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 COUNTDOWN TO KICK-OFF "2019" GAMECOCK FOOTBALL

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  1. What to watch in SC Pro-Am as Frank Martin’s ‘most talented team’ debuts July 20, 2019 Frank Martin’s bold statement of the offseason has now been repeated. The South Carolina basketball coach told NCAA.com’s Andy Katz last week that his next Gamecocks bunch is “the most talented team we’ve had since I’ve been here.” It echoed what he told local media members during a June 19 news conference at Colonial Life Arena. “I think we have a lot of talented pieces,” Martin said then. “I think top to bottom, one through 14, 15, if you include the walk-ons, it’s as talented a team as I’ve been a part of. As people, work ethic, talent level, experience, when you put it all together.” (VIEW ARTICLE) THE STATE
  2. USC’s Jermaine Couisnard debuts — and scores 40 points in the South Carolina Pro-Am July 22, 2019 Jermaine Couisnard downplayed any extra motivation. He sat for a full season, only appearing to South Carolina fans on gamedays as a street-clothed cheerleader on the end of the bench, but he claimed Sunday he wasn’t trying to make any big splash with his first chance to represent the Gamecocks on a public stage. “I was just trying to get in the flow of the game,” Couisnard said after scoring 40 points in the South Carolina Pro-Am. “I wasn’t worried about the people.” The debut was 18 months in the making. Couisnard, a three-star prospect from outside Chicago, committed to USC in January 2018. An eligibility issue related to a test score held him out for the 2018-19 season. The likes of Carolina coach Frank Martin and Duke standout R.J. Barrett — “He wants to win so bad,” Barrett said of his former high school teammate — talked him up, but there was little footage to confirm Couisnard’s ability.
  3. Seventh Woods Media Availability - 7/19/19 COLUMBIA, S.C. - Men's basketball newcomer Seventh Woods met with the media for the first time Friday morning.
  4. Lawson Set For FIBA U19 World Cup With Team Canada Men's Basketball | 6/26/2019 5:06:00 PM EVENT INFORMATION & SCHEDULE COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina sophomore guard A.J. Lawson has been named to the official roster and will compete with Team Canada in the upcoming FIBA U19 World Cup, set to be played June 29-July 7 in Heraklion, Greece. It marks the second-straight summer Lawson has represented his country in a FIBA event, as he helped lead his squad to a silver medal at the 2018 U18 Americas Championship, averaging 14.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game at the event. Canada is the reigning U19 World Cup champion, having captured the title in 2017 in Cairo. Canada, led by head coach Dan Vanhooren, begins group phase competition on Saturday, June 29 against Australia (8:30 AM ET), before facing Mali on June 30 (6:45 AM ET) and Latvia on July 2 (11:15 AM ET). Games from the event will be streamed via YouTube. Round of 16 competition begins on July 3, followed by the quarterfinals (July 5), semifinals (July 6) and the event final on July 7. Continue to visit GamecocksOnline.com for updates on South Carolina basketball.
  5. National analyst eyeing Lawson for nation's top point guard June 12, 2019, | 247sports Former ESPN correspondent Andy Katz, who now works with NCAA.com, has his early watch list out for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the best point guard in the country in college basketball. South Carolina rising sophomore A.J. Lawson is on that list of 25 total players that were identified by Katz heading into the 2019-20 season. Lawson is ranked as the No. 16 point guard on the list. (CLICK TO VIEW) Free article
  6. Former Gamecocks center Cudd to play JUCO this season June 10, 2019 Former USC center 7-1 Jason Cudd said Monday he has signed a letter of intent to play this season at Olney Central JC in Illinois. Cudd said his plan is to play this one season with the Blue Knights and go thru the recruiting process again. And that would include being open to a return to USC if Frank Martin decides to recruit him again. Cudd, who is from Socastee, said he is spending this summer working out with friends and trainers in his hometown with a focus on his foot-work and improving his three-point shooting. A knee injury limited Cudd to just five games last season. He did not score any points and he had 3 rebounds for the season. As a freshman in 2018, Cudd played in 23 games and scored 30 points while grabbing 22 rebounds. Olney Central reached the national quarterfinals last season and finished with a 25-6 record. The Blue Knights averaged 98 points per game.
  7. ‘Do what’s right or do what’s selfish?’ Martin, USC could end annual D-II game May 30, 2019, | THE STATE A holiday season tradition under Frank Martin might be coming to an end. Speaking to The State’s Josh Kendall this week at SEC meetings in Destin, Florida, the South Carolina basketball coach said the Gamecocks are exploring the possibility of no longer playing an in-state Division II opponent. The reason seems to be connected to recent postseason shortcomings. USC’s 5-0 run against Coker, Francis Marion, Lander, Limestone and North Greenville the last five years — all played around Christmas time — didn’t count toward Carolina’s NCAA tournament or NIT résumé because those selection committees don’t acknowledge wins over D-II foes. (CLICK TO VIEW)
  8. Speculation on the way too early starting five. Here’s my prediction: *Bolden (or Hannibal) Lawson Minaya Henry Kotsar First Reserves: Moss Couisnard Bryant Frink McCreary RS Candidates: Anderson Leveque Green * I believe Bolden will start the season at PG due to his experience but Hannibal will take over by the time SEC play begins
  9. Martin did it again Wednesday at SEC meetings when asked by The State’s Josh Kendall about the potential impact of incoming USC freshman Jalyn McCreary June 03, 2019 “I don’t want to say he’s a more refined version than Chris Silva,” Martin said, “but he plays with that same kind of aggression, but not as raw as Chris was as a freshman. I’m excited. I think Jalyn’s got a chance to be pretty good.” McCreary, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward from Georgia who spent last season at Legacy Early College in Greenville, is one of four to sign with Carolina in the 2019 class (not including graduate transfer Micaiah Henry). (CLICK TO READ FULL STORY)
  10. ‘I had to make the best decision for me.’ Trey Anderson’s peculiar route to USC basketball May 22, 2019 Early in Trey Anderson’s season at Woodstock (Conn.) Academy, the 6-foot-7 guard suffered a minor concussion. No big deal, Anderson thought, he’d rest for a bit and get back out there, gaining the necessary game reps before starting a college career at South Carolina. Except when Anderson came off the injured list, he was being replaced in bulk. Woodstock Centaurs were dropping all around him. (READ MORE)
  11. LaDazhia Williams finds new basketball home with rival Mizzu May 15, 2019 Former South Carolina women’s basketball player LaDazhia Williams is set to transfer to Missouri, she announced on Instagram on Wednesday. Williams will have to sit out the season, per NCAA rules, and will then have two years of eligibility remaining. The rising junior forward was one of four players to announce she was transferring from South Carolina earlier this offseason. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan later changed her mind and returned to the Gamecocks, Bianca Jackson announced she would go to Florida State, and Te’a Cooper has yet to announce her destination. The Gamecocks also added a transfer this week in former Texas guard Destiny Littleton. A rising junior, she will have two years of eligibility with Carolina.
  12. Gamecocks signee shows off his athleticism in the paint, ability to block shots and knack for cleaning up at the rim.
  13. It appears the final phase of the Carolina Coliseum practice facility is complete. The Gamecocks men's basketball team was shown its new locker room in the facility. They had been using the old locker rooms in the building of late.
  14. Silva on Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List Third major award watch list for the senior All-SEC player GCF Staff Report Men's Basketball | 11/6/2018 FULL RELEASE FROM JOHN R. WOODEN AWARD LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The preseason accolades continue to roll in for senior forward Chris Silva as he was named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List today. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All-American Team and Most Outstanding Player Award. The Libreville, Gabon, native started all 33 games for Carolina last season leading the team in points per game (14.3), rebounds (8.0), field goal percentage (46.7%), blocks (1.4), free throws attempted (283) and free throws made (213). He was named First Team All-SEC by the league's coaches and was voted the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Silva, a Preseason First Team All-SEC selection this year by both the coaches and media, was recently named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List and the Karl Malone Award Preseason Watch List as well. Silva is one of nine players in the SEC to be named to the Wooden Award Watch List. Click here to see the full list of student-athletes. The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2019 John R. Wooden Award Men's Player of the Year. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list, and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight. The winner of the 2019 John R. Wooden Award will be presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 12, 2019. The Gamecocks begin the 2018-19 campaign tonight against USC Upstate at 7 p.m. ET on SEC Network+ with Burch Antley (pxp) and Alex English (color) on the call. Doors at Colonial Life Arena open one hour prior to tipoff.
  15. Five things we learned about the Gamecocks from the SC Pro-Am July 30, 2018 Carey Rich sat courtside all week, watching Gamecocks from as young as A.J. Lawson to as established as Carlos Powell. No matter the age, talent was evident during the SC Pro-Am, Rich’s baby. The former South Carolina point guard and longtime contributor to the local hoops scene has been the leader of this event for seven years. It concluded Sunday with a Carolina-heavy championship before a good crowd at Heathwood Hall. “One word that comes to mind for me was consistency,” Rich said, looking back on a week that began with Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier battling each other. “From day one, we had an unbelievable crowd all three games. Players were consistent with showing up and all of the games were consistently competitive. “Right now, if there’s one word that best describes my emotion, it’s probably just the level of consistency that the entire Pro-Am showed over the last four days.” Carey Rich sat courtside all week, watching Gamecocks from as young as A.J. Lawson to as established as Carlos Powell. No matter the age, talent was evident during the SC Pro-Am, Rich’s baby. The former South Carolina point guard and longtime contributor to the local hoops scene has been the leader of this event for seven years. It concluded Sunday with a Carolina-heavy championship before a good crowd at Heathwood Hall. “One word that comes to mind for me was consistency,” Rich said, looking back on a week that began with Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier battling each other. “From day one, we had an unbelievable crowd all three games. Players were consistent with showing up and all of the games were consistently competitive. “Right now, if there’s one word that best describes my emotion, it’s probably just the level of consistency that the entire Pro-Am showed over the last four days.” Powell, the 2005 NIT MVP who also played in Venzezuela last year and narrowly beat Downey for league MVP honors, had three double-doubles in four games. 2. T.J. Moss has a scorer’s mentality What Frank Martin liked about Moss on the recruiting trail was his successful transition from scoring at Memphis East High School to distributor at Findlay Prep in Nevada. The incoming freshman point guard was back in a scoring mode at the Pro-Am. His 25 points per game led the nine active Gamecocks participating. (He also took a USC-high 60 shots.) “Moss is more of a scoring point guard, so to speak,” Rich said, “nice size.” 3. USC should be fine with Tre Campbell at PG Moss and Campbell were on the same team at the Pro-Am. They combined for 47.3 points per game. USC went through a season-long battle at finding point guard consistency last season. The Gamecocks have addressed the position with the Moss and Campbell additions. Campbell, a graduate transfer from Georgetown, appears poised to take on a starting role. “He’s already run a major college offense before,” Rich said, “you can tell. He’s driven, he’s motivated. “He didn’t play last year because of injury. Came out of high school highly touted, so he’s motivated to finish his college career in a fashionable manner.” 4. Lawson ‘jumps out at you’ It’s important to note A.J. Lawson was ranked among the class of 2019’s 40 best player before he reclassified late in the spring. The Candaian showed his potential at the Pro-Am by averaging 17.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and shooting over 51 percent from the floor. “That’s the one guy that jumps out at you because his overall skill set is multi-dimensional,” Rich said. “He’ll be able to play every position on the perimeter -- 1, 2 and 3. He does it in a very comfortable manner, he does it with a flair. “He’s the one guy I know will certainly have every opportunity to come in and impact this team right away.” 5. A healthier Hassani Gravett on tap for 2018-19 Beyond the new guys, three veteran Gamecocks participated. Kotsar won a title, Jason Cudd teammed with Dozier and Hassani Gravett showed off his skills at full strength. Gravett said Wednesday that the ankle injury that sidelined him for three games in the middle of last season lingered as the year continued. “My ankle had issues and I wasn’t able to display any athleticism,” Gravett said. “During this offseason, I’ve just been trying to get back in the groove of making athletic plays, whether it’s crashing the boards or showing that ability when I do get in the lane.” Gravett averaged 16.7 points and four assists at the Pro-Am. A 22-game starter a year ago, Gravett’s role for 2018-19 will be interesting to watch. Can he start again? Or, with Campbell and Moss in the fold, is Gravett used as a top bench option who can play both guard spots? --------------------------- How the Gamecocks did at the SC Pro-Am A.J. Lawson: 17.6 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, 1.3 assists per game, FG percentage of 51.2 Alanzo Frink: 13 ppg, 4 rpg, 61.1 percent Hassani Gravett: 16.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 4 apg, 41.3 percent Keyshawn Bryant: 9.3 ppg, 6 rpg, 1 apg, 40.5 percent T.J. Moss: 25 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 45 percent Tre Campbell: 22.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.6 apg, 42.1 percent Jason Cudd: 4.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 60 percent Maik Kotsar: 12 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3 apg, 62 percent Jair Bolden: 17.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 51.2 percent THE STATE
  16. Gamecocks have one of basketball's best returning players, national analyst says July 07, 2018 Recent buzz surrounding the South Carolina men's basketball program has revolved around those players coming in and those players who have departed. But the Gamecocks are also returning four starters for the 2018-19 season, Chris Silva chief among them. The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year and all-league first-teamer chose to come back for his senior season after testing the NBA waters.. He's considered an SEC Player of the Year candidate, but where does the powerful 6-foot-9 forward rank nationally? Andy Katz, a longtime ESPN contributor who now covers college hoops for NCAA.com, recently revealed his list of top returning players for this upcoming season. Silva didn't land in the top 20, but was one of an additional 12 players to make honorable mention. Silva averaged a team-high 14.3 points, 8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks for USC in 2017-18. He led the country in free-throw rate and finished second nationally in fouls drawn per 40 minutes. He has a chance to lead the Gamecocks in scoring and rebounding two consecutive seasons. That hasn’t happened in Columbia since Carlos Powell from 2003-05. Silva is one of seven SEC players among the 32 Katz listed. That's two more than any other conference, echoing what Frank Martin said last week during a teleconference with league media members. "Our league right now is the hardest league in the country, plain and simple," said the Carolina coach, "because guys like (Arkansas' Daniel) Gafford are coming back, Chris Silva is coming back, (Kentucky) P.J. Washington coming back, (Jontay) Porter at Missouri." The SEC sent a league-record eight teams to the NCAA tournament last season.
  17. South Carolina basketball has reason for optimism after roster makeover June 27, 2018 As South Carolina’s 2018-19 men’s basketball roster stood on April 23, Gamecock fans were crossing their fingers about what was to come next. Rakym Felder was let go from the program that morning, leaving USC without an experienced point guard. Meanwhile, Chris Silva and Brian Bowen, the presumed vital pieces for success, were exploring NBA opportunities. The team’s confirmed leading returning scorer at the time was Maik Kotsar – at 8 points per game. Just over two months later, the narrative has changed. Feel free to think optimistically about the Gamecocks after not only A.J. Lawson’s commitment, but what Frank Martin and his staff have accomplished in the aftermath of Felder’s dismissal. A brief timeline: May 8 – Tre Campbell, a point guard from Georgetown, commits to USC as a graduate transfer May 21 – Silva opts to return to USC for his senior season May 30 – Bowen, after learning he wouldn’t be eligible to play in college next season, turns pro June 1 – Trae Hannibal, a point guard from Hartsville, becomes first member of USC’s 2019 recruiting class June 2 – Jair Bolden, a combination guard from George Washington, commits to USC as a traditional transfer June 2 – Keyshawn Bryant, a 6-foot-7 wing from Florida, commits to USC in ’18 class June 26 – Lawson commits, finalizes USC’s ’18 class What these moves did for USC ▪ The Gamecocks got the experienced point guard they coveted. Campbell wasn’t producing at an eye-popping rate as a Hoya – see 3.7 points and 1.3 assists per game – but the next game he appears in will be his 85th on the college level. That beats the likely alternative option of T.J. Moss getting heavy PG minutes as a freshman. ▪ Silva’s return means Carolina has a chance at having the SEC Player of the Year for the second time in three seasons. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 14.3 points and 8 rebounds a game last season, despite still adjusting to being his team’s No. 1 option. He’ll enter his senior campaign as that centerpiece from the get-go. If he applies properly the feedback he received from NBA personnel, the Gamecocks will feature one of the league’s most dominant players on a night-in, night-out basis. ▪ The wing position is solidified with the additions of Bryant and Lawson. Whether that combination makes up for the departure of Bowen is up for debate, but at least the spot was addressed. Lawson was a top 40 player in the 2019 class – Bowen was a top 20 player in the 2017 class – before he reclassified to ’18. He’s a polished player who has excelled on the international level. Bryant, an explosive athlete, is a tad raw, but is a nice option off the bench. Lawson and rising sophomore Justin Minaya can be interchangeable at both the small forward and shooting guard positions. ▪ The 2019-20 roster starts to take shape with Hannibal and Bolden. Bolden, who averaged over 11 points per game as a sophomore at GW, will likely have more of an immediate impact, but Hannibal’s pledge could have more long-term benefits as he’s the first of the state’s top players in a loaded ’19 class to commit to a college. (He’s AAU teammates with Josiah James.) What didn’t happen for USC ▪ A few hours after Hannibal’s announcement, D.J. Burns committed to Tennessee. Burns, of Rock Hill, was heavily targeted by the Gamecocks, but, like a number of past S.C. prep stars, chose to leave the state. The 6-9, 280-pound forward would have given Martin a natural replacement for Silva. Freshman Alanzo Frink, 6-6, 260, is now in that mold. ▪ Devonte Bandoo, one of the top junior college guards in the country, committed to Baylor after visiting South Carolina. ▪ Bowen never played in a game for South Carolina. When the five-month possibility became a reality, it wasn’t shocking. Bowen was deeply connected to the FBI case and the NCAA didn’t seem all that urgent in ruling on his eligibility. The departure stings, though, because of what could have been. The last McDonald’s All-American to play for the Gamecockshelped them reach the Final Four. Top starting lineup options 1. PG Campbell, SG Minaya, SF Lawson, PF Silva, C Kotsar 2. PG Campbell, SG Jermaine Couisnard, SF Minaya, PF Silva, C Kotsar 3. PG Campbell, SG Hassani Gravett, SF Minaya, PF Silva, C Kotsar Scholarship breakdown Rising seniors (3): Silva, Gravett, Campbell Juniors (2): Kotsar, Bolden* Sophomores (3): Minaya, Felipe Haase, Jason Cudd Freshmen (5): Lawson, Moss, Couisnard, Frink, Bryant *Sitting out this upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules Note: Rising junior guard Evan Hinson's scholarship counts toward football. THE STATE
  18. Exploring Brian Bowen's options as NCAA, NBA deadline looms May 29, 2018 The deadline for early entry college players to decide to stay in the NBA draft or return to school is Wednesday. That’s all day Wednesday, as in until 11:59 p.m. Every second could matter when it comes to Brian Bowen and South Carolina. The NCAA has still yet to rule on the freshman’s eligibility. As of Tuesday afternoon, his clearest option of playing basketball during the 2018-19 season is at the professional level. Jason Setchen, Bowen’s lawyer since the fall when Bowen became centrally connected to an FBI investigation into college hoops, tweeted the following Saturday evening: “The fact that the NCAA is still sitting on the Bowen file is mind boggling. The NBA withdrawal deadline is May 30! There has been no new information on this case for 6 months. What are they waiting for? It is beyond egregious to do this to a 19 year old.” The NCAA has not responded to a request by The State for information on the Bowen case. Meanwhile, the 6-foot-7 wing has worked out for a number of NBA teams, including the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons early last week. Most popular NBA mock draft sites are not projecting Bowen to be taken during the two-round event on June 21, however. Because he hasn’t played competitively in over a year, Bowen is thought to best improve his stock by returning to USC and putting game action on film. But the former Louisville signee does not have that choice at the moment. So what are his choices? ▪ If he doesn’t get drafted, Bowen could be signed by an NBA team to a two-way contract, meaning he’d spend the bulk of next season in the G League and not more than 45 days with that NBA team. Former Gamecock P.J. Dozier did this with the Oklahoma City Thunder in October. ▪ NBA teams, however, are only allowed to sign up to two players to two-way contracts. If Bowen doesn’t land a two-way deal, he can sign a standard one-year contract with the G League – and not an individual team – essentially becoming a free agent. ▪ Bowen was asked during the NBA combine if he’d consider playing overseas and he responded with: “To me, it’s really just school or the next level, NBA.” ▪ There’s no stopping Bowen from removing his name from the draft, even if the NCAA hasn’t ruled on his eligibility before Thursday. But would he want to risk more waiting? Sure, the season doesn’t begin until November, but what if the NCAA, which has given no sign of urgency in this situation, waits until minutes before the opening game to tell him he can’t play? Now he’s lost two seasons of basketball. It’s likely Bowen’s future is known this week. Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/sports/college/university-of-south-carolina/usc-mens-basketball/article212100944.html#storylink=cpy Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/sports/college/university-of-south-carolina/usc-mens-basketball/article212100944.html#storylink=cpy THE STATE
  19. VIDEO: Frank Marin News Conference May 9, 2018 Gamecocks Basketball Coach Frank Martin addresses off-season roster movement South Carolina Men’s Basketball Coach Frank Martin addressed the media on Wednesday to address where his roster sits going into the final week of the basketball signing period. As his roster currently sits, the Gamecocks have 11 of their 13 scholarship spots filled after the adding three incoming freshmen and one player in the graduate transfer market. South Carolina suffered major defections including the graduation of Wesley Myers and Frank Booker and the departures of Kory Holden, Ibrahim Famouke Doumbia, Khadim Gueye, David Beatty and Rakym Felder. The case of Felder proved to be most compelling, as he provided a natural fit at a position of need for the Gamecocks, but Martin said there were things Felder did not do off the court to satisfy keeping him on the team South Carolina has two players currently testing the NBA Draft process, with Chris Silva attending workouts with the Brooklyn Nets, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Oklahoma City Thunder, while Brian Bowen will attend the NBA Draft Combine on May 16th. Both players have until May 30th to decide to stay in the draft or return to school, but Bowen is not likely to know the status of his NCAA eligibility by then. Martin believes that Bowen wants to play for the Gamecocks if the NCAA will allow him to do so South Carolina’s three confirmed freshmen (Jermaine Cousinard, TJ Moss & Alanzo Frink) have all signed their letters of intent to play with the Gamecocks. USC also received a commitment earlier this week from graduate-transfer point guard Tre Campbell from Georgetown, but Martin cannot speak about him until he signs his transfer papers The Gamecocks have until May 16th to add freshmen players via the regular signing period, but can add transfers through the summer.
  20. Rakym Felder finds new home May 08, 2018 Former South Carolina basketball player Rakym Felder has signed to play his redshirt sophomore season at New Mexico Junior College. Felder, who played point guard for South Carolina’s Final Four team as a freshman in 2016-17, retweeted the news, which was first reported by JucoRecruiting.com. Coach Frank Martin announced in late April that Felder would not be back with the Gamecocks next season after sitting out the 2017-18 campaign.
  21. Brian Bowen 'absolutely loves it' at South Carolina. Will the NCAA let him stay? May 07, 2018 Brian Bowen plans to participate in next week’s NBA draft combine. Jason Setchen, Bowen’s lawyer, confirmed as much Monday. The combine, held May 16-20 in Chicago, is designed for prospects to display their talents in front of all 30 teams, allowing both parties to get a feel for how next month’s draft might play out. Duke’s Marvin Bagley will be there, as well as Alabama’s Collin Sexton and Missouri’s Michael Porter. That trio is likely lottery-bound. They’ll be competing, like a majority of the 66 other participants, with professional dreams in mind. Agents have been hired – or will be – and the college days are over. Bowen, however, doesn’t quite fall in that group. The January South Carolina enrollee still very much wants to play for the Gamecocks. “He absolutely loves it there,” Setchen told The State. “He doesn’t want to leave. He’s in a great place, he’s comfortable. He went through all that hardship at Louisville, and he landed at South Carolina. He loves the people there, he’s been embraced by the program. “There’s nothing he would want more than to successfully play basketball there and give back to Frank and the community for taking a chance on him.” Bowen’s time with Frank Martin and USC could be over in three weeks. May 30 is the deadline for early entry college players to decide whether to stay in the draft or return to school. Bowen is a freshman without a single college game on film. As has been well-documented, the former Louisville recruit is at the center of the FBI’s probe into college basketball. The NCAA must reinstate Bowen in order for the 6-foot-7 McDonald’s All-American to touch the floor. Bowen, Setchen, Martin and USC have been waiting on the NCAA’s ruling for months. “Every student-athlete, including Brian, has the right to due process, if nothing else,” Setchen said. “And we feel as though we have not been afforded that – and it’s a point of frustration. The hope is that the NCAA will make their best efforts to give us some direction prior to the withdraw deadline, which is 10 days after the combine has concluded. “In fairness to Brian, he should be able to make an informed decision as a 19-year-old young man who needs to make a career decision.” The NCAA ruled on March 20 that Auburn forward Daniel Purifoy, once classified as ineligible because of the FBI investigation, can play in 2018-19 after he serves a 10-game suspension. Bowen, who signed with Louisville in summer 2017, spent the fall semester enrolled at the school but didn’t play. Though not mentioned directly, Bowen was identified later as the “unnamed player” that Adidas funneled $100,000 to at the request of a Louisville coach. The FBI alleges that Brian Bowen Sr., Brian Bowen’s father, received a payment worth $19,500. Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino was fired as part of the ordeal. Bowen, speaking to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in December, denied knowledge of the alleged payments. “There’s no way I’m involved in it,” Bowen said. South Carolina hasn’t made Bowen available to the media since his arrival, but Martin and others around the program have applauded his presence. Bowen practiced with the Gamecocks the second half of last season. “I can tell you,” Martin said during a recent “Spurs Up” tour stop in Lancaster, “after being around him for three months, he’s an unbelievable kid.” THE STATE
  22. NBA combine invites are out. One Gamecock is in and one is not, per report May 04, 2018 Chris Silva did not receive an invitation to the NBA combine, according to a report Friday from Yahoo Sports. The South Carolina junior forward declared for the NBA draft on April 17 without hiring an agent. He can return to the Gamecocks for his senior season. The combine, which runs May 16-20 in Chicago, will feature one USC connection in Brian Bowen. Like Silva, Bowen has not hired an agent. However, the former Louisville signee is wrapped in the FBI’s probe into college basketball and still must be reinstated to play in games. The freshman’s declaration is seen as a precautionary move in case the NCAA doesn’t make its ruling by the end of the month. May 30 is the deadline for college players to decide to go pro or head back to school. Silva, named SEC co-defensive player of the year in 2017-18, can still work out for NBA teams. He’s not projected to be taken in most popular mock drafts. “With the opportunity to declare,” USC coach Frank Martin said last month, “he will be able to gather more information and get a feel for what the NBA’s opinions of him are. We are excited for Chris and that the rules allow him the opportunity to test the waters.” There are several examples of college players declaring for the draft one year, but coming back to school and improving their stock the next. The list includes 2017 first-round picks Justin Jackson of North Carolina, Caleb Swanigan of Purdue and Josh Hart of Villanova. Silva, who led USC in points, rebounds and blocks last season, could be a preseason SEC player of the year candidate. He could still receive a combine invite if others opt to back out. “I think everybody loves his energy and his intensity level,” said ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony. “Any time you’re a guy that plays as hard as he does, that’s impressive. “But I don’t know if he’s really shown what separates him at this stage. You’re watching the NBA playoffs and there really isn’t much of market these days for big guys who aren’t really good passers or outside shooters. You have to have something that really separates you in today’s NBA, and I’m not really sure he’s shown what it is yet, besides just his sheer energy and toughness and intensity.” Clemson NBA hopefuls Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell also were not invited. Five players from Kentucky are on the list, according to Yahoo.
  23. Rakym Felder says goodbye to USC, sends message to Gamecock Nation May 03, 2018 Rakym Felder's South Carolina basketball career officially ended last week when Frank Martin announced the twice-suspended guard would not be joining the team next season. Felder's career as a USC student apparently ended Thursday. "Sophomore Year Is Done Thank You To The University South Carolina For Introducing Me To Some Amazing People Around Campus!!," Felder tweeted at 11:23 a.m. "Coaches, Teammates, Professors, Advisors, Etc. #GamecockNation Time To See What Life Present Moving Forward " Felder is from Brooklyn, New York, but spent a year at Indian Land High School in Fort Mill, S.C. He's a longtime Gamecocks fan. Attempts by The State to contact him have not been returned, but Felder will likely seek another college basketball program. As a freshman in 2016-17, Felder averaged averaging 5.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. The backup to P.J. Dozier at point posted nine double-figure scoring games, including a 15-point performance in Carolina’s upset of No. 2 seed Duke in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner, appearing on 107.5 The Game last week, was asked what he would tell potential suitors about Felder. “It would be candid,” Tanner told Jay Philips and Tommy Moody. “Whether it’s coming from Coach Martin or whether it’s coming from me, you talk about all the positive things about a young man like Rakym Felder, but you also have to be honest and transparent about some of the situations that didn’t go well and maybe why they didn’t go well. “So it’s an honesty situation. And then the next school would have to make a decision whether or not they want to engage.”
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