Tre Campbell has a specific reason why he chose South Carolina
Tre Campbell scored 23 points, made 50 percent of his field goal attempts, handed out three assists and grabbed seven rebounds in his South Carolina Pro-Am debut on July 22.
More importantly, though, he logged more than 30 minutes.
“I didn’t really come out of the game,” Campbell said.
Campbell might celebrate minutes over buckets for a little while as he approaches the 2018-19 basketball season as South Carolina’s top point guard candidate. The grad transfer from Georgetown suffered a major knee injury — torn meniscus and patellar tendon — as the result of a bus accident in February 2017.
Rehab has gone smoothly, but his participation in last week’s Pro-Am allowed Campbell to take a sigh of relief.
“The first game in the Pro-Am,” Campbell said, “that was my first time really going up and down in a full game in a whole year — because I didn’t play last year — and I felt good. ... My knee is 100 percent.”
Campbell was introduced to media members Wednesday alongside Jair Bolden at Carolina Coliseum. Bolden, a traditional transfer from George Washington who will sit out the upcoming season, was part of an undefeated team at the Pro-Am that was crowned champion Sunday.
Bolden never faced Campbell, but he was around Heathwood Hall enough to note the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder doesn’t seem slowed by much of anything from his past. Campbell averaged 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists over his three games in the Pro-Am.
“A lot of guys who come back from a serious injury like that aren’t the same,” Bolden said. “And he seems better, if not the same. He’s a heck of a player, injury or no injury. I’m pretty sure he’s 100 percent now, just the way he runs and how athletic he is.”
The Gamecocks lacked consistency at the PG position last season. Hassani Gravett and Wes Myers tried, but coach Frank Martin’s best option, Rakym Felder, was suspended.
Felder was dismissed from the program on April 23. Campbell announced plans to join the program May 8.
“That’s why I chose South Carolina, so I can run a team,” Campbell said, “as a point guard in the SEC, which is one of the best conferences in the country. I wanted to do that.”
Campbell, playing in Georgetown’s structured Princeton-style offense under former coach John Thompson III, never averaged more than 4.1 points in a season for the Hoyas.
Campbell said Martin used Frank Booker’s numbers from last season as a selling point on the recruiting trail. Booker, at 12.7 ppg, was second on USC in scoring in 2017-18. During his three previous years at Oklahoma and Florida Atlantic, Booker never topped 6 a game.
“He showed me guys that came here and how he helped with the points, rebounds, everything,” Campbell said. “And I feel like that’s something I can do.”
As a point guard, Campbell describes himself as one who can “pass the ball, can shoot, play defense, do everything. I’m not just a scorer, not just a shooter, not just a facilitator. I feel like I’m an overall good point guard.”
Who’s back in good health.
“I was down,” Campbell said, “but now I’m ready to go.”