January 26, 2015

#STRecruiting: OL Derouen leaves Columbia with USC big favorite

Trey Derouen

Trey Derouen

OL Trey Derouen of Lilburn,, GA made his official visit to USC over the weekend and while he  did not make a commitment, he appears to be the Gamecocks to lose at this point.

“Great place to be at and I can see myself playing there,” Derouen said.

As for what stood out the most to him, Derouen said, “Coach Elliott and the players, commits.”

Derouen has also visited Louisville and will visit Kansas State January 28th and Florida this coming weekend.

Asked if he had a leader after the USC visit, Derouen said “Gamecocks” and confirmed that it was a large lead.

The Gamecocks are recruiting Derouen as a guard.


Long dry spell dooms Gamecocks against top ranked Kentucky (VIDEO/AUDIO)

Demetrius Henry with one of USC's 12 baskets Saturday

Demetrius Henry with one of USC’s 12 baskets Saturday

Sindarius Thornwell hit a three pointer with 4:31 to play in the first half to give USC a 24-23 lead over top ranked Kentucky.  That would be the last hurrah for the Gamecocks.

They went into an extended scoring drought that stretched into the second half and allowed the Wildcats to pull away to a 58-43 win at sold out Colonial Life Arena Saturday afternoon.

The loss is USCs 3rd in a row and 5th in six games.  The Gamecocks are 10-8 and 1-5 in the SEC.  The Wildcats improve to 19-0 and 6-0 in the league.

Sindarius Thornwell led USC with 14 points.  Freshman Devin Booker was the game’s high scorer off the bench with 18.

Next up for the Gamecocks is a road trip to LSU Wednesday night.  They are back at home next Saturday against Georgia.

Here’s my game recap:

Frank Martin

Kentucky coach John Calipari

AUDIO: Frank Martin [16:12]

AUDIO: Sindarius Thornwell & Michael Carrera [4:46]

AUDIO: John Calipari [11:41]

Final Stats

Take a look and listen to Spurrier Saturday at the CLA (VIDEO/AUDIO)

Steve Spurrier

Steve Spurrier

USC football coach Steve Spurrier gave his annual pep talk to the Gamecock fans in attendance for the Kentucky basketball game Saturday afternoon.  Also in the crowd, 23 recruits on official visits including four uncommitted targets.

Spurrier made no excuses for the 7-6 season of 2014 and talked with excitement about the 2015 campaign.  He finished his remarks to the fans by telling them to circle November 28th (Clemson game in Columbia) on their calendar.

After addressing the crowd for five minutes, Spurrier met with the media in the loading dock area in the back of Colonial Life Arena.

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Roland to finish college career in the SWAC

Shaq Roland is headed to D-2

Shaq Roland is headed to D-2

Former USC receiver Shaq Roland, a one time Mr. Football award winner from Lexington, will play his final season of college football at Prairie View A&M where his head coach will be former Clemson and Citadel quarterback Willie “Shotgun” Simmons.  Roland’s mother confirmed her son’s plans to Josh Kendall of GoGamecocks.com.

Roland had also considered the option of transferring to Coastal Carolina but that would have required him to sit out the 2015 season.  He will be eligible immediately at Prairie View though his mother said he faces a two or four game academic suspension at the start of the season.

Roland caught 56 passes for 891 yards in his three years at USC.  He left the team prior to the bowl game in December.

Listen as Chad Holbrook previews USC baseball for 2015 (AUDIO)

Taylor Widener will be key to any USC success this season

Taylor Widener will be key to any USC success this season

The expectations are still very high around the USC baseball program as Chad Holbrook begins season three at the helm.  One pre-season poll has the Gamecocks ranked as high as #5, thought Holbrook is not buying that, at least in January.  He lost several talented players from last year’s squad which did not advanced past the regional round of the NCAA Tournament.

However, Holbrook can count on a bevy of infielders to give him some defensive flexibility, and he has two of his three weekend starters back.  Questions at catcher and closer have to be quickly answered in the next 21 days before they open a three game series with the College of Charleston in Columbia.

Senior first baseman Kyle Martin has emerged as the team leader and another senior, Connor Bright, is healthy and expected to have a big season in right field.  Gene Cone is slated to man centerfield and will likely bat leadoff.  Elliott Caldwell could be the leftfielder though that is still to be determined.

Holbrook added that junior second baseman Max Schrock has lost weight and has himself in the best condition of his career.  He calls Schrock one of the best players in college baseball and expects to see that kind of production from him now that he’s healthy.

The shortstop position is up for grabs between Jordan Gore and Marcus Mooney but both will play.  One could slide to the outfield.  DC Arendas and Madison Stokes will also figure into the infield equation as Holbrook moves players in and out at second and third.

The catching battle right now is between Logan Koch and freshman Hunter Taylor.  And if opening day were today, Holbrook said Taylor Widener would be the closer though he’s still contemplating using him in the rotation.

Righthander Wil Crowe and lefthander Jack Wynkoop are penciled in as two of the three weekend starters.

AUDIO: Chad Holbrook [19:33]