Frank Martin wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity to make his team better.
Martin added a late piece to his 2015 recruiting class on Sunday when Raymond Doby committed to South Carolina. Doby, a 6-foot-7 forward, was signed to play for DePaul but was released from his National Letter Of Intent after coach Oliver Purnell was fired.
The Gamecocks have six new players for next season, and four of them are at least 6-foot-7. It helps fill the gap left by Demetrius Henry and Shamiek Sheppard, and Doby’s weight (240 pounds) can give USC an impact in the paint.
“Being able to play inside and out really sticks out about me,” he said. “And being my size, 6-8, 6-7, being able to shoot the ball, post up, take people off the dribble, I think it’s a variety of things that I do that really sticks out.”
Doby’s story is a rollercoaster. A St. Louis native, he committed to DePaul in 2013. Set to enroll for the 2014-15 season, he instead re-classified to the 2015 class and played a year at St. John’s Northwestern (Wisc.) Military Academy.
He intended to stick with his DePaul commitment but changed his mind when Purnell was let go. With Bradley, Michigan State, Missouri, Illinois State and Southern Illinois interested, Doby visited USC this weekend and committed to Martin.
With six players committed, Martin has 14 scholarship players and walk-on Brian Steele. Martin is one over the scholarship limit, but the Gamecocks are waiting on word from 6-foot-11 commitment Travon Bunch. Bunch is trying to get his academics in line to get into school.
“I think he’s an excellent coach,” Doby said. “I know he’s a hard guy to play for, but that’s all I need to get the best out of me. Frank Martin, from his coaching experience and the kind of players that he’s had, he always wants players that will just go out and play. I think I can bring that to the team.”
USC should be fine with its other commitments. The two players most expected to make an impact, McDonald’s All-American P.J. Dozier and Chris Silva, are on campus. Jamall Gregory, Eric Cobb and Doby are expected to enroll in July.
Phil Kornblut contributed to this report.