Day one of the early signing period and South Carolina’s basketball program has no commitments in the 2018 class.
Could that change in the near future? Frank Martin said Wednesday efforts are being made.
“Will we sign guys early?,” the sixth-year USC coach said during a press conference at Colonial Life Arena. “We’re trying. Who will they be? Heck, you follow it better than me. You got more information than me. They keep me in the dark until the day they say they’re ready.
“We’re trying to sign guys early. I don’t know if that’s fair enough to say or not. We might, we might not.”
According to 247Sports, the Gamecocks have scholarship offers to five uncommitted ‘18 prospects, including blue chipper Zion Williamson of Spartanburg. The four others are three-star shooting guard Antwaan Jones (Orlando), three-star small forward Jarious Hamilton (Concord, N.C.), five-star power forward Simisola Shittu (Montverde, Fla.) and Canadian big man Kaosi Ezeagu.
USC, of course, is coming off its first Final Four appearance in school history. The program got national exposure for a good month last spring.
“Our guys have recruited real good players,” Martin said. “I don’t know if we’ve gotten a bump from the Final Four. I think we’ve continued to recruit the right guys.
“I think the pool has gotten bigger, maybe that’s a better way to explain it. The pool of people that we can recruit has gotten bigger.
“That doesn’t make the job easier. That actually makes it more complicated because now you better take the right guy. You got three talented players, you better take the one that fits who you are, not the one who sounds sexier publicly.”
Four of the five members in Martin’s 2017 class – David Beatty, Felipe Haase, Jason Cudd and Ibrahim Famouke Doumbia – signed in November or December. Justin Minaya, a guard/forward from New Jersey who could start in Friday’s season opener at Wofford, signed with USC in May.
The spring signing period begins April 11 and ends May 16. South Carolina is losing two seniors – graduate transfers Wes Myers and Frank Booker – off this year’s roster.
“I’m gonna do a lot of sit-ups between now and April,” Martin said. “If I’m not sexy enough in November, maybe I can be better looking in April, whenever that signing period is.”