USC Men's Basketball

Former in-state basketball prospect, USC recruit is leaving Tennessee

What Frank Martin thinks of in-state recruiting and USC’s efforts to keep players home

South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin goes deep on recruiting the state and the Gamecocks' historical success of keeping prospects at home.
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South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin goes deep on recruiting the state and the Gamecocks' historical success of keeping prospects at home.

A former South Carolina basketball recruit is leaving a rival SEC program after one year.

Tennessee’s D.J. Burns has entered the NCAA transfer portal, a source confirmed to The State. Matt Zenitz of AL.com was first to report the new Monday afternoon.

Burns, a former four-star prospect at York Prep in Rock Hill, never appeared in a game for the Volunteers. He redshirted the 2018-19 season.

His next stop is unknown, but don’t expect it to be USC. The Gamecocks don’t have any scholarships available and won’t look at Burns as a walk-on option, like they did with Seventh Woods.

The 6-foot-9, 270-pound Burns was a USC target in the 2019 class who reclassified to ‘18 last May and committed to Tennessee hours after Hartsville’s Trae Hannibal pledged to the Gamecocks.

Burns visited the Gamecocks less than a month before he committed to the Vols. South Carolina instead filled out its ‘18 class by landing both Keyshawn Bryant and A.J. Lawson.

Monday’s news continues a mixed history for touted in-state players who leave SC for college. While Murray State’s Ja Morant and Duke’s Zion Williamson just went 1-2 in the NBA Draft, Woods (North Carolina), Tevin Mack (Texas) and Burns have transferred from their original school. Woods is now with the Gamecocks and Mack, after a one-year stint at Alabama, is with Clemson.

“Trust in God because it’s his plan,” Burns posted Monday on his Instagram story.

Andrew Ramspacher has been covering college athletics since 2010, serving as The State’s USC men’s basketball beat writer since October 2017. His work has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors, Virginia Press Association and West Virginia Press Association. At a program-listed 5-foot-10, he’s always been destined to write about the game. Not play it.
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