The Daily Gamecock

Gamecocks land national basketball talent

Thornwell, Henry highlight recruiting class

After years of watching Gamecock basketball fall short of almost every fan’s expectations, hope was revived with the hire of Coach Frank Martin from Kansas State. The woes of the 10-21 2011-2012 season were slightly lessened by a 14-18 2012-2013 season. Fans hope this will be the start of an upswing of Carolina basketball as Frank Martin cleaned house, and four more players transferred out during the off season, and is slowly but surely rebuilding the fallen program. The upcoming season will mark the first season where Gamecock fans will see the effects of Frank Martin and his recruiting skills on court at Colonial Life Arena.

The 2013 recruiting class for Frank Martin is looking brighter than in years past. The six commitments of this year’s class push South Carolina into the 23rd best recruiting class for 2013, and the fifth best in the SEC. With only four conference wins during the past season, the upcoming class might be the first to push South Carolina into a winning record overall and in the SEC since 2008. Along with the newcomers to college basketball, Tyrone Johnson has transferred from Villanova and will be eligible to play after the first semester to provide some upperclassmen experience.

The ineligibility of Johnson and now-football star Bruce Ellington during the beginning of the season and first semester allows for the star of the 2013 recruiting class to begin shining.

Sindarius Thrornwell leads the freshmen of the basketball team. Coming from Oak Hill Academy, Thornwell is the first player from this basketball-heavy boarding school to become a Gamecock. He is an ESPN Top 100 Recruit receiving four stars by, and one of the top shooting guards in the nation. Often cited for his strength, he is an athletic player both at the wing and driving towards the goal.

Along with Thornwell, the 2013 recruits are filled out with three three-star players, led by the 6-foot-9-inch power forward and Faith Baptist Christian School star Demetrius Henry, who cited Frank Martin as a main reason why he chose the Gamecocks over hometown University of Miami. Desmond Ringer, at 6-feet-9-inches, playscenter, and Duane Notice, who played his prep school years at St. Thomas More School, round out the three-star trio.

Justin McKie, who graduated from nearby Irmo High School, and Reggie Theus, Jr. finish Martin’s first full recruiting class.

This year’s Gamecocks will be seeking a winning record and some high profile wins from the Diamond Head Classic, where they could be playing teams like St. Mary’s, Boise State and George Mason, and from within their own conference when they match up again the top-ranked Kentucky and strong contenders Florida, LSU, and Tennessee.