(BL Harbert International)

Ole Miss getting new basketball arena (PHOTO)

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(BL Harbert International)

Ole Miss and BL Harbert International announced the construction of a new $68.9 million basketball arena on Monday. Coming in at approximately 230,000 square feet, construction is scheduled to begin immediately and be completed by late 2015, with a target opening for the 2016 Ole Miss basketball season.

The 9,600-seat arena will include the basketball court, locker room suites for players and coaches, training facilities, a Courtside Club, All-American Suites and an Arena Club.

Kansas City-based architect AECOM will be the architect for the new Ole Miss arena.

The new arena will be right next to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on the southeast side of the school’s campus. Ole Miss basketball has played in the 9,065-seat Tad Smith Coliseum since 1965.

“We are honored to build a marquee project for Ole Miss that will have a lasting impact on a college campus and its students for the next 50 years. BL Harbert looks forward to working with AECOM and the University in providing the students with another great SEC Arena,” BL Harbert President of U.S. Operations Gary W. Savage said in the release.

BL Harbert recently constructed the Auburn University Arena, which was completed in 2010. AECOM designed the Memphis FedEx Forum and the Seattle Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field.

A new stadium is always a tremendous recruiting tool and with the arena coming right next to the Ole Miss football stadium, it makes for a nice area on campus where fans can always go to attend marquee sporting events.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.