By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
UPDATE: From The Associated Press – Ole Miss 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.
“We’re all disappointed that this had to happen,” Ole Miss coach Andy 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.
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.”
Ole Miss guard Dundrecous Nelson, the leading scorer for the Rebels, was arrested at 1:24 a.m., on Jan. 4, Wednesday, and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor, according to Oxford Police Chief Mike Martin.
“Nelson was arrested after officers responded to Lafayette Place Apartments in reference to the smell of marijuana coming from an apartment,” Martin said.
Nelson is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 25.
Nelson was also found to be in possession of “cigarillos,” small cigars that had been hollowed out to allow marijuana to be inserted to replace the tobacco.
Possession of paraphernalia is a common charge when the amount of marijuana is so small, Martin said.
The 5-foot-11 guard from Jackson, Miss., is averaging 11.6 points per game and leads the team with 20 steals.
Andy Kennedy has a regularly scheduled presser in about an hour. It is expected that he will further address Nelson’s status with the team then.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.