USC Recruiting

South Carolina big man target impressed with Frank Martin, USC’s program

Martin says team not prepared, but won anyway

Gamecocks play aggressive defense to beat Western Michigan
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Gamecocks play aggressive defense to beat Western Michigan

South Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin, as well as assistants Perry Clark and Bruce Shingler, were in Asheville Tuesday night to watch Spartanburg Day face off against Christ School.

The matchup featured several Division I prospects, including Zion Williamson of Spartanburg Day and Jalen Lecque and Brandon Stone of Christ School.

Stone, who could sign for the class of 2018 or 2019, was offered by the Gamecocks last month and likes the direction the program is headed in.

“They’re a winning basketball team. They win games,” Stone said. “They have one of the best coaches in college basketball, as well as a great fan base, a great campus, and they have one of the best strength coaches in college basketball, which is very important for me.”

Stone appreciated having USC’s staff at his game and said that made a solid impression on him.

“They let me know that I’m a priority. They want me for 2018 and 19. So I was really excited to have them here,” he said.

Stone is listed at 6-foot-11, 195 pounds and is able to contribute in a variety of ways.

He can score near the basket or step outside and hit a jump shot. He finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds Tuesday night against Williamson and Spartanburg Day.

“I’m really versatile, athletic. I can do many different things,” Stone said. “I can post up. I can take you off the dribble. I can shoot it. I’m a mismatch problem.”

Stone added that facing off against Williamson was a learning experience and something he believes will make him better. Williamson finished with 45 points and 15 rebounds but Christ School came away with a 70-62 win.

“They’ve got the best player in the country, so that’s a big time win,” Stone said. “He’s so strong. He’s so athletic. You can’t really do anything but slow him down… That lets me see where I’ve got to improve and how I matched up. I know I need to get stronger and just keep working on my game.”

Stone has offers from South Carolina, Kansas State, Pitt and Penn State, as well as a handful of other schools. He is also receiving interest from several Big 10 programs, including Purdue, Indiana and Ohio State.

He is not ready to make a decision yet, but the Gamecocks appear to be squarely in the mix.

“I’m just looking around and weighing my options. We’ll see what happens,” Stone said. “There’s some schools that have reached out and said they’re going to come see me soon, so I kind of want to see what happens, and I’m taking some other visits.”