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Thursday, December 30, 2010
Jelan Kendrick lands at Ole Miss

By Eamonn Brennan

The saga of Jelan Kendrick, Memphis recruit has ended. And so the saga of Jelan Kendrick, Ole Miss transfer begins.

Per Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, Kendrick signed paperwork to make his transfer out of Memphis and into Oxford, Miss. official this morning. The freshman also looked at West Virginia and Georgia Tech before settling on coach Andy Kennedy's program.

Theoretically, the transfer is big for Ole Miss. Kendrick was the No. 44-ranked player in the class of 2010, a skilled 6-foot-5 wing player with a well-rounded offensive game. His commitment bolstered what was already a star-studded 2010 class for Memphis coach Josh Pastner; that sort of talent can make an immediate impact at a flagging program like Ole Miss.

But "theoretically" is the operative word here. In reality, Kendrick's attitude issues, inability to get along with teammates, and frequent disagreements with his coaches make him far from a sure thing. Pastner gave Kendrick numerous chances to figure things out -- suspending him and then reinstating him in the preseason -- but the punishments had no effect. Eventually, Pastner dismissed the troubled freshman from the team before Kendrick ever played in a regular-season game.

Pastner and Kendrick stayed in contact after the dismissal, but any hints at a potential return were merely that. Instead, Kendrick will move on, starting from scratch next December with a new coach, a new program and -- hopefully for Kendrick, anyway -- a new outlook on what it means to be a teammate. We'll see.