R.J. Slawson (6-8/195) is part of Darrin Horn's strong freshman class.
The Fort Dorchester High School standout was the 2009-10 Gatorade S.C. Boys Basketball Player of the Year, an honor he won over AAU and Gamecocks teammate Bruce Ellington.
He averaged 22.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 6.1 blocks per game as a senior.
He chose South Carolina over Clemson, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia Tech.
What are your best attributes as a player?
Versatility, just playing hard and competing.
What are the biggest changes for you so far at USC compared with high school?
Class is different. Waking up early, doing conditioning and lifting weights. This year is the first time I've really lifted weights hard. I'm just getting used to it.
Do you think your arms will one day look like Murphy Holloway's?
Are you trying to put on some weight?
I'm 195 right now. Trying to get at least 220.
How is the team looking so far?
We've got pretty good chemistry. We all get along well.
What were the highlights of your summer with the team?
Just hanging out with the guys. We went bowling one night, watched some movies. And just playing basketball.
You know Bruce Ellington pretty well. How often have you crossed paths?
We played a lot, from rec league all the way up to high school.
How did you do head-to-head against him?
I don't remember rec league that much, but in high school I think we were 2-2.
Who committed first - you or Bruce?
Actually, we decided at the same time but I committed before him.
How did you decide at the same time?
I called him up before an AAU tournament. We just talked for a while. We just said we wanted to go to South Carolina.
Were you always a fan of the Gamecocks?
I never had a favorite team. As I got older I started liking South Carolina. I had a cousin that went here [Jabari Levey, football], and a cousin back home was a South Carolina fan.
What's it like knowing so many top players this year stayed in-state?
Coach preached about staying in-state and wearing the South Carolina jersey. It's good to have other players stay here too.