Frank Martin began his season wrapup press conference with news that most expected – freshmen Eric Cobb and Jamall Gregory will not return to South Carolina.
“Eric Cobb and Jamall Gregory are no longer with us,” Martin said on Monday. “We’ve all agreed that it’s best for them to move on.”
Gregory and Cobb, each freshmen, were arrested on March 17 and charged with property crimes related to a string of BB-gun related incidents. They were two of five players Martin suspended for conduct issues before the Gamecocks began the NIT.
The other three – sophomore Marcus Stroman, redshirt freshman TeMarcus Blanton and freshman Chris Silva – remain indefinitely suspended. They have not been charged with any crime.
“They’re in trouble with Frank Martin Law,” Martin said. “It’s my call right now. When the time comes, I’ll figure out what I’m going to do with them and obviously (athletic director Ray Tanner) will be very involved in my final decision there.”
Cobb and Gregory have begun the process of applying for Pre-Trial Intervention, a program that allows first-time non-violent offenders to have charges expunged from their records as long as they complete a number of requirements. The two have also personally apologized to at least one victim of the BB gun incidents.
The Gamecocks have at least five scholarship players returning for 2016-17, along with two walk-ons. Martin has commitments from three incoming freshmen.
If Silva, Stroman and Blanton return and nobody else leaves, USC would have two open scholarships to fill. Martin will meet with players this week and talk about their futures.
Players such as rising senior Sindarius Thornwell and rising sophomore P.J. Dozier could test the NBA waters, due to a new rule that allows players to work out for professional teams and attend the draft combine but still retain their college eligibility.
Nobody has told Martin that they plan on doing so, or of wanting to leave USC.
“They haven’t led me to believe that they are, but they haven’t led me to believe that they’re not,” Martin said, following with, “Sindarius, Duane (Notice), P.J., they all come back,” in discussing next year.
Martin also lost assistant coach Lamont Evans, who was announced as a new assistant at Oklahoma State as soon as the press conference ended. Another former USC assistant, Brad Underwood, has taken over at OSU.
Evans worked under Martin and Underwood at Kansas State and USC.
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2016-17 SOUTH CAROLINA BASKETBALL
How the Gamecocks’ roster currently shakes out
Sr. Sindarius Thornwell
Sr. Duane Notice
Sr. Justin McKie
RJr. Jarrell Holliman
Jr. Marcus Stroman*
RSo. TeMarcus Blanton*
So. Raymond Doby
So. Chris Silva*
So. P.J. Dozier
So. John Ragin
Fr. Rakym Felder
Fr. Maik Kotsar
Fr. Sedee Keita