Forward Shamiek Sheppard (6-6, 210) of Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Va., committed to USC on Monday, according to his coach Ed Huckaby Jr.
Sheppard is a New York City native who signed with Towson with Towson in 2013. After qualifying late, he decided to enroll at Fishburne to enhance his recruiting stock, and his coach said he had several other major programs interested in him.
Sheppard, a three-star prospect, made an official visit to USC in early February and the Gamecocks became the frontrunners at that point, and Huckaby said Martin was the primary reason for that.
"He likes the values that Frank Martin stands for, just like I do," Huckaby said. "How Frank coaches his team and his desire to win, but more importantly Shamiek really appreciates the discipline and the structure that Frank demands of his players and the accountability."
Huckaby was aware of the controversy stirred up around Martin last week, but said Sheppard is not afraid of that in-your-face style of coaching.
"There's not a coach in America that doesn't get in a player's face and say some tough words," Huckaby said. "My opinion is Frank has taken a hit to that unnecessarily. I don't see people making those same comments about some very well-known coaches coaching today, so why he gets piled on on that and other coaches get a pass I have no idea."
Sheppard averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds per game this season, and his coach says he's the type of player he could call on to fill a variety of
roles. "His passion is just to win," he said. "If that requires some offensive output, he'll do that. The defensive end and glass, he'll do that. If it's to play point guard, he'll do that. He's a versatile player and that's something I tried to emphasize."
Sheppard is very athletic and his coach said he gets his points in a variety of ways.
"Mid-range, low block, transition, defensive steals, he'll hit a three very now and then. He's a guy that's going to fill the stats in a lot of areas. But more importantly he's use to winning."
Sheppard becomes the third member of USC's 2014 class, joining guards Marcus Stroman and Temarcus Blanton. He will sign during the spring signing period in April.