Ole Miss dismisses Dundrecous Nelson

Updated: January 5, 2012, 6:37 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

OXFORD, Miss. -- Mississippi scoring leader Dundrecous Nelson has been dismissed from the basketball team for a "violation of team rules" a day after he was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia by the Oxford Police Department.

The 5-foot-11 guard from Jackson averaged 11.6 points and led the team with 20 steals. Backup guard Jamal Jones also was dismissed. The 6-foot-8 guard averaged 1.8 points over five games.

Nelson and Jones were dismissed for failing multiple drug tests, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com's Andy Katz.

"We're all disappointed that this had to happen," Kennedy told The Associated Press. "But there's a standard that has to be met to stay in this program. The fact that we had to take our most harsh disciplinary step speaks to the seriousness of the situation."

Ole Miss will open Southeastern Conference play at LSU on Saturday.

According to the arrest affidavit, Nelson stated under oath he "unlawfully and willfully used paraphernalia to ingest or inhale a controlled substance."

Nelson was booked into the Lafayette County Detention Center, where he was released on bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 25.

Nelson's departure means a large chunk of playing time is suddenly available in the Ole Miss backcourt. The most likely candidates to see increased minutes are Jelan Kendrick, Ladarius White and Maurice Aniefiok.

Kendrick, a 6-foot-6 freshman guard, is a former McDonald's All-American who transferred from Memphis last season. He became eligible in December, but has struggled to find a regular spot in the rotation.

"We can't expect anyone to fill Nelson's role right away -- that wouldn't be fair," Kennedy said. "We just need every other player on our team to pick up some of the slack and make this team better."

Information from ESPN.com senior college basketball writer Andy Katz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.