McDonough, Ga., center-power forward Desmond Ringer is one of three class of 2013 basketball signees for South Carolina.
The 6-foot-10, 235-pounder is a consensus three-star prospect. He is rated the nation's 13th best center by ESPN and the 40th best power forward by 247Sports.
Ringer last season averaged 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots a game.
Ringer and teammate Eric Wortham held a joint signing ceremony at Eagle's Landing High School on Nov. 14, with Wortham signing with Middle Tennessee State.
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USC head coach Frank Martin in a statement said: “Desmond Ringer gives us size, strength, athleticism and skill on the front line. He comes from a very successful high school program, and we’re excited to have him be part of our family. He is a guy that understands how to play, and he has great size and real good hands. Desmond is someone that we feel will become a big-time presence on the front line for many years to come.”
We talked with Ringer about signing with the Gamecocks.
Why South Carolina?
I picked USC because of coach Frank Martin. He was real genuine. He convinced me that he cares. As far as playing time, I'll have a chance to play.
What other schools recruited you the hardest?
Mercer, Mississippi State, Central Florida. There were a lot of schools, but it came down to South Carolina and Mercer.
What did you like about Columbia?
I really liked that the whole city was behind the school. They don't have an NBA team or anything like that, so it's all Gamecocks all the time, and I like that about the city of Columbia.
Talk about your basketball and sports history.
I've been playing basketball all my life. I started playing football in the seventh grade and I stopped in the ninth grade. I had an ankle injury and I missed the first five games of the basketball season. I didn't like that.
What's it like in McDonough, Ga.?
It's a normal city. We're not that big and we're not that small. We're calm and laid back, I think.
Talk about your signing ceremony at your school.
It was a fun day. We had a scrimmage, so we did it before the game. We signed at the gym, center court with the whole school there. It was a fun time. Everybody as school is like family and we wanted everybody to be there.
What are you trying to improve your senior season?
Just being more aggressive, looking to score more. I'm working on my jump shot. I take threes in practice and I knock them down. Hopefully I'll do that in the games.
Did you consider South Carolina before Frank Martin arrived?
Kind of, but they weren't recruiting me hard. When Coach Frank got there, they started recruiting me hard.
Can you recall how your first conversation with Martin went?
He told me he liked the way I played and how physical I was. He explained to me how I would fit in. He said I would fit in good. I just need to go in there and work hard and rebound, and I'll be fine.
Talk about being part of building a new tradition at USC.
Every team I've been on, it's changed. When I first got to Eagle's Landing, my freshman year we hadn't been to state ever in basketball. We went to the state and the next year we went to the final four. We went to the final four last year. This year we're trying to win it all. We started from nothing and we're building up.
What makes you a good player?
My intensity and my passion for the game. I really love basketball and I'll do what it takes to be good at it.
What are your goals for college?
I talk to Coach Figg a lot (Matt Figger, USC assistant coach and recruiting coordinator). He talks about winning the SEC championship. That would be a good start. Then we'll go from there.