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  1. Terrance Williams decommits from Georgetown. He was a Gamecocks target before he committed.
  2. LeBron Thomas of Bishopville, a rising South Carolina basketball prospect June 30, 2019 LeBron Thomas played varsity basketball as a freshman. He’s had a breakout summer on the AAU circuit. He’s already receiving letters from Power 5 schools. LeBron Thomas, a rising sophomore at Lee Central High School and one of the state’s top prospects in the 2022 class. Thomas last week wore No. 22 — not 6 or 23, digits associated with the LeBron of 15 all-star games and three NBA championships — as he guided the Stallions during play in an NCAA-certified South Carolina recruiting event at Richland Northeast High School. The 15-year-old is a 6-foot-2 point guard — projected to grow to 6-5 — who finds joy in teammate involvement. He’s pass-first, but can score at any moment. “The sky’s the limit with LeBron,” said Lee Central coach Xavier Harry. “His IQ at that age, you don’t see that a lot. His IQ coming in, as a ninth grader working with us in the summer, his vision, his IQ, some of the things he did with the ball, we knew he was going to be a special player.” Thomas averaged nearly 12 points per game as a Lee Central freshman. He was paired in the backcourt with DaVeon Thomas, a rising junior who was recently offered by Presbyterian. In late April, while participating on the AAU circuit for Florence International, Thomas averaged a near triple-double — 27.8 points, 10 rebounds, 8.5 assists — over four games at a Phenom Hoops event. “It was a good weekend,” Thomas said. “I was mostly focused on my team. I was with my team that day. I know I can get out there myself, but I wanted my team out there exposed.” The state of South Carolina is on a good run when it comes to producing elite prospects. Dalzell’s Ja Morant (2017 class) and Spartanburg’s Zion Williamson (2018) just went 1-2 in the NBA Draft, Charleston’s Josiah James (2019) is a reigning McDonald’s All-American headed to Tennessee and rising Dorman seniors P.J. Hall and Myles Tate are ranked among the country’s top 105 players in the 2020 class. Greenville’s John Butler are Piedmont’s Bryce McGowens — couple Gamecock targets — both have four-star ratings in the 2021 class.
  3. How the Gamecocks view SC’s top prospect Bryce McGowens in 2021 class November 25, 2019 There’s a long, lanky point guard playing high school basketball in South Carolina, but making a name for himself nationally. The Gamecocks are recruiting him — and perhaps having flashbacks. “They compare me to P.J. Dozier,” said Bryce McGowens. “I like that because I think he’s a pretty good player.” Five years after Dozier, a 6-foot-6 perimeter player from Columbia ranked among the country’s top 30 prospects, committed to USC, Frank Martin is after the 6-5 McGowens from Wren, the class of 2021’s No. 49 player, according to 247Sports composite. McGowens averaged 26 points, 3.8 rebounds and three assists a game as a sophomore for Wren, the Class 4A Upper State runners-up in 2018-19. Approaching his junior season, McGowens has offers from the likes of Clemson, Georgia, Pittsburgh, LSU and South Carolina. He visited the Gamecocks on Sept. 14 for the football game against Alabama and plans to return to Williams-Brice Stadium next week for the Clemson game. “I love the coaching staff,” McGowens said of Martin and company. “It’s a great coaching staff.” McGowens was in Columbia recently for a SC high school basketball media day event at the Convention Center. The scene also included USC’s 2020 signess (AC Flora’s Patrick Iriel and Ridge View’s Ja’Von Benson) and fellow ‘21 target John Butler Jr. “My boy John,” McGowens said. “We played with each other when we were little. That’s my guy. We got a relationship going, we want to play with each other in the future.” At the college level? “It doesn’t matter,” McGowens continued. “Some point in the future.” Greenville’s Butler Jr., who visited USC for the Gamecocks’ win over Wyoming on Nov. 10, and McGowens give the Palmetto State two representatives among 247Sports composite’s top 60 players for the first time since Dozier (No. 25) and Tevin Mack (57) in 2015. Dozier, of course, came to the Gamecocks and played a major role in the 2017 Final Four run. Clemson’s Tevin Mack is at his third school since starting at Texas and transferring to Alabama. While Butler Jr.’s parents are USC graudates, McGowen’s brother, Trey, is a starting guard at Pitt. “I want to go to a place where I know there’s another father figure because I’m going to be around him all the time,” McGowens said. “Play style, playing right away (is important). (Trey) just told me to go where best fits me.”
  4. Recruits taking notice and now this top 60 recruit is noticing Nov. 19, 2019 An inch or so away from being 7-feet tall, John Butler Jr. had a clear view of his potential future team. South Carolina beat Wyoming, 66-32, on Nov. 10. The announced crowd of 10,255 included Butler Jr., his parents and brothers. He sat behind the USC bench, easily spotting the way the Gamecocks held the Cowboys to 23% percent shooting, but also hearing how Frank Martin orchestrated one of the best defensive games of his eight-year run as Carolina coach. “One thing I picked up is during the game, when they set on-ball screens,” Butler Jr. said, “he really likes his bigs to go out and hedge really hard. So he got on a couple big men when they weren’t hedging hard.” Butler Jr., according to 247Sports Composite, is the nation’s No. 51 recruit in 2021 class. The Christ Church Episcopal School (Greenville) junior is the No. 2 prospect in the state of South Carolina. Offered by the Gamecocks last month, Butler Jr. has natural ties to Martin’s program. Both his parents graduated from USC. One of his parents had him raised on a Martin staple. “He kind of grew up as an all-defensive player,” said John Butler Sr., the coach at Christ Church. “And the last couple years I’ve seen him be a little bit more offensive minded. But we’re trying to push him to be a little bit more assertive, aggressive. So I’ve watched that, witnessed that.” It’s something Martin is prioritizing for the future, too. The 2020 recruiting class is complete — for now — with 6-10 Patrick Iriel from AC Flora and 6-8 Ja’Von Benson from Ridge View. A top target in 2021 is the 6-11 Butler Jr., who came to Columbia twice last week — once for South Carolina high school basketball media day, once as Martin’s visitor for the USC-Wyoming game.
  5. Dawn Staley and South Carolina get the first commitment for the 2020 cycle as 5-star Eniya Russell committed to the Gamecocks Friday. The 6-0 PG prospect - #43 currently on the ESPN Hoopgurlz ratings - is out of Saint Vincent Pallotti Highschool in Baltimore, MD. Russell chose South Carolina out of a top five that included Georgetown, Indiana, Miami, and Kentucky. Welcome to the Gamecocks, Eniya!!
  6. WATCH: Ja'Von Benson Gamecocks sign letter to become second 2020 signee Nov. 14, 2019 On Thursday afternoon three-star forward Ja'Von Benson (Columbia/Ridge View) held a signing day ceremony on his basketball court with family, coaches, teammates, classmates, teachers, and administrators in attendance
  7. Gamecocks signed one of their commitments Nov. 13, 2019 Gamecocks signed one of their commitments, 6-10 Patrick Iriel. The other USC commitment, 6-8 Ja'Von Benson, will sign Thursday.
  8. The religion of peace strikes again. https://news.sky.com/story/man-attacks-police-officers-with-knife-in-paris-11826248 Meanwhile the French government prosecutes Marine LePen for warning about this stuff.
  9. 4 star SF Earl Timberlake 6'6" 215LBS will be announcing his commitment Monday Nov. 03, 2019
  10. USC target 6-5 Earl Timberlake of Dematha Catholic will take his official visit to Seton Hall Sept. 27, 2019 USC target 6-5 Earl Timberlake of Dematha Catholic will take his official visit to Seton Hall this weekend according to the Setonian. He also has been to USC, Providence, Miami and Pitt. He also plans to visit North Carolina.
  11. Gamecock Women Monday will be on commitment Nov. 04, 2019 The Gamecock Women Monday will be on commitment watch for 5-11 Treasure Hunt of Chattanooga. She also has Kentucky, Auburn, Mississippi State and Baylor on her short list.
  12. 2021 7-0 John Butler Jr. of Christ Church and his family visited USC Nov. 04, 2019 2021 7-0 John Butler Jr. of Christ Church and his family visited USC Saturday for the Vanderbilt game. The Gamecocks are among his offers.
  13. 7-0 John Butler Jr. gets down to see Gamecocks Sept. 16, 2019, | sportstalk 7-0 John Butler Jr. of Christ Church is emerging as a national prospect in the 2021 class. Clemson was one of his early offers and the Tigers were in to see him last week. USC has not yet offered but that process was set in motion last week when Butler and his dad, who also is the coach at Christ Church and the former coach at Eau Claire in Columbia, came in last Thursday to meet with Frank Martin. “The coaching staff invited him down when we weren’t able to make it on an earlier visit. He just came down and talked to him a little bit,” coach John Butler Sr. said. “He wanted to get to know one another a little bit. Just an interest kind of deal.” Coach Butler said they toured the campus and facilities and got the feeling from Martin that there is interest there and he will continue to develop the relationship. Butler visited Clemson in August for the Georgia Tech football game. He’s also been to Florida State unofficially. Georgia Tech also appears to have a solid place at the table with him at this point. “Just kind of letting John soak it in,” coach Butler said. “We’re just trying to help him thru this process. I think he really enjoyed his Florida State visit. The academics are attractive at Georgia Tech. And of course Clemson being close by. But it’s wide open. We’re just trying to kind him and help him make a good decision.” The Butlers did not visit anywhere this past weekend. Georgia Tech and Missouri are possible future visits. His offers also include Florida, Saint Louis, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Baylor and DePaul. Arkansas also is showing interest.
  14. Gamecocks do not make the cut for PJ Hall July 20, 2019 The state’s top basketball prospect in the 2020 class, 6-9 PJ Hall of Dorman, Friday night released his final five schools. Hall named Clemson, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech as the schools he will take official visits to in the weeks ahead, and he will choose one prior to his season. USC also was in strong pursuit but did not make the cut. “We were talking about really seeing the Gamecocks, but I just thought in my head I wouldn’t be happy and I didn’t want to waste their time,” Hall said Friday night from Los Angeles where his AAU team is playing the adidas Gauntlet Finale. “I’m just moving on to the other options.” USC coach Frank Martin had to cancel a scheduled in home visit in May and did not reschedule though he did meet with Hall and his teammate PG Myles Tate at school. Hall took an unofficial visit to USC in late June. He also visited for the final regular season home game against Georgia.
  15. signing period. Any one have any info? I'm guessing we lost out on our top 2, Reese and Cardosa.
  16. Benson set to announce a decision Oct. 17, 2019, | sportstalk The two horse race for 6-8 Ridge View star Ja’Von Benson is set to end Friday morning. According to Blazers coach Yerrick Stoneman, Benson is set to announce his college choice on Twitter Friday morning. Benson took official visits to USC and the College of Charleston and has been working on his decision between those two for several weeks. He also had offers from Ohio State, Indiana State, Winthrop, SC State, Presbyterian, Upstate, UNC-Wilmington, East Tennessee State and others. “They’ve been watching me over the years and they’ve said that they believe I would be a great fit,” Benson said of the Gamecocks earlier in the process. “I see a great fit. I love the program.” Benson also has been impressed with the Cougars and the effort Earl Grant and his staff put into recruiting him. His coach said last week much of Benson’s decision would come down to where he thinks he’ll have the best opportunity to play. “He can go to College of Charleston and play quicker, not necessarily right away because they’ve got good players too, but you know, it’s going to be tough for him to get that playing time at South Carolina,” Stoneman said. “But in the long run, that might make him a better player because he’s got to compete every day.” Benson sat out his sophomore season at Ridge View after after transferring from Westwood. Last season he helped the Blazers win their second straight state championship averaging 10 points and 9 rebounds per game. He scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the state championship game victory over Wilson
  17. Gamecocks, others waiting on Timberlake Oct. 09, 2019, | sportstalk The wait continues on a decision from 6-5 Earl Timberlake of Dematha Catholic of Hyattsville, MD. One of the nation’s top prospects in the 2020 class, Timberlake took official visits to USC, Miami, Seton Hall, Providence and Pitt. USC coach Frank Martin has gone all in on Timberlake with the help of assistants Bruce Shingler and Perry Clark. The staff made all the allowable visits with Timberlake, and like the coaches from the other schools, can only sit back and wait on a call. “I just think he’s going to take his time, you know, make sure he communicates everything with his family, and with his family get their opinions and everything,” said Dematha coach Mike Jones. “Ultimately, Earl’s going to make what he feels like is the best decision for for him and his future, so I don’t think there’s really any timetable other than I know he wants to get it done before the season starts.” Martin and company did a great job recruiting Timberlake, according to Jones, showing him how he could not only excel in the program but also find a home in Columbia. “Coach Martin is Earl’s kind of coach,” Jones said. “He’s one that I think understands. He’s a player’s coach. He’s got guys that he’s going to get the best out of you with this coaching style, but he also makes sure that the guys know that he loves them and he cares about them and their future. Those are the kind of coaches that Earl really thrives under. Coach Bruce and coach Clark, coach Bruce just because he’s got relationships with players and especially from this area, and then coach Clark being a Dematha guy himself, both of those things help the case for Earl as well. So, just familiarity, guys that he knows, guys that he can trust. That’s the kind of person Earl is.” Timberlake took his official visit to USC in June. He’s not said much publicly about that visit or any of the other four. Jones said Timberlake doesn’t like to talk about his recruiting publicly and is not tipping his hand on things. But the two have talked about the Gamecocks and the others left on hs list. “I know he enjoyed his visit. They’ve definitely put their best foot forward,” Jones said. “I know he believes all the schools that are remaining on his list would be good schools to go to, he’s just trying to do his research to make sure he picks the best option for himself.” Jones said Timberlake is a five position player on offense and can defend all over the court as well. He said his physicality really stands out and is the toughest player he’s ever coached.
  18. Gamecocks get commitment from hometown forward Oct. 18, 2019, | sportstalk 6-8 Ja’Von Benson of Ridge View Friday announced a commitment to USC choosing the Gamecocks over the College of Charleston. Benson also had offers from Ohio, Indiana State, UNC-Wilmington, East Tennessee State, Winthrop, SC State, Presbyterian, Upstate and several others. He’s Frank Martin’s second commitment for the 2020 class, both from the metro-Columbia area. This summer 6-10 Patrick Iriel of AC Flora committed to the Gamecocks. Benson was a key cog in Ridge View’s run to a second straight 4A state championship last season. After sitting out his sophomore season following a transfer from Westwood, Benson gave the Blazers 10 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. One of his best performances came in the state championship game victory over Wilson when he totaled 14 points and 10 rebounds on his future homecourt, the Colonial Life Arena. Martin and his staff have watched Benson grow and develop over the years. Their interest intensified during his junior season and into last summer. They delivered him their offer on August 1st after Benson came in for an unofficial visit. “They’ve been watching me over the years and they’ve said that they believe I would be a great fit,” Benson said. “And they said to keep working. I see a great fit. I love the program. Coach Martin likes to feed the post and not put anyone in the post. And he lets people grow. He’s aggressive and that helps you to become disciplined.” Benson took his official visit with the Gamecocks the middle of September. That gave him more of a look inside the program and another opportunity to bond with Martin, the coaches and the players. That visit helped convince him to join the Gamecocks. “I was able to see the bigger picture there. It’s not all about basketball, it’s about getting a degree and being successful in the world,” Benson said. “I love the players. I’m cool with Trae Hannibal. He kind of told me the ins and outs of going to that type of school. I think my official was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had.” The Gamecocks have a full roster of 13 scholarship players They have two seniors departing after this season, so both of the 2020 scholarships are accounted for with their two commitments. Here is Benson’s announcement video:
  19. 6-8 Ja’Von Benson still weighing pros & cons of Gamecocks and Cougars Oct. 10, 2019 | sportstalk USC and the College of Charleston are locked up in an old fashioned in-state recruiting battle for 6-8 Ja’Von Benson of Ridge View. He took official visits to both schools and determined he had seen enough and there was no need to look elsewhere. That was the easy part. The hard part for Benson has been determining which factors related to college basketball, and college life in general, are most important to him and which program offers him the best chance to reach his goals. “It doesn’t matter which one he goes to academically but basketball-wise, I think a lot of it is, where is he going to play,” said Ridge View coach Yerrick Stoneman. “He can go to College of Charleston and play quicker, not necessarily right away because they’ve got good players too, but you know, it’s going to be tough for him to get that playing time at South Carolina. But in the long run that might make him a better player because he’s got to compete every day. I’m sure a lot of people pull him which way asking this and that. This is his first decision that as a grown person he will ever have to make. I think he’s wanting for the choice to be made for him, that South Carolina moves on and get somebody else and then that tells him where to go, or College of Charleston moves on and somebody else commits to them, I think he’ll be happy that the decision was made for him instead of making it.” Coaches from USC and the College have not been in recently to check on Benson because each has used three of their seven observation opportunities, so they want to save the rest in case Benson waits longer on his decision. Stoneman did not rule out Benson waiting until the spring to sign but would advise him against doing so. “I told him it’s not necessarily in his best interest because at that time you’re not the one going to be able to make the choice, the choice will be made for you,” Stoneman said. “It is always better to make the choice yourself instead of just accepting what people are going to get you. So, now where would you be? He’s a good enough player that he’ll get a D-1 scholarship and be able to play somewhere. But not all of us can be lucky like (Robert) Braswell did at Blythewood. He waited and ended up at Syracuse.” Benson is one of the top five seniors in South Carolina for the 2020 class. last season he averaged 10 points and 9 rebounds per game.
  20. Gamecock Basketball recruiting report Oct. 05, 2019 There’s been no movement with 6-8 Ja’Von Benson of Ridge View. According to his coach, Benson is still trying to decide between USC and the College of Charleston. No coaches were in this week to see him. StockRisers reported the finalists for 6-5 Earl Timberlake of Washington, DC are USC, Pittsburgh, Providence, Seton Hall and Miami. He took official visits to each.
  21. Gamecocks offer Butler Jr. Sept. 30, 2019, | sportstalk USC basketball coach Frank Martin Saturday handed out an offer to 7-0 center John Butler Jr. of Christ Church. The offer was announced by his coach and father John Butler Sr. The Gamecocks are the latest major program to move in on Butler who visited USC earlier this month. His other offers are Clemson, Saint Louis, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Baylor, DePaul, Georgia Tech, Florida and Florida State. Butler also has visited Clemson, Florida State and Georgia Tech. Missouri has also been showing strong interest and has been by his school to scout him. According to coach Butler, the process has a ways to go for his son. “Just kind of letting John soak it in,” coach Butler said. “We’re just trying to help him thru this process. But it’s wide open. We’re just trying to advise him and help him make a good decision.” The Butlers did not make a campus visit this past weekend.
  22. Gamecocks coach Frank Martin was at Ridge View today Sept. 25, 2019 Gamecocks coach Frank Martin was at Ridge View today to see 6-8 Ja'Von Benson and 2021 PG Tyler Rice
  23. Gamecocks, Cougars battling for 6-8 Ja’VonBenson Sept. 20, 2019, | sportstalk 6-8 Ja’Von Benson of Ridge View has become the center of an in-state recruiting battle between USC and the College of Charleston. Benson has taken official visits to each and has not scheduled any others. He’s not completely closed the door on others, but for now, the Gamecocks and Cougars sit atop his list and he’s trying to figure out the best situation for his college future. When he will make that decision is up in the air. “I want to weigh my options and discuss it with my family a little more,” Benson said. “I don’t know. I like both schools. I don’t know what I’m going to do right now. Tough situation for me. It’s two great schools on me. I just hope will wake up one day and say this is where I want to go.” Last weekend Benson made his official visit to USC. He was able to take in the Alabama football game, tour the campus and basketball facilities, and watch the Gamecocks do some work in the weight room. He also met with Frank Martin and other coaches, academic people and the strength coach. “I was able to see the bigger picture there,” Benson said. “It’s not all about basketball, it’s about getting a degree and being successful in the world. I love the players. I’m cool with Trae Hannibal. He kind of told me the ins and outs of going to that type of school. I think my official was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. What else can you say.” Benson said his conversation with Martin was not so much a recruiting pitch as it was encouragement to continue doing what he’s been doing since transferring to Ridge View from Westwood. “He told me to keep working, Benson said. ” He said, I’m not going to promise you any anything, you’ve got to come in here and work.” USC assistant coach Bruce Shingler was in to check on Benson on Tuesday. Thursday the Cougars stopped by to say hello. “They didn’t stay too long,” he said. “The fact they drove from Charleston to here to see me, that means a lot.” Benson said Martin and Charleston coach Earl Grant have yet had their in-home visits with him and they have not yet been scheduled.
  24. 2021 PG Tyler Rice and Gamecocks continue to develop relationship Sept. 19, 2019, | sportstalk 2021 PG Tyler Rice of Ridge View seems on the verge of having his recruiting take off. He has offers from Penn State, Upstate and Elon at this point, but the interest from USC continues to grow, and others are picking up their interest as well. Gamecock assistant coach Bruce Shingler was in Tuesday to see Rice and 6-8 Ja’Von Benson. Rice was back at USC Saturday for the football game while Benson was in for his official visit. “It was pretty good actually,” Rice said of his day with the Gamecocks. “I actually got to experience the whole Gamecock Nation. Obviously, Alabama brought them out. It was actually great to see the amount of support they have behind their program.” This particular visit was built around the football game. Rice didn’t get over to the basketball offices or facilities. That will come later this week or next week when he makes a return visit. But he did talk with the coaches, though even that was fairly low key. “We really didn’t talk basketball,” Rice said. “We talked about about the upcoming season, getting to some games, some Gamecock games, and them coming down to see me in workouts, what our goals are for this year, how are teams are looking. It was a really good conversation.” Rice also spent time with his buddy Benson and the two sat together for a half at the game before Benson had to move on to other events in his official visit. “He told me he loved it,” Rice said. Rice left USC without an offer from the Gamecocks. But the fact they continue to recruit him and want him back right away for a basketball related visit might be signs of something to come. “Hopefully,’ he said. “I can’t tell right now because it’s not clear to me yet. I do expect one this year. But if it doesn’t come, that’s alright. I’m just going to keep working and hopefully I can get it whenever.” Rice said Upstate also was in this week to see him and the College of Charleston and Buffalo will be in today. Last night Rice scored 20 points in the George Glymph Fall League game at Cardinal Newman against a team made up of players from Westwood High School.
  25. No. 1 2021 shooting guard Bryce McGowens a top-50 player set to visit Gamecocks this weekend Sept. 12, 2019 Four-star shooting guard Bryce McGowens, a top-50 national recruit and the No. 1 2021 player in the Palmetto State, will visit Frank Martin’s team this weekend. The 6-foot-5, 165-pounder stars at Wren High School. He has offers from Clemson, Georgia, LSU and Pitt among others.
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