South Carolina head coach Frank Martin hit the recruiting trail hard the second he got to campus and both he and his staff were able to see the fruits of their labor over the weekend. The Gamecocks, which had five scholarships to give after two defections and a player graduate, now have just one more scholarship available after picking up four commitments over the weekend.
Guard Willie Moore is set to begin an official visit to South Carolina on Wednesday after he concludes a trip to Virginia Tech.
There are three primary targets, two of which seem to be strong options at this point. One is a long shot but Martin and his staff could also decide to hold that final scholarship towards the 2013 class if they choose to do that as well.
The three remaining players are guard Willie Moore (Cincinnati, Ohio/Aiken), a former Duquesne signee that was granted a release from his letter of intent; forward Tevin Glass (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton), who has a few mid-major offers and two major offers to his credit; and forward Sheldon Jeter (Beaver Falls, Pa./Beaver Falls), a player that Darrin Horn was recruiting for South Carolina while Martin was doing the same thing at Kansas State.
Moore is currently on an official visit to Virginia Tech, which will come to an end on Wednesday. The visit took an abrupt turn on Monday when the man hosting him, head coach Seth Greenberg, was fired. Moore said prior to the visit he was 90 percent sure he was going to commit to the Hokies, but Greenberg’s firing has thrown a wrench into those plans. Moore will make an official visit to the Gamecocks immediately after his visit in Blacksburg, Va. concludes. Find out what Greenberg’s firing did to South Carolina’s chances and what other school is trying to get into the mix in these updates on Moore.
The other option that South Carolina has a good chance at landing is Glass, who spoke with assistant coach Matt Figger on Monday afternoon. The two set up an official visit to Columbia but another school, Memphis, is trying to get into the picture as well. Glass gave the latest to TheBigSpur.com basketball analyst William Gunter on where he stands on qualifying and when a decision may come.
Jeter is the long shot of the three players but the Gamecocks are still in the mix. One report, citing Jeter’s father, has South Carolina in the top three along with Vanderbilt and Wisconsin. Penn State is a school that has also been in the mix. Gunter all but ruled out one school. See where the Gamecocks stand and South Carolina’s chances of landing the 6-foot-7 forward.
Four fresh faces
The first of four players to pull the trigger for the Gamecocks was guard Thaddeus Hall (Brooklyn, N.Y./Jefferson) when he pledged on Thursday night. Hall’s qualifying status is not a well-kept secret as he has to improve his test score to enroll at a Division I school. Most schools backed off Hall early in the process but he has a chance to make the grade and eventually make it to Columbia. In this free story, Hall explains why he committed to the Gamecocks and the kind of player he is. Gunter, who is a national basketball analyst for 247Sports and has his own scouting company, Palmetto Basketball, breaks down Hall’s game in this premium feature.
The second commitment to drop, also on Thursday evening, was forward Minda Kacinas (Wichita, Kan./Word of Life). Kacinas had his eye on Wichita State before Martin swooped in to gain his commitment. Kacinas spoke exclusively with TheBigSpur.com in this video interview shortly after his official visit to Columbia concluded. Gunter also breaks down the game of Kacinas in this premium feature. Kacinas is also fully qualified.
Forward Minda Kacinas was one of four commitments to South Carolina in a 24-hour period.
The third commitment to go public was Laimonas Chatkevicius (South Kent, Conn./South Kent), a wide-bodied post player that had previously signed with Kansas State under Martin. Chatkevicius asked out of his letter of intent and was granted his release from the Wildcats. He made an official visit to South Carolina late last week and also committed, his pledge coming to light on Friday. Gunter also gives his impressions of Chatkevicius, who is fully qualified, in this premium feature.
The fourth and final commitment came from guard Tarik Phillip (Charlotte, N.C./Queen City Prep), who visited officially over the weekend. While he was scheduled to be on campus from Friday through Sunday, Phillip went ahead and pledged to Martin and his staff on Friday afternoon. In this free story, read what Phillip and his coach had to say about the Gamecocks. Phillip is also fully qualified.
More stories of interest
- Martin was on a whirlwind tour across the country over the weekend taking in games in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Friday, Minneapolis, Minn. on Saturday, and North Augusta, S.C. on Sunday. While he was able to watch some quality basketball on Friday, one player we know he had a close eye on was forward Kris Jenkins.
- The top players in the state in the next two classes - Sindarius Thornwell (Lancaster/Lancaster) in 2013 and L.J. Peak (Gaffney/Gaffney) in 2014 - are pretty much unquestioned. The same is likely to be the case in 2015 with guard P.J. Dozier (Columbia/Spring Valley). Dozier, for the first time, went on the record about the recruiting process the Gamecocks - a school that has a lot of ties to the Dozier family.
- Martin and his staff aren’t ignoring the 2013 class and they’re already starting to chase big-name players. The Gamecocks are one of many schools that are after forward Demetrius Henry (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Northeast). Martin was recruiting Henry at Kansas State and he’s picked up where he left off now recruiting him to South Carolina. See what Henry has to say about the Gamecocks in this recent update.
- Martin, like most coaches, has come out and said he wants to get the best players in South Carolina and the first one he’ll have an opportunity to get to campus is Thornwell, who recently had his first conversation with Martin.