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Ellington heads back to the court

Point guard/wide receiver Bruce Ellington can now get rid of the slash. Ellington will meet with the football staff on Monday afternoon to let them know of his decision to be a full-time basketball player.

Ellington signed a letter of intent with the South Carolina basketball program out of Berkeley High School and competed solely on the court his first season in school. During the 2011-12 academic year, he decided to add a little football to the mix, too.

Ellington attended, but was not allowed to practice in the spring of 2011 and first set foot between the white lines for fall practice last season. He was one of three wide receivers at the slot position and received limited reps behind then-sophomore Ace Sanders. Then-freshman Damiere Byrd also received some snaps.

Ellington played sparingly as the Wildcat quarterback and also served as the team’s primary kick returner, but his football reps were limited.

After football season, Ellington shifted his focus to basketball but even his full-time contribution to the sport couldn’t help the Gamecocks out of the Southeastern Conference cellar.

Playing 30 games his freshman year, Ellington averaged 12.8 points per game. His point production dropped this season to 11.0 points per game, but he became statistically better in field goal percentage, 3-point shooting percentage, free throw percentage, and assist-turnover ratio.

Assuming his decision is final to stay on the basketball court, he will come off of football scholarship and return to basketball scholarship. That means that, with the departure of senior Malik Cooke, there are two open basketball scholarships.

UPDATE - South Carolina sophomore two-sport standout Bruce Ellington has announced today that he will commit to playing basketball full-time and will no longer be part of the Gamecock football team.

"Basketball's always been my first love," said Ellington. "After giving it a lot of thought, this is the decision I've made. If you want to be great at something you have to commit to it full-time. I appreciate Coach Spurrier for giving me an opportunity to play football at South Carolina. It was a great experience, but right now I want to focus on basketball. I also want to thank all the fans for their support throughout my time in Columbia."

During the 2011 football season, Ellington posted 707 all-purpose yards for the Gamecocks, with 211 receiving yards, 106 rushing yards and 390 yards on kick returns, earning Freshman All-SEC honors. He scored two touchdowns during the season, his first-career touchdown in a South Carolina win against Kentucky, and his second in a 34-13 victory against Clemson.

In 24 games played on the basketball court for the 2011-12 campaign, Ellington averaged 11.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. He posted 12 double-figure scoring games on the year, while leading or sharing the team lead in scoring 11 times and in assists 16 times. He dished a season-high six assists on two occasions, and hit the game winner with just one second on the clock versus Alabama in late January. In two seasons on the court, Ellington has scored 649 career points (12.0 points per game) and averages 3.2 assists per game. He was selected to the 2011 SEC All-Freshman Team.

From USC Sports Information

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