – Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy announced the signing of four very talented players Wednesday, as J.T. Escobar, Marcanvis Hymon, Stefan Moody and Rauno Nurger all signed national letters of intent to join the Rebels for the 2014-15 academic year.
A native of Tallahassee, Fla., the 6-1 Escobar is a two-time Florida Coaches Athletic Association Class 3A All-State selection and averaged 18.4 points per game last season at The Maclay School. He was also named the Florida District 1 Class 3A Player of the Year and shot 91 percent from the free-throw line as a junior. Escobar transferred to Florida A&M University High School for his senior season and was elected Class President. He has played with AAU teams the Lee Bulls and the Atlanta Xpress.
“J.T. is an outstanding young man who can play either of the guard positions,” Kennedy said. “His ability to stretch the defense along with his ability to facilitate off the dribble makes him a strong lead guard.”
Hymon, a 6-7 forward out of Memphis, is rated the No. 132 overall prospect in the nation by Rivals.com and the No. 6 player in Tennessee by ESPN.com. The Whitehaven star averaged 15 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks per game as a junior for coach Scooter Lawrence, and helped lead the Tigers to a 19-11 record. Hymon also starred for Nortron Hurd on the Team Thad AAU squad from Memphis.
“Marcanvis is a very talented, versatile forward who plays above the rim,” Kennedy said. “His exceptional length, coupled with his ability to knock down face-up jump shots gives him the versatility to help us at either forward spot.”
An explosive guard originally from Kissimmee, Fla., Moody earned Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year honors at Florida Atlantic last season, posting averages of 15.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game for the Owls before transferring to play for head coach Brian Hoberecht at Kilgore C.C. (Texas). Moody was also named second team all-conference and made 52 3-pointers at a 35.4-percent clip and 81.5 percent of his free throws. In his last 3 games at FAU, Moody averaged 27.3 ppg while scoring 25 points against Arkansas-Little Rock, 28 points versus Florida International and 29 points against Troy. He averaged 27.9 points per game as a senior at Poinciana High School en route to Parade All-America honors, and was also named to the Florida Class 7A All-State team and the Orlando Sentinel All-Central Florida team as a senior.
“Stef is a 5-10 lead guard who is as explosive a player as we have had in our program during my eight-year tenure,” Kennedy said. “His ability to make plays with the ball and the valuable experience he garnered as a freshman at FAU while earning Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year give him the ability to make an immediate impact in our program next year.”
A 6-10 center originally from Estonia, Nurger transferred to Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kan., for his senior season. Nurger averaged 10.2 points and 5.4 boards per game for the Estonian National Team at last summer’s 2013 FIBA U-20 European Championships and finished third among all players with 1.8 blocks per game. He also posted 10.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for Estonia at the 2012 FIBA U-20 European Championships.
“Rauno is a long, active big man who plays with great energy,” Kennedy said. “His 7-2 wingspan gives him length and his exceptional timing will allow him to be a defensive presence for us from day one. We believe he has a huge upside.”