New faces will define at least the early portion of South Carolina’s 2017-18 season. Gone are the likes of Sindarius Thornwell, P.J. Dozier and Duane Notice. In are Kory Holden, Wesley Myers and Frank Booker.
That former trio headlined USC’s run to the Final Four. That latter trio will be relied on to help the Gamecocks with their encore performance.
Sports Illustrated’s Dan Hanner and Chris Johnson teamed up to predict the top 100 transfer scorers of the upcoming season. Their project was released Thursday.
Holden, a junior transfer from Delaware, comes in at No. 4 as he’s pegged to average 14.5 points per game. Myers, a senior transfer from Maine, is No. 19 as he pegged to average 12.2 points a contest. Booker, a senior transfer from Florida Atlantic, is No. 97 on the list, projected to average 5.2 ppg.
Thornwell, Dozier and Notice made up 62 percent of USC’s scoring last season. Junior forward Chris Silva is South Carolina’s top returning scorer. The 6-foot-9, 223-pounder went for 10.2 points a night in 2016-17.
Holden, a 6-1, 197-pound guard who averaged nearly 18 points a game in his final season with Delaware, sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules.
“Having him around last year allowed me to understand him, and I think it allowed him to understand me,” USC coach Frank Martin said of Holden during a press conference last week. “He and I are in a real good place as people.”
Knee injuries have slowed Holden’s progression, however. He was expected to be closer to full-go this week.
“He does a lot of stuff in practice right now, but he went through a major knee situation,” Martin said. “Now he’s gotta get back on the floor and do what he loves to do, which is play, and he’s pretty good at it. Kory can really play.”
Myers, a Brooklyn native, averaged nearly 17 points a game in his final season with Maine.
“We’ve known him from his high school days in New York,” Martin said of Myers. “Typical New York City kid, very confident.”
South Carolina is the third destination in Booker’s college career. He was a reserve contributor for Oklahoma prior to playing for FAU.
“Don’t underestimate the experiences of Frank Booker,” Martin said. “When we read his resume, we see that he came from Florida Atlantic and that creates a certain perception for people who are not paying attention. He was the leading scorer off the bench in the NCAA tournament for a Sweet 16 team in Oklahoma. Frank is pretty good.”
South Carolina’s season begins Nov. 10 at Wofford.