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Ronald Eugene Mercer - 33
6-7, 210, So., Forward
Nashville, Tenn.
High School:
Oak Hill, Virg.

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General: Expected to play a major role this season after successful Final Four ... Will start at small forward ... Has the complete game ... Is Dick Vitale's SEC Preseason Player of the Year ... Is also a preseason College Sports Magazine third-team All-America selection ... Also a preseason candidate for the John Wooden All-America Team and Player of the Year Award.

1995-96: Started 12 of the 36 games ... Finished fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 8.0 ppg and 2.9 rpg ... Scored a career-high 20 points in the title game against Syracuse (8-12 FG, 3-4 3FG, 1-1 FT), earning all-tournament team recognition for the Final Four ... Earned SEC all-freshman team honors ... Scored a previous high of 17 points vs. Florida in the SEC Tourney, 6-9 FG, 1-2 3FG and 4-4 FT ... Scored in double-figures 11 of the 36 games ... Returned to hometown of Nashville in style, scoring 15 points, grabbing four boards and dishing out three assists vs. Vandy and was named Player of the Game ... Also earned game MVP honors with 13 points and four boards vs. Ole Miss ... First double-digit scoring performance came against Wisc.-Green Bay, 11 points ... Became the third true freshman at UK under Pitino to start his first collegiate game vs. Maryland in the Tip-Off Classic, scoring six points and grabbing five boards.

High School: Received the Ban/Naismith Male Prep Player of the Year Award as the best high school player in America ... First-team Parade and McDonald's All-American ... Led the East Team with 19 points during the McDonald's All-American game ... Named MVP of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic, scoring 20 points to lead his team to a win in the title game ... Averaged 26.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 3.0 apg as a senior for the nation's top prep team ... Heavily recruited by nearly every top college program ... Did not make decision on attending Kentucky until April, choosing the Cats over Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina, among others ... Coached by Steve Smith at Oak Hill ... As a 12-year old, he pitched his 13-and-under squad to the Continental Amateur Baseball World Tournament in Nebraska, advancing the team to the semifinal round ... As a freshman, he threw a no-hitter through six innings in the high school regional tournament ... Gave up baseball for basketball as a sophomore.

Mercer Highs

                 Opponent    Date
Points:     20   Syracuse      4/1/96
FG Made:     8   Syracuse      4/1/96
FG Atts:    12   Syracuse      4/1/96
3FG Made:    3   Syracuse      4/1/96
3FG Atts:    4   Four times
FT Made:     6   LSU          1/16/96
FT Atts:     7   LSU          1/16/96
Rebounds:    8   Ga. Tech     12/9/95
Assists:     3   Four times
Turnovers:   4   LSU          1/16/96
Blocks:      2   Vanderbilt    3/2/96
Steals:      3   Three times
UK Season Stats
YEAR    G-S   MIN-AVG   FG-A     PCT  3FG-A   PCT   FT-A   PCT   REB-AVG  PF-D   A  TO  BS   S   TP-AVG
95-96  36-12  677-18.8 107-234  45.7   23-68  33.8  51-65  78.5  104-2.9  51-0  50  36   8  34  288-8.0

The Mercer File:

Full Name: Ronald Eugene Mercer
Nickname: Ron Mac
Birthdate: May 18, 1976
Place of birth: Nashville, Tenn.
Parents: ML and Birdie Mercer
Siblings: Andre, Michael, Mario, Monia
Major: Undecided
High school coach: Steve Smith
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite class: Psychology
Favorite book: My Life by Magic Johnson
Favorite TV show: Martin
Favorite movie: Friday
Favorite sports figure: Penny Hardaway
Favorite NBA team: Orlando Magic

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