South Carolina coach Frank Martin continues to make over his roster and will now have at least seven new faces next season, including a transfer who arrived last winter.
The Gamecocks’ latest addition came Wednesday, when they reportedly signed Reggie Theus Jr., a 6-6, 180-pound wing player from Fairfax High in Los Angeles.
He is the son of former NBA player Reggie Theus, who was the ninth overall pick out of UNLV in 1978, played in the league until 1991, acted on the NBC show “Hang Time,” coached New Mexico State for two seasons (2005-07), coached the Sacramento Kings for the next one and a half after that, got fired by the Kings, and was hired earlier this month to coach Cal State Northridge, following a one-season stint with Los Angeles’ NBA Development League team.
Theus Jr.’s other scholarship offer was from Seton Hall, according to Rivals, which lists him as an unranked player.
In November, USC signed the following three players …
** SG Sindarius Thornwell (6-5, 180)
Other offers: Boston College, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Miami (Fla.), Missouri, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest.
** C Desmond Ringer (6-9, 260)
Other offers: Auburn, Charlotte, Cincinnati, DePaul, Kennesaw State, Marquette, Mercer, Minnesota, South Florida, Tennessee, Tulane, Central Florida, Vanderbilt.
** SG Justin McKie (6-3, 175).
Other offers: Florida Gulf Coast, Memphis, Presbyterian, Samford, Winthrop.
Of those three, only Thornwell is rated at his position by Rivals, which lists him as the No. 11 shooting guard and No. 43 overall recruit in the Class of 2013 – Martin’s first big recruiting pickup. Of course, USC fans recognize McKie’s name because his father, BJ, is the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Earlier this month, USC got commitments from these players …
** PG Jaylen Shaw (6-1, 175, Hartsville/Hartsville High)
Other offers: Virginia Tech, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, Tulane, Miami (Ohio). Unranked.
** PG Duane Notice (6-2, 195, Oakdale, Conn./St. Thomas More School)
Other offers: Duquesne, Hofstra. Ranked No. 35 at position.
Moreover, point guard Tyrone Johnson, a transfer from Villanova and former highly regarded recruit (No. 11 at position, No. 52 nationally), will be eligible as a redshirt sophomore after next season’s first semester. He arrived at USC after last season’s first semester.
November is technically the early signing period for men’s basketball. The regular period runs from today to May 15, so Shaw and Notice will be able to follow through on their commitments and sign during this period, as Theus Jr. did.
Where does this leave USC’s scholarship situation for next season? The NCAA maximum is 13. Here is a look at the classes of USC’s players who are eligible to return …
Sophomores: Michael Carrera, Mindaugas Kacinas, Laimonas Chatkevicius
Juniors: Damien Leonard, Carlton Geathers
Seniors: Bruce Ellington, Brian Richardson, RJ Slawson, Eric Smith, Brenton Williams
Remember, Ellington doesn’t count as a basketball scholarship because he is on football scholarship. So the other players account for nine scholarships. The addition of Johnson during the middle of last season puts that number at 10. The November signings of Thornwell, Ringer and McKie moves the number to 13 – the maximum.
The addition this spring of Shaw, Notice and Theus Jr. means that USC must have three returning scholarship players leave with eligibility remaining. Carrera, Ellington and Williams all had productive seasons in 2012-13, and they are almost certainly not going anywhere. Kacinas and Chatkevicius were Martin’s recruits, so it is difficult to envision them leaving.
So, probably, between Leonard, Geathers, Richardson, Slawson and Smith, three players will have to depart with eligibility remaining.
And just so you can have it all in one place, here are USC’s new faces for next season, if Shaw and Notice end up signing …
PG Tyrone Johnson (redshirt sophomore transfer)
PG Jaylen Shaw
PG Duane Notice
SG Sindarius Thornwell
SG Justin McKie
SF Reggie Theus Jr.
C Desmond Ringer