Murphy Holloway has been denied by Mississippi his request to transfer to either the Clemson or South Carolina basketball program. The 6-foot-7 forward from Irmo, a key player the past two seasons for the Rebels, plans to appeal the decision.
"I was surprised about Clemson, not about South Carolina," Holloway said. "A couple people told me they thought they (the Tigers) were tampering with me because somehow something got out that I was going to Clemson. But if you read every interview I did, I never said I was going to Clemson."
He added that he had "no contact" with any school before getting his release from Mississippi. He did hear Thursday from Coastal Carolina, one of four schools that were approved by Mississippi. The others were Winthrop, College of Charleston and Charleston Southern.
Holloway is seeking a hardship transfer from the NCAA to be closer to his 6-month old daughter; he also said his mother was sick. The waiver would allow him to play next season; the NCAA normally requires a player transferring from one Division I program to another to sit out one season.
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Holloway is holding out hope he could play for Clemson in 2010 if he can convince Mississippi to grant his appeal.
Failing that, Holloway could end up at USC or Clemson by paying his own way.
Holloway said he was considering that option but it was not his preference.
"It's not something I want to do," he said. "I think I've got time. Basketball season doesn't start until November, school starts in August. So I've got some time to think about it. Of course, I want to hurry up and get on someone's roster, but I'm just gonna take it day by day."
Holloway said he knew from the beginning that Mississippi would be reluctant to allow him to transfer to an SEC team.
"The chances of Carolina might be slim," he said. "But I think the chances of Clemson might be better than that, more than South Carolina. But if I do get appealed in my favor, and I get released to both of them, I'm also going to look at other schools."
Holloway averaged 10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds last season for the Rebels, starting 30 of 34 games. As a freshman, he finished 13th in the SEC in rebounding, with 6.6 per game.
As a senior at Dutch Fork High, he was the Gatorade player of the year in South Carolina and a top-100 recruit nationally, according to Scout.com and ESPN.