Portal Report: South Carolina Reloads In Portal With A New Coach
These past couple of seasons haven’t gone as planned for South Carolina basketball fans. After making the Final Four in 2017, the Gamecocks missed five consecutive NCAA Tournaments. In the SEC, that will get you fired as on March 14th, Frank Martin was relieved of his duties.
But when one door closes, another door opens. For Lamont Paris, it was just that as on March 24th he was named the 33rd head coach in Gamecock men’s basketball history.
With only five scholarship players returning, his staff had to get busy in the portal. They did just that, signing four transfer players with one more roster spot open.
Littered with local mid-major players and former big-time recruits, Gamecock basketball seems to have the best raw talent in a long time.
South Carolina Transfer Additions:
Ebrima Dibba, Coastal Carolina
8.1 PTS/4.8 REB/5.4 AST/45.7% FG%/80.2% FT%
Meechie Johnson Jr., Ohio State
4.4 PTS/17 STLS/17.7 Minutes Per Game
Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk, Illinois
1.6 PTS/2.1 REB/47.2% FG%/7.8 Minutes Per Game
Hayden Brown, The Citadel
18.8 PTS/9.5 REB/2.3 AST/51.5% FG%
Just like how Lamont Paris rebuilt the Chattanooga program, he is looking to rebuild the South Carolina program. Early on, his staff convinced two impressive local mid-major players to come and play in Columbia.
Ebrima Dibba stands at 6’6” and is an elite lengthy guard off the pick. In a game against Arkansas State, he scored 16 points and racked in 8 rebounds, missing only one shot. His fellow mid-major transfer has been one of the best forwards in college basketball over the past couple of seasons, Hayden Brown. Lamont Paris knows how to stop the kid, holding him to 27 points in 3 games.
Along with them, Paris picked up a former three-star recruit in Ohio State transfer Meechie Johnson Jr. Meechie scored 14 points in 23 minutes against Xavier earlier this season, scoring 8+ points four more times in limited minutes. The other high-major transfer, Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk was an effective shooter at Illinois and impressed in limited minutes. At 6’8” he has a lot of room to grow.
TPR’s Projected Starting Lineup for South Carolina
G – Meechie Johnson Jr.
G – Ebrima Dibba
F – Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk
F – Hayden Brown
C – Josh Gray