USC Recruiting

A USC basketball target is nearing a decision. Here’s where the Gamecocks stand

Donta Scott
Donta Scott 247Sports

By the end of the weekend, South Carolina is expected to know if it’s added a high-priority recruit to its 2019 class. Whether the decision will be public by then is another story.

“Donta’s getting Spike Lee to make one of those announcement videos (on social media),” Delgreco Wilson said with a laugh. “He’s got to go through the whole process.”

Donta Scott is a listed 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward from Philadelphia who is freshly removed from a second trip to USC. Wilson, an academic adviser and mentor for Scott since he was in middle school, joined Scott last year when the three-star prospect first took in Columbia and then watched the Gamecocks play at Wofford to begin the 2017-18 season. Last weekend, while Scott was back here for an official visit, Wilson posted photos of the trip to his Instagram account.

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Believe him when he says Scott will make his college choice known very soon.

“Best way I can put it,” Wilson told The State on Thursday, “South Carolina will know if he’s coming or not by Sunday. They may not know the actual destination – if it’s not South Carolina – but if it is South Carolina, I’m sure they’ll know.”

Scott is choosing between the Gamecocks, Maryland, Seton Hall, La Salle and Temple. If USC has an edge, it’s because of loyalty.

Both Wilson and Howard Hudson, Scott’s AAU coach, confirmed to The State that no coach has recruited Scott longer and harder than Carolina assistant Perry Clark.

“It’s really not close,” Wilson said. “I mean, it’s really not close. He’s been very visible. Perry’s been up here a bunch. Whatever the rules allow, that is what Perry is doing. Whatever the maximum amount of visits are, that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

Added Hudson: “I think Perry’s done an excellent job. He communicated with the kid and myself frequently.”

South Carolina offered Scott at the beginning of his junior season at Imhotep Institute Charter High School, the home of former USC player David Beatty. Scott went on to average 11.5 points, earn Pennsylvania player of the year honors and help Imhotep win the 2018 Class 4A state championship.

Additional offers and visits came next, but South Carolina has remained in a good place.

“Donta has been a priority recruit for South Carolina for I would say close to two years now,” said Wilson, who’s a close friend to Clark and USC women’s coach Dawn Staley. “Right before they went to the Final Four, Perry Clark made a point to tell Donta Scott, ‘You’re good enough and I want you.’ Since then, the rest of the country has caught on, but Perry saw it first. We didn’t have many offers when South Carolina jumped in the game. And that was all Coach Clark.”

Hudson joined Scott and his mother last weekend in Columbia. Scott got a tour of USC’s facilities, an inside look at a Frank Martin-led practice and even visited with Rev. Chris Leevy Johnson, the team’s life coach.

“We got to see everything,” Hudson said. “Talked to the people we needed to talk to – on the academic side, the basketball side, facilities. You name it, we met them. I think they did a thorough job. His mom was really impressed with the life coach. She liked the spiritual side to the team.”

USC, with Hartsville’s Trae Hannibal, has one pledge in its ‘19 class. Northeast big man Wildens Leveque was on campus with Scott last weekend.

The Gamecocks made a fine final impression, Hudson said.

“They’ve definitely done a great job,” he said.