March 2, 2015

#STRecruiting: USC among the offers for big Virginia offensive lineman

Josh Ball

Josh Ball

OL Josh Ball (6-7 305) of Fredericksburg, VA has 18 offers at this point including one from USC.   Some of the other offers include West Virginia, Virginia, NC State, Maryland, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

Ball has been to junior days at Duke, NC State, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Virginia Tech, and he’s been to Maryland and Virginia on unofficial visits.  He will visit Penn State this weekend and another of his future trips will be to USC.

“I’m really interested in South Carolina,” Ball said.  “I definitely want to get down for a visit soon, maybe for a spring practice.  The SEC is one of the best.  I’m really excited about South Carolina.  I’m doing my research and can’t wait to meet Coach Spurrier.”

Deke Adams is recruiting Ball for USC and is in regular contact.  He wants to visit as many of the offering schools as he can to check them out, evaluate the coaches and look over the campus.  He would like to make his decision before his season and does not have a favorite.

Ball is an offensive tackle but he also plays guard.  Coaches tell him they love his size and how he finishes his blocks.


#STRecruiting: USC offers junior college forward for spring signing period

Russell Woods

Russell Woods

USC basketball coach Frank Martin is looking to add another big man to his roster this spring and Thursday an offer went out to PF Russell Woods (6-8 220) of  John A. Logan College in Illinois.  The offer was first reported by Brad Winston of

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USC women clinch tie for second straight SEC championship

Mitchell led USC with 16 points (File Photo)

Mitchell led USC with 16 points (File Photo)

No. 2/2 South Carolina secured at least a share of the SEC Regular Season Championship for the second-straight season with a 69-50 win over No. 11/13 Mississippi State on Senior Night at Colonial Life Arena. Tiffany Mitchell scored a game-high 16 points as the Gamecocks (28-1, 15-0 SEC) captured their program-record 15th SEC win and capped their second-straight undefeated season at home.

Feeding off the Senior Day energy, the Gamecocks hit their first four shots and forced turnovers on Mississippi State’s first two possessions. All three seniors got in on the act with Elem Ibiam scoring the night’s first points with a pair of free throws. Mitchell set Olivia Gaines up for a long two on the right wing, and Aleighsa Welch followed a Mitchell jumper with a jump shot just outside the left block to pull out to an early 11-4 lead.

South Carolina maintained a small lead for the next 10 minutes, but the Bulldogs drew within three with 6:26 to play at 19-16.Asia Dozier kicked off a 12-2 run with back-to-back drives to the hoop. Then, Khadijah Sessions and Mitchell saw their defensive pressure pay off. Mitchell perfectly picked off a telegraphed pass and took it all the way to the other hoop. After helping to force the Bulldogs into a tough 3-pointer that missed the mark, Mitchell drained a jumper on the other end. She stepped in front of a Bulldog in-bound pass for another steal and pushed it ahead to Sessions. Sessions kicked it back to the trailing Mitchell for a basket and a foul. Mitchell converted the three-point play to cap the run that made the score 31-18 with three minutes remaining in the half.

Freshman Vivian Vivians found the basket again for Mississippi State, scoring five points on a jumper and a long 3, but the Gamecocks answered as A’ja Wilson netted a jumper and they forced consecutive Bulldog turnovers. Back on offense, Sessions lobbed the ball into the paint looking for Alaina Coates. The center skied to control the pass, hit the jumper and drew the foul. She missed the ensuing free throw, but Wilson cleaned it up for another basket. Vivians swished a 3 from the deep left corner just before the buzzer to make the score 39-26 at the half.

After Mississippi State’s Martha Alwal scored on a layup to open the period, and the Gamecocks turned the ball over twice for a shaky start. Mitchell got things back on track, though, as the reigning SEC Player of the Year single-handedly broke the full court press to net a layup. Gaines ripped down the rebound on the other end, and Sessions drove to the hoop through traffic to grow the lead to 15 at 43-28 just less than 2:30 into the second half. The Bulldogs answered by scoring on back-to-back trips down the court on free throws from Vivian and a deep 3 from Jerica James.

Sessions held them off, fueling the Gamecocks for six quick points. First, the guard drove along the baseline and kicked up to Welch for jumper. Sessions kept it for herself next, scooping in a layup. After a missed Mitchell shot, Gaines tracked down the long offensive rebound and gave it back to Sessions who found an open Ibiam to cap the 90-second run and make the score 49-33 with 13:32 to play.

Both teams fell out of sync on offense for a large part of the second half, going a combined 3-of-22 over a nearly seven-minute stretch. During the lull South Carolina pushed the lead to 20 with a pair of Coates jumpers in the paint and two free throws with 6:18 to play. Mississippi State began relying on 3s to close the gap, attempting eight in the final six minutes. LaKaris Salter was 4-of-5 from behind the line in the stretch, but it was not enough as the Gamecocks held off the Bulldogs for the 69-50 win.

Mitchell rounded out her line with three steals, two assists and four rebounds. Wilson and Coates joined Mitchell in double figures with 13 and 10, respectively. Coates and Wilson pulled down seven rebounds each. Gaines was 4-of-5 from the floor to score a career-high nine points while adding three rebounds and a steal. In addition to her lock-down defense, Sessions dished our four assists and swiped two steals to go with five points. South Carolina was 26-of-51 from the field to shoot 51.0 percent while holding the Bulldogs to 34.5 percent from the floor after allowing just seven made field goals in the second half.

Final Stats

Dawn Staley post game presser

Olivia Gaines & Tiffany Mitchell post game



#STRecruiting: Two sport standout Overton considering Clemson & USC offers

Diondre Overton

Diondre Overton

WR Diondre Overton (6-5 195) of Greensboro, NC is one of the top two sport athletes in North Carolina.  As a receiver last season for Page High School, Overton had 61 catches for 1187 yards and 11 touchdowns.  And this basketball season he’s averaging 14 points per game.

Overton would like to play both sports in college, at least for his freshman season, before deciding on one sport full time.  But only Virginia  Tech has offered him for both sports at this point meaning football likely will be his ultimate choice.

Overton attended Clemson’s junior day last month and right now he has the Tigers and NC State at the top of his list.

“I really love Clemson,” Overton said.  “I went there on junior day and it was a good time.  My family loved it.  They showed me it was a great place for me, an at home environment.  They way they do their wide receivers, they have a lot, so it’s a rotation but they said I’d get a lot of touches, that’ I’d be a great fit.  It’s the new Wide Receiver U.”

Overton also has an offer from USC but has yet to visit.  He has been in touch with Gamecock recruiter Deke Adams.

“They have a great reputation football wise,” he said.  “I like how they’ve put a name out there for themselves.”

Overton also has offers from NC State, East Carolina, Old Dominion, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Duke, Louisville, West Virginia, Boston College, Tennessee and Kentucky.

He had planned to visit Tennessee last weekend but the weather kept him at home.  He’s been to NC State several times.  He has not yet been to Clemson for a football game.

Overton said the Clemson football staff has talked to Brad Brownell about his basketball opportunities there and he was told that he would got a shot with the basketball team.  This summer Overton hopes to land more basketball offers thru his AAU performance.

He plans to make is decision during or after his football season.  He is not graduating early so he can play his senior season of basketball.

Chad Holbrook previews weekend against archrival (AUDIO)

USC's Chad Holbrook previews Clemson series.

USC’s Chad Holbrook previews Clemson series.

Thursday afternoon USC baseball coach Chad Holbrook met with the media concerning his squad’s weekend date with archrival Clemson.

The series the state has been waiting for will get underway Friday night at Doug Kingsmore in Clemson.  The series will remain in the upstate Saturday for game 2 at Flour Field in Greenville, before culminating Sunday in the Capital City at Carolina Stadium.

A notable move Holbrook is making for the series will be with his arms.  Jack Wynkoop has been the Friday starter thus far in 2015, but Sophomore Will Crowe will get the nod Friday night at Clemson with Wynkoop getting the start for game 2.

Holbrook also admits that some starting positions for Friday night’s matchup have still not been decided as of today.  He also detailed his team’s recent successes against the Tigers, and more.

Chad Holbrook [6:00]