SPORTS EDITOR BLOG — Eniel Polynice’s future as a member of the Ole Miss men’s basketball team was clearly written on the wall over a month ago when he was suspended before the Rebels’ final regular season road game at Arkansas.Polynice announced this morning that he would enter the upcoming NBA draft and forgoe his final year of eligibility, not a shocking development considering how his role on the team ended up. Polynice has already been on campus four years and is a little less than two weeks away from receiving his degree in criminal justice. Polynice didn’t play much after he returned from his one game suspension and when he did play in the Rebels’ NIT games, his minutes had shrunk and his role was different.
You could tell by Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy’s comments about Polynice late in the season that the future would have been more of the same. It appears best for everyone involved that Polynice move on without any more disagreements about playing time or role on the team.
The following quotes from Polynice and Kennedy were released in a statement from Ole Miss this morning.
“I have enjoyed my experience as a student-athlete during my four years at Ole Miss,” Polynice said. “I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college in a few weeks, and now I’m ready to pursue my dream of playing professional basketball.”
“We appreciate what Eniel has brought to our program and the success that he’s helped us achieve over the past four years,” Kennedy said. “We wish him all the best in his future pursuits.”
Polynice averaged 8.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and a team-high 3.9 assists per game this season. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound native of Sarasota, Fla., finished his career with 791 points, 397 rebounds and 319 assists, making him only the third player in school history to eclipse 700 points, 300 boards and 300 assists.
(April 21, 2010)