USC Recruiting

With scholarship available, South Carolina basketball hosts graduate transfer big man

What Frank Martin said about South Carolina’s 2019 recruiting class

The University of South Carolina basketball team kicks off things in June with the arrival of recruits, Trae Hannibal, Tre Anderson and Wildens Leveque.
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The University of South Carolina basketball team kicks off things in June with the arrival of recruits, Trae Hannibal, Tre Anderson and Wildens Leveque.

South Carolina on Tuesday made its first big move toward filling its open scholarship.

Micaiah Henry, a graduate transfer from Tennessee Tech, visited Frank Martin and the Gamecocks, a source confirmed to The State. The Big Spur was first to report the news.

Henry is a listed 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward from Decatur, Georgia, who averaged 9.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game for Tennessee Tech last season. He’s made 36 college starts, including 30 as a redshirt junior.

USC has had an open scholarship since Felipe Haase transferred on April 25. Rising sophomore A.J. Lawson is currently testing the NBA Draft waters, but hasn’t hired an agent and can return to school.

South Carolina is in need of experienced big men after Chris Silva’s departure and Haase’s transfer. The 6-foot-11 Maik Kotsar returns as a three-year starter, but there’s no other junior or senior power forward/center type on the current roster. Henry fits that profile.

Henry averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks at Columbia (Georgia) High School. When he signed with Tennessee Tech in April 2015, then-Tech coach Steve Payne described Henry as a player who “can defend and rebound at our level, right now. He possesses a great body physically and tremendous athleticism.”

Henry totaled 542 points, 312 rebounds and 114 blocks in three years for Tennessee Tech. Last year, he scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a loss to Memphis and had 20 and 5 against North Carolina. He shot 57.9 percent from the field, good for fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference. He finished second in the league in blocks.

USC has taken graduate transfers in each of the past two offseasons — Frank Booker (Florida Atlantic) and Wes Myers (Maine) in 2017, Tre Campbell (Georgetown) in 2018.

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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