Phil Kornblut

Local prospect learning more about Gamecocks, hoping offer follows

Class of 2021 point guard Tyler Rice of Ridge View High seems on the verge of having his recruiting take off.

The junior has offers from Penn State, USC Upstate and Elon at this point, but the interest from South Carolina and others continues to grow.

Gamecock assistant coach Bruce Shingler was in Tuesday to see Rice and 6-foot-8 prospect Ja’Von Benson. Rice was back at USC last week for the football game while Benson was in for his official visit.

“It was pretty good actually,” Rice said of his day with the Gamecocks. “I actually got to experience the whole Gamecock Nation. Obviously, Alabama brought them out. It was actually great to see the amount of support they have behind their program.”

This particular visit was built around the football game. Rice didn’t get over to the basketball offices or facilities. That will come soon when he makes a return visit. But he did talk with the coaches, though even that was fairly low key.

“We really didn’t talk basketball,” Rice said. “We talked about about the upcoming season, getting to some games, some Gamecock games, and them coming down to see me in workouts, what our goals are for this year, how are teams are looking. It was a really good conversation.”

Rice also spent time with his buddy Benson, and the two sat together for a half at the game before Benson had to move on to other events in his official visit.

“He told me he loved it,” Rice said.

Rice left USC without an offer from the Gamecocks. But the fact they continue to recruit him and want him back right away for a basketball-related visit might be signs of something to come.

“Hopefully,” he said. “I can’t tell right now because it’s not clear to me yet. I do expect one this year. But if it doesn’t come, that’s all right. I’m just going to keep working and hopefully I can get it whenever.”

Rice said Upstate also was in this week to see him and the College of Charleston and Buffalo were expected by the school.

This week, Rice scored 20 points in the George Glymph Fall League game at Cardinal Newman against a team made up of players from Westwood High School.