Reginald Buckner Heading to Ole Miss

    
November 12th, 2008
OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy announced Wednesday that the men's basketball team has received a national letter of intent from highly touted high school senior Reginald Buckner, who will join the Rebels for the 2009-10 academic year.

A 6-foot-8, 210-pound native of Memphis, Tenn., Buckner is rated among the top 30 high school senior prospects in the nation and the No. 5 small forward in the nation by Rivals.com. He is also ranked among the country's top 100 players by Scout.com and Hoop Scoop.

"You've got to like a guy who can play the small forward or power forward position and who has a skill set like Reginald," said Rivals.com basketball recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer. "He does a great job handling the ball, he can pass, and he knows how to score. Defensively, he can guard different positions and uses his quickness to block shots. In a nutshell, it's his versatility that makes him a special player at around 6-8."

"We are very excited about Reginald Buckner joining our program," Kennedy said. "He is an outstanding young player that has that rare ability to truly affect the game on both ends of the court. His offensive versatility coupled with his innate ability to block shots gives him an opportunity to be a special player."

Buckner led Manassas High School to a 35-6 record last year as a junior and helped the Tigers to their first Tennessee state tournament victory and title game berth in 23 years. A finalist for Tennessee's Class A Mr. Basketball and The Commercial Appeal's 2007-08 Pepsi Best of the Preps Player of the Year award, he averaged 16 points, 13.7 rebounds and 6.7 blocks for coach Gerald Harris' team during his junior season. As a sophomore, he posted 11.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 8.6 blocks and 4.3 assists per game.

Buckner has played AAU ball with the Memphis Hoopers, under the direction of coach Jerry Anthony. He also garnered national attention when he led his team to a tournament title at the prestigious Boo Williams Invitational this past summer. He earned MVP honors after scoring 19 points (8-11 from the field) and posting 11 rebounds and four blocked shots in the championship game.

Buckner will add to a young Rebel frontcourt that was bolstered this season by a pair of athletic incoming freshmen in Terrance Henry and Murphy Holloway, as well as JUCO transfer DeAundre Cranston. Sophomore Malcolm White and redshirt-freshmen Kevin Cantinol return from last year's squad.

"Having athletic, interchangeable parts can give you a lot of freedom defensively and offensively," Meyer said. "It's sort of a new trend in basketball right now, and Ole Miss under coach Kennedy is staying on the cutting edge."