In March of 2017, the South Carolina Gamecocks made an improbable run all the way to the Final Four. After a lot of roster turnover and a season filled with inconsistency, they missed out on the postseason in 2018. Coach Frank Martin’s team still posted a winning record at 17-16. Unfortunately, they let a few too many opportunities slip away in close games, ultimately costing them any postseason action. We are now in the off-season, and the spring signing period has begun. The Gamecocks will look to add to the roster in hopes of returning to March Madness next year. With bench players Khadim Gueye and Famouke Doumbia transferring out and graduate transfers Frank Booker and Wes Myers out of eligibility, the Gamecocks had four remaining scholarships for this class.
South Carolina Gamecocks Recruiting: Frank Martin Bolsters Roster
Signed and Sealed
Jermaine Couisnard – 6’4” Guard – Montverde Academy
Frank Martin is known for his intensity and defensive aggression. All accounts are that Jermaine Couisnard will fit right in in both of those regards. The 6’4” guard signed his letter of intent last week and should bring some length and athleticism to the Gamecocks perimeter. He averaged nearly 30 points a game during his senior year of high school in Indiana. He played a prep year last season at Montverde academy in Florida. Couisnard starred during his prep year, averaging 23 points, six rebounds and seven assists each night. He was a late bloomer in the recruiting process, but as he began to get more recognition, the offers came rolling in. He chose South Carolina over offers from Louisville, Virginia Tech and Illinois. Known as a streaky shooter, he has proven his ability to score the ball. His competitive nature and effort on defense could allow him to see early playing time in Columbia.
Alanzo Frink – 6’9” Forward – Roselle Catholic High School
Alanzo Frink signed with the Gamecocks over an offer from Patrick Ewing and Georgetown. The 245 pound forward hails from the same high school as current All-SEC forward Chris Silva. He could bring some versatility to the front line. He has the size and willingness to bang in the post, but he is also adept at playing on the perimeter. Martin has a good track record for developing post players, and Frink offers him a solid base to start with. His high school coach praised his versatile skill set and high basketball I.Q. Frink could find a spot in the rotation of big men along with Silva, Maik Kotsar and Felipe Haase. If he can hold up on the defensive end and bring some shooting to the team, he could be a steal in the recruiting process.
Committed to the Cause
T.J. Moss – 6’4” Guard – Findlay Prep
On Sunday during his official visit, T.J. Moss committed to Martin and the Gamecocks. He is the highest profile recruit in this year’s class. Rated as a four star prospect by ESPN, Moss should be able to help immediately at the point guard position. South Carolina struggled with point guard play last season, so there is a definite opportunity for Moss to contribute early. The Memphis native played his senior season for national powerhouse Findlay Prep in Nevada. He averaged 7.4 points and 6.2 assists for a team littered with division one talent. Moss helped lead Findlay to the national semifinals for high school basketball. They lost to Couisnard’s Montverde team, whom eventually won the National Championship. Moss should step right into the back-court rotation, his ball handling and play making ability will be needed.
Welcoming Familiar Faces
Rakym Felder is not a member of this year’s recruiting class, but he will be looked at as an addition to the team. He played as a backup point guard on the Final Four team before being forced to sit out last season due to suspension. Felder is the kind of tough, competitive leader that Martin wants leading his team. He should step in to the starting point guard role. His tenacious defense and ability to run the offense were sorely missed last season. The Gamecocks suffered at times last season without a steady ball handler, and needed a play maker to get teammates open shots. Felder should be able to cure both of those ills.
Brian Bowen was a five star and top 20 prospect as a senior in high school. He originally committed to Louisville, but left the program before starting his freshman season. His name was brought up in the FBI scandal currently hanging over college basketball. He transferred to South Carolina for this semester but was not eligible to play. He practiced with the team for most of the SEC portion of the schedule. Martin and the Gamecock compliance department are confident he will be eligible to play next season. He will immediately upgrade the talent and athletic level in Columbia. He is a 6’7” wing with a diverse skill offensive skill set. With Sindarius Thornwell moving on to the NBA, the Gamecocks were missing a go to guy last season. Bowen has the ability to be that player for South Carolina.
Making It Back to the Dance
Martin knows his team was close on too many occasions this past season. His young team was just not able to find the consistency to finish off a couple of games. The Gamecocks will return the core of last year’s team. There should be improvement just based on the growth of the current freshman class. Felder coming back along with the additions of Bowen, Moss, Couisnard and Frink should be enough to get this team back to the big dance next March.