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Gamecocks get commitment from hometown forward

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Gamecocks get commitment from hometown forward

Oct. 18, 2019, | sportstalk

javon-benson3.png?resize=370%2C412&ssl=16-8 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:

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A little surprised but also pleased. For the people that are concerned about the schools that offered and past misses, Benson (and Iriel) are hometown kids that Martin and the staff have watched - a bunch. The offer means that Benson has continued to develop and showed out during the summer. And since he is local, he should be vetted closely so that there is little risk of off-field issues.

I would suspect (because numbers almost always get bumped) that he is closer to 6'7" and is a PF type, not a Center. He appears to be similar in size and athleticism to another Ridge View product who DID go to the College of Charleston - Jarrell Brantley, who just graduated as a First Teamer in the Colonial Athletic Conference and is trying to stick with the NBA. I will take a player like that - Brantley was a load inside.

He is also a Frank Martin type - not flashy, good size to play physical around the basket. If he works hard and takes the coaching, he could be a good one.

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