Rebels win hotly-contested battle for transfer portal center
Western Kentucky transfer portal center Jamarion Sharp has committed to Ole Miss, he announced on Instagram Thursday.
"After taking time I have considered to play my last year at Ole Miss," Sharp said.
Sharp, a 7-foot-5, 235-pounder from Hopkinsville, Ky., chose Ole Miss over Memphis, Missouri and multiple other programs.
In 32 games for the Hilltoppers last season, Sharp averaged 7.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game, making 50 percent of his shots from the floor. The two-time Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year averaged 8.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game for Western Kentucky in 2021-22.
His game has developed over the years, as has his vocal leadership skills.
"From last year to this year, he's more vocal now," Hilltoppers guard Dayvion McKnight told ESPN.com in a story written by Myron Medcalf. "He's a lot more comfortable. And it'll keep going up from here. I don't think there is anybody like that. He's one of those defenders you worry about before you ever get to the rim."
Sharp started his career at Logan College, a junior college in Carterville, Illinois. He picked Western Kentucky because of the relationship he'd established with the staff in high school, one of the few programs from a major conference to recruit him then.
"(It has been great to see the progress) he's made from a guy that came in with zero expectations," former Western Kentucky coach Rich Stansbury told ESPN.com. "His feel for the game was much better than we thought. He's been very durable. To my knowledge, he's never missed a practice."
Sharp declared for the NBA Draft while maintaining his eligibility late last month.
Sharp is the third transfer portal victory for new coach Chris Beard, joining guards Brandon Murray and Austin Nunez. North Texas guard Tylor Perry is set to announce his next stop on May 2. Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Florida and Kansas State are the finalists for Perry.