South Carolina men's basketball coach Frank Martin on Monday announced that Rakym Felder will no longer be a part of the Gamecocks program.
"When Rakym and I met to discuss his return to our program, there were certain things that I asked of him and, unfortunately, he has not met those expectations,” Martin said. “I’m disappointed that he did not take advantage of the opportunity to fully return to our program. We wish him the best with his future.”
Legal troubles – he was arrested in October 2016 and again in July 2017 – led to Felder’s dismissal from USC. When Felder reenrolled in January, Martin chose to sit him for games. He only practiced with the Gamecocks as they went 17-16 and failed to make the NCAA Tournament and NIT. Martin often noted Carolina's lack of a true PG, something it was seeking to have back next season.
"Thank You For The Love, The Memories, And Taking Me In With Open Arms Through The Positive & Negative," Felder posted to his Twitter account Monday morning.
Felder was part of USC's Final Four run in 2016-17, averaging 5.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game as a freshman. The backup to P.J. Dozier at point posted nine double-figure scoring games, including a 15-point performance in Carolina’s upset of No. 2 seed Duke in the Big Dance.
This is the fourth official departure to South Carolina this offseason. Center Khadim Gueye and forward Ibrahim Famouke Doumbia transferred late last month. Guard David Beatty transferred last week. Junior forward Chris Silva and freshman forward Brian Bowen both have put their names in the NBA draft pool, but haven't hired agents. They have until May 30 to decide to go pro or return to school.
Asked about Felder's future before a "Spurs Up" tour stop last week in Lancaster, Martin hinted he would soon explain what he required of Felder to possibly get back on the team.
"I just want to make sure he got through them first before everyone knows the criteria that I put in front of him before we can consider playing basketball," Martin said at the time.
Felder is a Brooklyn, N.Y., native who played his freshman season at Indian Land High School in Fort Mill.
Martin last season was forced to combine Hassani Gravett and Wes Myers at the point guard position. Gravett is back for 2018-19, but the Gamecocks likely will rely on incoming freshmen T.J. Moss and Jermaine Couisnard to help in Felder's absence.
South Carolina has three scholarships available.