High School Sports

USC recruits take center court in Columbia

A pair of South Carolina recruits will be in the spotlight Saturday at the S.C. high school basketball championships.

Eric Smith, a USC-bound junior point guard, will lead Mullins High (24-3) against the Southside Tigers (29-2) for the Class 2A championship at 5 p.m. at the Colonial Life Arena. Southside, which defeated Mullins 64-52 in the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach in December, is seeking its third consecutive state title.

Smith committed to the Gamecocks in August 2008 and became the first Palmetto State prospect to commit to coach Darrin Horn. He'll be part of USC's Class of 2010.

"Eric decided that was the place he wanted to be a part of," Steve Smith, Eric’s father, said in August. "They have all the facilities you academically as well as athletically. I think they are going in the right direction with coach Horn and his staff. ... He kept telling him that you’re the number one prospect in the state in your class, and he said that’s the kind of player he’s going after.”

Smith this season is averaging 20.9 points a game after averaging 18 points last year.

South Carolina football signee Alshon Jeffery will try to help lead Calhoun County (25-1) to a fourth-straight Class A championship. The Saints take on Great Falls (26-1) at 1 p.m.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Jeffery, a standout on the basketball team and a wide receiver for football, was The State's top-rated football player this past season.