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  1. A top in-state player faced a 5-star prospect. Here’s how the Gamecocks target fared December 16, 2018 .mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%} LEXINGTON When Charleston’s Josiah James was being recruited by Clemson, the Tiger coaches would occasionally bring up the name of the next-in-line. “I know he’s one of the great young guards coming out of South Carolina,” James said. “Clemson told me a lot about him.” James, who committed to Tennessee over Clemson in September, is SC’s undisputed top player in the 2019 class. He’s a five-star prospect on a mission to leave Porter-Gaud with four state championships. On Saturday night, James finally met one of SC’s best in the ‘20 class. Dorman’s Myles Tate scored 24 points, had five assists and grabbed four rebounds as the 5A power outlasted James’ Cyclones, 59-54, in overtime in the Auto Owners Insurance Showcase at Lexington High School. Tate, the one James has been hearing about, lived up to the hype. “He definitely showed what he can do and what he’s capable of doing,” said James, who totaled 36 points, 12 boards, seven blocks and two steals in a losing effort. “He’s a really good player.” James, a physical 6-foot-6, 200-pounder who can play up to four positions, had scholarship offers from the likes of Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Arizona, South Carolina and Clemson before he signed with the Volunteers. Tate, a 6-foot point guard, isn’t likely to have that deep a list when he decides on a college, but he’s drawing plenty of attention. USC offered him in June. Wofford and South Florida are among the others that have done the same. Tate reported Saturday that Virginia and Oklahoma State have shown recent interest. On Dorman’s varsity squad since eighth grade, Tate is a regular to high-profile games. He scored 34 points in the Cavaliers’ win over Zion Williamson and Spartanburg Day last January. “So Myles has played against the best,” said Dorman coach Thomas Ryan. “Obviously Josiah is a special, special talent. He played really well tonight. But overall, our guys played the way that he needed to. Myles made a big play to start overtime there. It was huge.” After James willed Porter-Gaud back from a double-digit deficit in the second half to force OT, Tate began the extra session with a pull-up jumper from the elbow. Because of roster makeup and size difference, James and Tate went 1-on-1 on just a few occasions. A Cyclone defensive switch in the first half led to Tate staring down James at the top of the key. James clapped in anticipation of the matchup. Tate was eventually fouled on the possession after a pass and move to the baseline. Earlier in the game, James was called for goal-tending as he tried to swat away a Tate layup attempt. “I just got to live up to those expectations, those matchups,” Tate said. “Those are the matchups you dream for. He’s working to where I want to be, and I look up to him as a player. And I’m sure he knows that I’m trying to get where he’s at.” Dorman again was missing P.J. Hall, 2020’s other top player in the state. The junior forward — and Carolina target — has been sidelined all season with a knee injury. Tate combined with Ta’Lon Cooper, a Morehead State signee, for 80 percent of Dorman’s points against Porter-Gaud. “What Myles is learning is the last couple years, he’s been our main scorer,” Ryan said. “We’ve allowed him to score a lot of points. He’s been a facilitator this year. He’s going to be a true point guard in college. Tonight, he had five assists. He had nine assists two nights ago. “So he’s learning to get the balls to the right guys. Myles can score, but he can also make great passes. He sees the floor well and I think that’s his next progression.” Tate said he hears from USC’s coaches every couple weeks. Perhaps Saturday’s clash will spur the next conversation. “I was looking forward to it,” Tate said. “(James is) a special talent. He has great size and he can shoot it. He just does everything well. We tried to contain him. There’s only so much you can do when you’re playing against a player like him.” Added James on Tate: “He’s a great player and I hope he keeps working because he has a lot of potential.”
  2. Gamecocks still in the hunt for Gerald Drumgoole December 05, 2018 6-6 Gerald Drumgoole of Rochester, NY, who decided not to sign in November, said USC is still recruiting him. He plans to take more official visits before making a decision. He has been to USC and Minnesota.
  3. Staley lands another elite prospect November 22, 2018 USC women Wednesday night signed 6-4 Aliyah Boston, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands now living in Worcester, MA. She’s ranked #3 nationally by ESPN. Connecticut, Notre Dame and Ohio State were her other finalists. She’s the fourth signee for Dawn Staley and the other three are ranked 7th, 10th and 13th nationally giving Staley the #1 class in the country by ESPN.
  4. Gamecock men's basketball lands commitment from California prospect November 21, 2018 ESPN Profile ESPN Star Ranking On the final day of the early signing period, South Carolina landed a third member for its 2019 recruiting class. Trey Anderson, a 6-foot-7 185lbs shooting guard from California who’s taking a post-grad year at Woodstock Academy in Connecticut, committed to Frank Martin and the Gamecocks on Wednesday. He was also being pursued by Georgia and Minnesota, Woodstock Academy coach Tony Bergeron told The State. “Frank and I go way, way back,” Bergeron said. “When I get a kid that fits for him, I certainly give him a call and let him know. I’m not one of these high school coaches who calls him every year and says ‘I got a kid, I got a kid.’ So I guess when I call, he listens to me. He needed a shooting guard and this kid’s just special. “He’s 6-7. He’s got a plus-wing span, he shoots the lights out, he’s athletic. He plays defense, he can pass. He doesn’t have any gaps.” Anderson is the apparent answer to a mystery recruit Martin teased last week. Hartsville point guard Trae Hannibal and Maine power forward Wildens Leveque were known commits for USC as it entered the early signing period, but the Gamecocks had their “fingers crossed” and were “hoping that the third one jumps on board,” Martin said. Enter Anderson, who visited Columbia this week. Anderson played on the AAU circuit for West Coast Elite, a team featuring Nico Mannion and Josh Green, a pair of five-star prospects headed to Arizona. It led to Anderson’s under-the-radar profile, Bergeron said. “Being third fiddle to those guys was difficult,” Bergeron said. “They didn’t have anybody on their team being than Trey. So Trey ended up playing center and power forward when he’s really a shooting guard. “So he comes here for us and plays shooting guard and it’s easy.”
  5. Dorman stars grow into state’s hottest basketball recruits. And they’re only juniors November 19, 2018 .mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%} Dorman basketball coach Thomas Ryan calls P.J. Hall and Myles Tate two of the faces of his program. College coaches have taken notice. The two juniors both had big years in helping Dorman to its second straight Class 5A championship and strong summers on the AAU circuit, playing for Upward Stars. They’re now two of the most sought-after prospects in the state. “Both of these guys are winners and do the things the right way,” said Ryan, a former Lexington High standout. “They have kind of become the face of our program. Winning last two state championships, Myles made big plays in both games and last year P.J. was instrumental. It is neat to see these guys who have been part of their program since fifth and sixth grade work so hard and become major key cogs in a program. And we feel the culture really rallies around kids they are.” Hall has been slowed by a knee injury suffered in the preseason during a dunk and is expected to miss about a month, which will keep him out for Dorman’s matchup against Oak Hill in early December. But the injury hasn’t slowed down his interest. Ryan said North Carolina called about Hall last week. South Carolina and Clemson both have offered Hall, who is the top-ranked recruit in South Carolina for the Class of 2020 by 247Sports and ranked in top 150 nationally, saw his recruiting take off over the summer. The 6-foot-9 big man also has offers from Clemson, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Pittsburgh. Hall’s sister Thayer, a former high school All-American, plays volleyball at Florida but said being closer to his sister won’t be a factor in his decision. He likes Clemson and South Carolina a lot, and it’s no secret Gamecock coach Martin has taken a liking to versatile big men. Hall isn’t a back-to-basket big guy and loves to shoot the outside shot. He averaged 7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2 blocks last season, but those numbers are likely to go up this season. “Coach Martin, they feed the big man and they feed them inside and out and play nitty gritty basketball, and that is what I like,” Hall said Monday at the S.C. Basketball Coaches Media Day at the Columbia Convention Center. Tate has been on the Cavaliers’ varsity squad since eighth grade and was the team’s leading scorer last season, averaging 18 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists a game. He had 18 points in the 5A championship victory against Irmo. Tate has visited South Carolina and stopped in Charlotte a few weeks ago. He will visit South Florida in the future. Ryan said Tate’s recruiting is coming along a little slower than Hall’s because point guards get evaluated slower than 6-foot-9 post players. Tate also has offers from Wofford and College of Charleston, but the Gamecocks definitely are high on his list. “I like how they play. They play fast a pace game and they are very disciplined under Coach Martin,” Tate said. “They do things the right way.” Neither Hall nor Tate mentioned a timeline for making any decisions related to their recruitment. Dorman, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, will play a challenging non-conference schedule, which includes three trips to Columbia for the Bojangles’ Bash, Farm Bureau Classic in Lexington and Chick-fil-A Classic.
  6. No. 1! Dawn Staley, South Carolina rise to new heights in recruiting rankings November 15, 2018 With the addition of yet another top-rated recruit, South Carolina women’s basketball accomplished something it’s never done before on Thursday. ESPN released updated recruiting rankings for the class of 2019, and for the first time under Dawn Staley, the Gamecocks were No. 1. The Gamecocks’ top ranked class now includes No. 7 Zia Cooke, No. 10 Laeticia Amihere and No. 13 Brea Beal, as well as preferred walk-on Olivia Thompson. Amihere, a forward from Ontario, Canada, committed and signed with USC on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period. Beal and Cooke chose the Gamecocks last week. Or, as ESPN’s Dan Olson simply put it: “It’s been a November to remember for Dawn Staley.” Staley’s previous top recruiting class was in 2014, with the group that included No. 1 A’ja Wilson. That class included four top-35 prospects, with two in the top 10, and finished ranked No. 2 in the country. The 2019 class, meanwhile, could get even better still — No. 1 prospect Haley Jones, No. 3 Alyiah Boston and No. 9 Rickea Jackson all have South Carolina among their finalists.
  7. Trae Hannibal, South Carolina’s next guard, signs with Gamecocks November 15, 2018 Over the last few months, Trae Hannibal watched as other players throughout the state announced their intentions to play college basketball outside the Palmetto State. But the Hartsville senior remained firm in his commitment to play at South Carolina. On Thursday, Hannibal made it official as he signed his letter of intent at a ceremony at his high school. ”It was tough. Kids like going out of state and things like that,” Hannibal said. “They got to do what is best for them and I can’t be mad at them. But any chance I get to get one of my teammates or guys I played with, I will try to get them to play with me.” Hannibal hoped to get Josiah James, who he played with during the summer on TMP Basketball, to commit to USC but James signed with Tennessee. Juwan Gary (Alabama) and DJ Burns (Tennessee) also went out of state. Hannibal is one of two signees so far for the Gamecocks in the early period. Wildens Leveque signed with USC on Wednesday. There is a chance the Gamecocks get one more during this period. Hannibal was offered in May and committed in August. He is a three-star prospect according to 247 Sports. averaged 16.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists this last season for Hartsville and was an all-state selection. Hannibal grew up liking baseball more than basketball but that changed in high school when dedicated himself to playing basketball. Hartsville coach Yusef English has watched Hannibal grow up and his game take off the last few years. English thinks his game and USC coach Frank Martin’s coaching style is a “perfect marriage.” ”Trae’s energy on defense is infectious and his ability to get downhill is something, that from sitting in on some of coach Martin’s practices, is something USC likes to do,” English said. “Plus, Trae likes a coach that holds him accountable. If you are going to be laid back and do what he does, you aren’t going to get the maximum out of him. And coach Martin isn’t going to ease up and be nice.” English said Hannibal has really worked hard on his outside shooting to complement his all-around game and that was evident in Wednesday’s scrimmage against Lakewood. English said the USC coaching staff did a great job of connecting with Hannibal, not only on the court but investing in the person as a whole. ”They contacted me every week, came to see me at school and supported me,” Hannibal said. “What else could you ask for? For them to give me that attention and let me know what I needed to do when I come meant a lot.” USC coaching staff and Gamecock fans will get plenty of chances to see Hannibal in the Midlands this year. Hannibal and his Hartsville teammates will be playing at the Bojangles’ Bash at Ridge View, Farm Bureau Classic at Lexingtonp, Phenom Hoops event and Chick-fil-A Classic at Richland Northeast in December. Hartsville also will play in the MLK Bash in January.
  8. Dawn Staley adds third five-star 2019 commit with Canadian viral dunking sensation November 14, 2018 Dawn Staley and South Carolina’s newest commit is a slam dunk — literally. Laeticia Amihere, the No. 10-ranked recruit in the class of 2019 who went viral in 2017 after throwing down an in-game dunk at just 15 years old, announced Wednesday that she will attend USC, picking the Gamecocks over Louisville and Kentucky. In a ceremony at her school in Ontario, Canada, Amihere praised South Carolina’s “winning culture” and said the key factor for her was on her official visit, when coach Dawn Staley was “real with me,” Amihere told her crowd of supporters. In fact, Amihere liked that Staley went out of her way not to pull out all the stops and impress her. When she visited practice, Staley continued to coach hard and get on players instead of softening her approach, Amihere said. “She acted like I wasn’t there,” Amihere said. Amihere stands 6-foot-3 and has already played for her country’s senior national team in exhibitions. She is just returning from an ACL tear that cost her most of the past year. Prior to that, however, she competed in the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup, going against future Gamecock Tyasha Harris of the U.S. In that event, she averaged 11.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1 block per game, en route to being named to the all-tournament team. Amihere is South Carolina’s third international freshman recruit under Staley, joining Shay Colley (Canada) in 2015 and Pamela Decheva (Bulgaria) in 2011. Transfers Sarah Imovbioh (Nigeria), Wilka Montout (French Guiana) and Valerie Nainima (Fiji) are the only other non-American Gamecocks in the Staley era. Amihere’s commitment increases USC’s class to four players — five-stars Zia Cooke and Brea Beal committed last week, while preferred walk-on Olivia Thompson announced her choice this summer. Both Beal and Amihere officially signed on Wednesday.
  9. Gamecock basket recruiting notes November 15, 2018 6-5 Gerald Drumgoole of Rochester, NY said Wednesday night he will not be signing during the early period. Drumgoole, who attends school in Indiana, has taken official visits to USC and Minnesota. He said the Gamecocks remain in the picture with him. USC men signed 6-9 Wildens Leveque of Brocton, MA and will sign 6-2 Trae Hannibal of Hartsville Thursday. USC women signed 6-3 Laeticia Amihere of Ontario and 6-0 Breanna Beal of Rock Island, IL.
  10. Northeast big man becomes South Carolina’s first signee in 2019 class November 14, 2018 A year later, South Carolina is busy this week. Wildens Leveque, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound forward, signed his letter of intent to the Gamecocks on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period. Trae Hannibal, a 6-2 point guard, is scheduled to do the same Thursday at Hartsville High School, giving USC two official members in its 2019 class. South Carolina didn’t sign its first player in the ‘18 class until last April. That five-man group was finalized in June with Canada’s A.J. Lawson. Leveque is a three-star prospect who is from Massachusetts but attends Gould Academy in Maine. He picked the Gamecocks over pursuit from VCU and UMass, among others. The Carolina staff views Leveque as a potential replacement for Chris Silva. He averaged 14 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks per game for Gould last season. “He’s a big man that wants to be a big man and is willing to surrender and be coached,” said Gould coach Cory McClure. “The beauty of him is he has no delusions of being anything other than a big man. Really refreshing from that perspective. “With us and with his (AAU) group, he’s developed a shot-blocking, rim-protecting presence. Has really good timing there. His defensive instincts have improved tremendously in the last 18 months.” Leveque played AAU ball for Tim Nelson and the Mass Rivals program. “We’ve watched a lot of video on Chris Silva and when you watch him, it looks like what Wildens is striving to become,” Nelson said. “He’s got all that. He can run it, he can catch it, he’s a big presence inside so if it’s around the rim, it’s definitely a dunk.”
  11. ‘Hoping that the third one jumps on board.’ USC to receive signing day surprise? November 14, 2018 Wildens Leveque, committed since October, is signing Wednesday. Trae Hannibal, committed since June, is signing Thursday. These are well-known facts about South Carolina basketball’s 2019 recruiting class. What remains a mystery is the name behind an intriguing quote from Gamecocks coach Frank Martin following USC’s win over Norfolk State on Tuesday night. “The two that you’re aware of, that’s happening in the next 48 hours,” Martin said, referring to Leveque and Hannibal. “I think they’re doing their little (signing) deals or whatever. And we’re on hold, we’re sitting back and fingers crossed and hoping that the third one jumps on board, too. We’re in deep, deep talks there.” For now, South Carolina has only one roster spot open as three seniors — Chris Silva, Hassani Gravett and Tre Campbell — are scheduled to depart following this season. Leveque, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Maine, takes one. Hannibal, a 6-2 point guard from Hartsville, takes the other. Candidates for that third spot, though? Gerald Drumgoole, a 6-foot-5 small forward who attends La Lumiere High School in Indiana, took an official visit to USC in September. At last check, he was still deciding to make his college choice official in the early signing period (Nov. 14-21) or spring signing period (April 17-May 15). Drumgoole lists Oklahoma, Creighton, Seton Hall and Minnesota among his other offers. “If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen,” Martin said. “There’s 900 transfers every year. There’s gonna be a couple guys that will available in the spring.” If it’s not Drumgoole, an out-of-nowhere commitment wouldn’t be rare for USC. Two-fifths of Carolina’s ‘18 recruiting class — Keyshawn Bryant and Alanzo Frink — came that way. Martin’s next news conference is scheduled for Thursday. “We’ve targeted the ones we want,” Martin said. “We’re excited. We’re meeting with the media Thursday, so hopefully by Thursday, we should be able to be clear on that. But we’re excited about who’s signing up, we’re excited about the possibility of the last one. And if it doesn’t work out, then the assistants are rolling all season, making sure that last guy gets on board sometime by April.”
  12. USC has two basketball hoping to land a third November 14, 2018 USC has two basketball commitments and is hoping to land a third for this class. 6-9 Wildens Leveque will sign at 3:00 PM Wednesday and 6-2 Trae Hannibal will sign at 4:00 PM Thursday. The other target for the Gamecocks is 6-5 Gerald Drumgoole. He took official visits to USC and Minnesota.
  13. Dawn Staley, South Carolina add another top-20 recruit before signing day November 08, 2018 South Carolina and Dawn Staley are starting to build a hot streak on the recruiting trail, as the Gamecocks picked up their second 2019 commit in four days on Thursday in top-20 recruit Brea Beal. Beal, 6-foot tall wing from Rock Island, Illinois, is ranked as the 13th-best player in her class by ESPN and 16th by Prospects Nation. She chose USC over three Midwest schools — Illinois, Michigan and Louisville — on her birthday in a ceremony at her high school gym, unzipping her jacket to reveal a Carolina T-shirt. After that, her family revealed a birthday cake with a fitting message in frosting: “I’m Too Cocky.” Beal is a two-time Illinois Ms. Basketball and Gatorade state Player of the Year. She averaged 21.9 points, 10 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3 blocks per game as a junior. ESPN’s scouting report on Beal reads: “Agile perimeter prospect with versatility; physical post up game exploits mismatches, draws contact and delivers with regularity, body control to rim; confident on jumper with range to the arc; inside or outside, undeniable results.” “Beal is a player who can make shots off the catch and the bounce,” Prospects Nation scout Keil Moore wrote about her. Beal’s play has even caught the eye of NBA All-Star Bradley Beal, though the two aren’t actually related. Top 5 Player In The 2019 Class Breanna Beal Mixtape @ EYBL Indy With Midwest Elite! Beal visited Columbia the weekend of Oct. 5 and “meshed well” with the coaching staff during her trip, her father, Kevin Beal, told The State at the time. Beal has said A’ja Wilson is one of her favorite basketball players, and Kevin Beal was a fan of Staley’s back from her playing days. On Monday, Staley added top-10 recruit Zia Cooke, a point guard, to the class of 2019, joining preferred walk-on Olivia Thompson. Moving forward, the Gamecocks could add several more highly touted recruits. They are among the finalists for ESPN’s No. 1 Haley Jones, No. 3 Aliyah Boston, No. 9 Rickea Jackson and No. 10 Laeticia Amihere. Amihere and Jackson are expected to announce their choices next Wednesday, at the start of the early signing period.
  14. Staley lands future top 10 point guard November 06, 2018 The USC women’s basketball team is involved with several top 10 ranked players in the 2019 class. One of them, 5-9 PG Zia Cooke of Toledo, committed to Dawn Staley Monday. Cooke is ranked 7th nationally by ESPN. She chose the Gamecocks over Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Louisville and Texas.
  15. Drumgoole updates after Minnesota visit November 05, 2018 6-5 Gerald Drumgoole of Rochester, NY took an official visit to Minnesota over the weekend. He’s also taken an official to USC. He told the Minnesota Rivals site he has no other visits planned now and he’s not sure if he will sign early.
  16. 6-6 Donta Scott of Philadelphia will announce his college decision at his school Wednesday Oct. 30, 2018 6-6 Donta Scott of Philadelphia will announce his college decision at his school Wednesday at 4:00 PM. Scott narrowed his choices to USC, Maryland, Temple, Seton Hall and La Salle and took official visits to each.
  17. Drumgoole still hot target for #Gamecocks OCTOBER 17, 2018 BY PHIL KORNBLUT Gerald Drumgoole 6-5 Gerald Drumgoole of Rochester, NY has only taken one official visit thus far and that was to USC in late September. Since then Minnesota, Creighton and Oklahoma have jumped in to give him other schools to consider. But the Gamecocks also remain on his trail and are still working to pull him in. Drumgoole said he hears daily from Gamecock assistants Chuck Martin and Bruce Shingler. “They just love my style of play and they are ready for me to commit,” Drumgoole said. “They are on me very hard. I’m thinking like, yeah, I’m excited about it. I’m just trying to take my time and be patient with the process and make sure the next move I make is the smartest move for me.” Drumgoole said he will take an official visit to Minnesota in a few weeks. He said Creighton and Oklahoma might also get visits. Drumgoole said he’s not see any Gamecock coaches since his official visit but they are planning to see him during the season. He’s not sure yet if he’ll sign in November or wait until April. “As of right now, South Carolina (stands out the most) because that’s the only visit I’ve been on,” Drumgoole said.
  18. Gamecocks land potential replacement for Chris Silva OCTOBER 12, 2018 BY PHIL KORNBLUT LINK: SPORTSTALK Wildens Leveque Forward Chris Silva will take his dunks, rebounds and defense to the pro level next season leaving USC will some big shoes to fill. Gamecock coach Frank Martin feels he filled those shoes Friday with a commitment from 6-9 Wildens Leveque, a native of Brockton, MA but a student at the Gould Academy in Maine. Leveque narrowed his list to USC, Massachusetts and VCU and he took officials visits to all three. The Gamecocks got the final visit last weekend and Leveque saw enough on his first and only visit to Columbia to feel it would be a good place to call home the next four years. Leveque also got to watch the Gamecocks practice, watch Silva work and watch have Martin runs things in his system. “He just likes me as a player. He sees I had a lot of growth in my game,” Leveque said. “He said, don’t be surprised if I don’t blow up at South Carolina. He sees me running the floor, you know, big man that could grab boards, expand my game, block shots. Finish around the basket, expanding my game throughout the years. He sees me like a Chris Silva. “I like the evolution of Silva, how he’s just gotten better every year and now he has a chance to play in the NBA. I like how they’ve got their bigs running the floor, give them a break whenever they’re tired, play with a high motor. I play pretty similar.” Leveque knows Martin coaches with intensity in practice and games and expects the same intensity on the court from his players. He’s fine with. “Coach Martin is similar to my AAU coach, I like the way he coaches,” Leveque said. “Scream at me, yell at me, bench me every time I do something wrong. Come back in and try and be better.” Leveque averaged 14 points and 13 rebounds per game last season. He does not carry a national ranking by Rivals. He’s the second 2019 commitment for the Gamecocks joining 6-2 guard Trae Hannibal of Hartsville.
  19. Gamecocks waiting on the word from Scott OCTOBER 12, 2018 BY PHIL KORNBLUT LINK: SPORTSTALK Donta Scott 6-6 Donta Scott of Philadelphia has been one of USC’s top targets for over a year. Scott is ranked 141st nationally by Rivals and USC recruiter Perry Clark has been the front man for the Gamecocks recruiting efforts. They’ll learn Sunday or Monday if those efforts paid off. Scott took official visits to USC, La Salle, Temple, Seton Hall and Maryland. The USC visit last weekend was not his first to see the Gamecocks. He was in the house last November when the Gamecocks opened the season at Wofford’s new arena and then came down to Columbia for the weekend. “Oh, he loves South Carolina,” said Howard Hudson, coach of Scott’s AAU team, the Philly Pride. “He loved it because the coaches and everybody in this were just treating treating him well.” Scott saw the Gamecocks practice last year on his visit and got another look inside the program last weekend. “You know, a lot of people were saying Frank was tough and he watched one of the practices,” Hudson said. “I asked him how was practice, and we watched it last year, so he knew kind of what what it was about, and he said it was not a problem. Scott has not yet made his decision and all five schools he visited are still in it. This weekend will be used for decision making with an announcement Sunday or Monday according to Hudson. “South Carolina and Maryland really stood out,” he said. “Comfortable around the players and comfortable around the coaches. Perry did a real good job for South Carolina. He’s been talking to Donta for over a year and a half.” Hudson said Maryland was in Tuesday for a final visit with Scott. USC coaches had their in-home visit last week. As for what will be deciding factors, Hudson sees three. “The coaches, the team’s playing style and the academic support for him.” Scott attends the same school in Philadelphia from where the Gamecocks recruited guard David Beatty. USC women’s coach Dawn Staley, who is a native of Philadelphia, also talked with Scott on his official visit.
  20. South Carolina made his final three, and he’s announcing Friday Oct. 12, 2018 Shortly after making his official visit to South Carolina, Wildens Leveque is set to make his college decision. The big man from Gould Academy in Maine tweeted Thursday evening that he will announce Friday where he’s headed next. USC is one of three finalists, joining VCU and UMass. The listed 6-foot-10, 230-pounder is rated by 247Sports as the No. 64 power forward in the 2019 class. After visiting Columbia last weekend, he told Sports Talk’s Phil Kornblut that the trip -- which included seats to USC’s football win over Missouri -- went “really well.” “I got to experience everything, got to experience a good game of big time football,” Leveque said. “Never been to a official football game before, so that’s pretty exciting. I love the coaching staff, players are really good people.” USC coach Frank Martin, who teamed with assistant Chuck Martin in first seeing Leveque over the summer, is pitching Levque as a potential replacement for the soon-to-be departing Chris Silva, the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year. “(Frank Martin) just likes me as a player,” Leveque told Kornblut. “He sees I had a lot of growth in my game. He said, don’t be surprised if I don’t blow up at South Carolina. He sees me running the floor, you know, big man that could grab boards, expand my game, block shots. Finish around the basket, expanding my game throughout the years. He sees me like a Chris Silva.” Leveque visited VCU and UMass on consecutive weekends in September before ending his trips at USC. (A once-planned visit to Penn State for Oct. 13 won’t happen.) Leveque averaged 14 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks per game for Gould last season. The son of Haitian immigrants, Leveque is originally from Brockton, Massachusetts. Martin, a former assistant at Northeastern University, has found success at recruiting that area of the country to USC. (See Silva and Alanzo Frink as recent examples.) Gould coach Cory McClure is a former assistant at the University of New Hampshire. They’ve known each other for close to 20 years. “There’s a comfort level with me, comfort level with his AAU coaches in a way that maybe some other coach from down south we wouldn’t have that level of comfort with,” McClure said last month. “Not to say that South Carolina wouldn’t be appealing, but it’s made more appealing by who’s running the ship.” This could be a big weekend for the Gamecocks as Philadelphia swingman Donta Scott, another USC target, is expected to choose his school by Sunday. Carolina has one pledge in its ‘19 class -- Hartsville point guard Trae Hannibal.
  21. Leveque recounts official visit with #Gamecocks OCTOBER 8, 2018 BY PHIL KORNBLUT LINK: SPORTSTALK Wildens Leveque 6-9 Wildens Leveque of Brockton, MA made his official visit to USC over the weekend. Part of his visit consisted of attending the Gamecocks’ rain-drenched football game against Missouri. That was a new, and memorable, experience for him. “It went really well,” Leveque said. “I got to experience everything, got to experience a good game of big time football. Never been to a official football game before, so that’s pretty exciting. I love the coaching staff, players are really good people.” Along with football, Leveque watched some hoops as well. He took in a Gamecock practice and got a close up look at how Frank Martin runs things. “Intense practice, you know, big man, they like utilizing the big man a lot,” he said. “They like the big man to run the floor. Going to the last three visits, I like seeing how they utilize their big men.” Leveque also got the chance to talk directly with Martin about his game and how he might fit in with Martin’s system. “He just likes me as a player. He sees I had a lot of growth in my game,” he said. “He said, don’t be surprised if I don’t blow up at South Carolina. He sees me running the floor, you know, big man that could grab boards, expand my game, block shots. Finish around the basket, expanding my game throughout the years. He sees me like a Chris Silva.” Leveque had taken official visits to VCU and home state Massachusetts before coming to USC. If he was moving towards a decision, he said this weekend gave him enough to think about to slow things down. “It just made me think about taking a break and seeing how everything goes, you know, talk to the family because it’s big decision for me and these top schools are really good,” he said. “Now its just time for me to just think about where I want to go or just talk to my family and see what’s happening.” He had thought about taking an official visit to Penn State this coming weekend but said he’s not taking that right now. And he said there are no in home visits planned for this week. He is still planning to make his decision by the end of October. “They’re all really good teams, really good schools, and it’s going to be a tough decision by the end of this month.’ Leveque said he also got the chance to hang out with the other recruit in for an official visit, Dante Scott of Philadelphia.
  22. USC assistant coach Chuck Martin visited 6-9 Wildens Leveque on Wednesday Sept. 27, 2018 USC assistant coach Chuck Martin visited 6-9 Wildens Leveque on Wednesday. Virginia Tech recruiter also was in. Leveque visited VCU last weekend and will visit UMass this weekend. He visits USC next weekend.
  23. Drumgoole excited about upcoming visit with #Gamecocks SEPTEMBER 26, 2018 BY PHIL KORNBLUT LINK: SPORTSTALK Gerald Drumgoole USC will have one of its key basketball recruiting targets on campus this weekend when 6-5 Gerald Drumgoole of Rochester, NY makes an official visit with his parents. They will arrive in Columbia Thursday night and Drumgoole, who attends school in Maine, is anxious to see what Frank Martin and company have to offer. “Going into the visit I’m very excited,” Drumgoole said. “This is actually my first official visit so that will be something I’ll be looking forward to. I’m just hoping to have a great time when I get to campus. I’m just looking for a great vibe, a great city and a great interaction with the players and coaches and just hoping I enjoy myself while I’m down there.” Drumgoole was scheduled for an official visit to Maryland last week but he canceled that. He has no other visits set at this point but plans to take at least one more after the USC visit. He said Georgia and Minnesota are two others hot on his trail right now. Martin has had an in home visit with Drumgoole and Tuesday night he was on the phone with assistant Bruce Shingler. He said from what he’s seen from afar, Martin’s style fits him. “I just like how he’s a tough coach and always holds his players accountable and and holds them to a high intensity, and pushes them every day,” Drumgoole said. “They like my all around game. They like the way that I shoot the ball, how I’m an unselfish player and how I facilitate on the floor.” Drumgoole was the player of the year in Rochester as a junior averaging 20 points and 8 rebounds per game and leading his team to a state title. He also played tight end for his football team but he said his focus now is on basketball.
  24. He canceled his Maryland visit and will instead see Frank Martin and the Gamecocks Sept. 25, 2018 The South Carolina basketball team commences practice this week and this weekend Frank Martin and his staff will play host to one of the top players on their 2019 recruiting board. Gerald Drumgoole, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard La Porte, Ind., said he will visit USC this coming weekend. Drumgoole was scheduled to visit Maryland last weekend but he canceled that visit a few days in advance Drumgoole is a native of Rochester, N.Y. who will play this season for the La Lumiere school, the same school former Gamecock Brian Bowen attended. Gamecock assistant Chuck Martin, who has strong ties in the Indiana recruiting scene, is recruiting Drumgoole. Before transferring to the Indiana school, Drumgoole was one of the top players in New York state after leading his team to a state championship and earning city player of the year honors. He averaged 20 points and eight rebounds per game as a junior. He also was a standout at Peach Jam in July and soon after the major offers started to roll in. He averaged over 10 points and six rebounds a game in that national AAU showcase. Maryland and Georgia were his first big-time offers. Some others on his list are Massachusetts, George Mason, Buffalo, Rhode Island, Temple, St. Bonaventure and DePaul. He’s also hearing from Georgetown, Iowa State and Minnesota. Drumgoole also was a tight end on his high school football team in Rochester before deciding to focus on basketball following his last season of AAU basketball. Notes: ▪ South Carolina football offered 2020 wide receiver Rakim Jarrett (6-0 182) of Washington, D.C. He’s a national level recruit with multiple Power Five offers. ▪ Spartanburg RB Zykamren Robinson visited Tennessee Saturday. ▪ Tre Jackson, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Blythewood, took his official visit to Iowa State this weekend. He’s also been officially to Winthrop and Murray State. He holds a Gamecocks offer. ▪ Greensboro, N.C., 2021 6-foot-3 poind guard Carson McCorkle committed to Virginia. Clemson and USC were among his offers.
  25. USC set to host basketball target this weekend SEPTEMBER 25, 2018 BY PHIL KORNBLUT LINK: SPORTSTALK Gerald Drumgoole The USC basketball team commences practice this week and this weekend Frank Martin and his staff will play host to one of the top players on their 2019 recruiting board. 6-5 shooting guard Gerald Drumgoole of La Porte, IN said he will visit USC this coming weekend. Drumgoole was scheduled to visit Maryland last weekend but he canceled that visit a few days in advance Drumgoole is a native of Rochester, NY who will play this season for the La Lumiere school, the same school former Gamecock Brian Bowen attended. Gamecock assistant Chuck Martin, who has strong ties in the Indiana recruiting scene, is recruiting Drumgoole. Before transferring to the Indiana school, Drumgoole was one of the top players in New York state after leading his team to a state championship and earning city player of the year honors. He averaged 20 points and 8 rebounds per game as a junior. He also was a standout at Peach Jam in July and soon after the major offers started to roll in. He averaged over 10 points and 6 rebounds a game in that national AAU showcase. Maryland and Georgia were his first big-time offers. Some others on his list are Massachusetts, George Mason, Buffalo, Rhode Island, Temple, St. Bonaventure and DePaul. He’s also hearing from Georgetown, Iowa State and Minnesota. Drumgoole also was a tight end on his high school football team in Rochester before deciding to focus on basketball following his last season of AAU basketball.

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