David Cloninger

Highest-rated recruit from last class leaving Gamecocks basketball team

As expected, the annual college basketball carousel has spun around to South Carolina.

Rising sophomore Sedee Keita will not return to the Gamecocks in 2017-18, he announced on Friday. He was the highest-rated recruit of coach Frank Martin’s 2016 class.

“I would like to announce that I will be transferring from the University of South Carolina to further my education and basketball career elsewhere,” Keita tweeted. “I would like to thank coach Frank Martin and the staff for the experience I had here.”

The 6-9 forward averaged 9.6 minutes over 29 games, supplying minutes in relief of starting posts Chris Silva and Maik Kotsar. While he didn’t dent the stat sheets much – Keita averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds, with 11 blocks and seven steals overall – he showed flashes of potential.

Keita scored nine points in USC’s win against Duke that sent the Gamecocks to the Sweet 16. A four-star prospect from Philadelphia by way of Greenville’s 22ft Academy, Keita was a consensus top-85 national recruit.

Keita slowly worked his way into the rotation this season after being unable to participate in offseason workouts and the first four games because of a wrist injury. He played in the Gamecocks’ next 16 games, scoring six points against Florida International and seven against Lander, before missing back-to-back games at Missouri and LSU.

Keita was suspended for the regular-season finale at Ole Miss because of a violation of team policy. He returned to play in every NCAA Tournament game, with a high of 13 minutes against Baylor.

USC has one scholarship to give for next season.

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2017-18 South Carolina basketball roster

Jarrell Holliman, Sr. w/o

Ran Tut, Sr.

Kory Holden, Jr.

Hassani Gravett, Jr.

Chris Silva, Jr.

Rakym Felder, So.

Maik Kotsar, So.

Khadim Gueye, So.

Tommy Corchiani, So., w/o

Evan Hinson, So., w/o

Christian Schmitt, So., w/o

Jason Cudd, Fr.

Ibrahim Doumbia, Fr.

Felipe Haase, Fr.

David Beatty, Fr.

Justin Minaya, Fr.

w/o Walk-on, doesn’t count toward 13-man scholarship limit