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Recruits taking notice and now this top 60 recruit is noticing

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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.

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