South Carolina’s recruiting class has been finalized.
Frank Martin officially announced the signings of Eric Cobb, Raymond Doby and Jamall Gregory on Tuesday, meaning national letters-of-intent are in hand. The three are expected to enroll in July and join P.J. Dozier and Chris Silva in a five-man freshman class.
USC had another verbal commitment, 6-foot-10 Travon Bunch, but Bunch reportedly has hit a bump in trying to qualify. The Gamecocks are at their limit of 13 scholarships and Martin seemed to rule out Bunch being added for this season.
“Unless we have something crazy happen, we have closed shop,” he said during a Tuesday radio interview.
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Gregory, a 6-4 guard from Washington who prepped in Florida, pledged to USC on April 1. Cobb, a 6-10 center from Jacksonville, Fla., who prepped in Baltimore, announced on May 18 and Doby, a 6-7 forward from St. Louis who attended USC pipeline Montrose Christian (Md.) School and then a military school in Wisconsin, said he was in 10 days ago. The group adds needed depth to a Gamecocks squad that is trying to improve on the program’s first winning season in six years.
USC will enter the 2015-16 season with four seniors – Laimonas Chatkevicius, Mindaugas Kacinas, Michael Carrera and Brian Steele. The five freshmen will help fill their void going forward, especially in the post.
“I’m ecstatic in what we added with all three guys,” Martin said. “I think we continued to address the size we needed, the athleticism that we needed.”
Cobb, a three-star prospect from Rivals.com, is listed at 275 pounds, giving the Gamecocks a sorely needed big man. While Chatkevicius has improved in each of his three years, USC needs somebody with height and bulk behind him to soak up key minutes against the rest of the SEC’s bruisers.
“Cobb … they don’t make them much bigger than him,” Martin said.
Doby also can help the Gamecocks’ paint presence, checking in at 230 pounds. He played one year at Montrose, which also produced Carrera and former point guard Ty Johnson.
“Doby is one of those unique athletes,” Martin said. “Doby is a Draymond Green kind of player.”
Gregory is a 20-point-per-game scorer who can supply depth behind guards Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell, and bring an explosive touch off the bench.
“Jamall is a 6-4, athletic, high-flying, dunker, slasher, scorer who has the capabilities of becoming an elite defender in our system,” Martin said in a statement. “We went back to our D.C. recruiting ties in recruiting Jamall, and he is going to bring an athletic dynamic to our guards that we haven’t had.”
Martin also touched on Dozier and Silva, who enrolled in June and have begun individual workouts. The two are expected to be heavy contributors immediately.
“With Silva, we’re going to see some dunks around here they haven’t seen in this building in a long time,” Martin said. “And P.J., too, P.J.’s no slouch. He’s got that ball on a string to his hands. That ball never, ever leaves his area. He’s equally adept at going to either hand, and that ball always stays tied to him.”