January 30, 2015

#STRecruiting: North Carolina receiver eying possible Clemson commitment this weekend

Cornell Powell

Cornell Powell

Clemson has its 2015 class in place and is not turning full time attention to the 2016 group.  Dabo Swinney and his staff will welcome a number of highly regarded juniors to campus Saturday and at least one is seriously considering committing before leaving.

WR Cornell Powell (6-1 190) of Greenville, NC is one of the early hot prospects in the Carolinas and right now he has Clemson as his clear leader over Ohio State, NC State and North Carolina, and if it feels right, he just might commit Saturday.

“I talked it over with my head coach and I’ve got my mind made up,” Powell said.  “It will be my mother’s first time coming down.  If not this Saturday (commit), then definitely soon.  I just want my mother to see the campus.”

Powell has seen the campus.  He was at Clemson for the NC State game and that left a lasting impression.

“The whole campus was beautiful,” he said.  “I went to the game and it was crazy.  The fans, the student section.  The whole city stopped what it was doing.  The coaches are real cool, down to earth guys.”

Powell has had two excellent seasons catching the football.  Last season he caught 67 passes for 1248 yards and 19 touchdowns.  As a sophomore he had 47 catches for 1228 yards and 21 touchdowns.  Catching the football is what he does best and Powell feels Clemson’s offense would give him plenty of opportunity to do that.

“It fits right in with what I want to do,” Powell said.  “They are known for developing wide receivers and getting them to the next level, that’s why they’re called Wide Receiver U,  and I want to be a part of it.”

#STRecruiting: USC in a three way battle for South Florida DB Fenton

Rashad Fenton

Rashad Fenton

DB Rashad Fenton of Miami will visit Auburn this coming weekend and then make a decision between the Tigers, USC and Florida according to his coach Aubrey Hill who played for Steve Spurrier at Florida.  Miami made a late run in an attempt to get the final official visit but Hill said Fenton will stick with his plan to visit Auburn.

USC and Auburn coaches have been in this week to see Fenton and Florida will be in on Thursday.  Fenton made his official visit to USC last weekend and his coach feels the Gamecocks are in decent shape with him.

“I think South Carolina is going to have a shot,” Hill said.  “South Carolina has a shot but he’s going to have to take his last visit.  But I think South Carolina is going to have a chance.  He liked Steve Spurrier and I told him he’s going to like the defensive coordinator coach Ward.  He got along with the players real well.  He also mentioned a place down there called Five Points.  He said there were a lot of friendly people and very good facilities.  He said e had a good visit and he’s excited about seeing if that’s going to be an option of his.”

Hill said he and Fenton will sit down Sunday night and go from there with his decision making process.  But the decision likely will come before Wednesday because Fenton is playing in the International Bowl in Texas and won’t be at the school for National Signing Day.

“I don’t know where he’s going right now,” the coach said.

Spurrier did not make an in home visit with Fenton but Hill said that’s not a factor in the final decision.

Gamecocks come up short at LSU (VIDEO)

Carrera had season high 10 boards vs LSU (File Photo)

Carrera had season high 10 boards vs LSU (File Photo)

The Carolina men’s basketball team’s recent offensive struggles continued on the road Wednesday night, as a strong interior defense from LSU would be the difference in a 64-58 loss. It is the third straight road loss for the Gamecocks, and drops its overall record to 10-9 and 1-6 in the SEC while the Tigers move to 16-4 and 5-2 in the conference.

The first half was competitive throughout despite a lengthy scoring drought from Carolina. Sindarius Thornwell scored seven of the team’s first nine points in the game. The teams traded baskets at a healthy clip through the first seven minutes, but slowed towards the midway point of the half.

Marcus Stroman gave the Gamecocks a 15-13 lead with 13:52 to play, but the team would go the next six minutes without a point. The Tigers would not take full advantage, scoring just seven points themselves in the same stretch thanks to Carolina’s effort on defense and on the glass. Michael Carrera would sink a free throw to snap the streak, and after missing his second try an offensive rebound would find Tyrone Johnson. The senior spotted up from 3 and sank his first of the game.

The Gamecocks would make 5-of-11 shots after the cold streak to close out the half, while holding LSU to just one make on nine attempts in the final six minutes to trail by just 29-28 at the break. Duane Notice would take over the scoring duties from Thornwell and led the team with nine points in the half.

The first five points out of halftime would be scored by Carolina, including a three from Michael Carrera. Owning a 43-39 lead with 13 minutes to play, the Gamecocks would fall victim to a 7-0 run by LSU and gave up the lead. It would counter with three straight baskets in the paint for Mindaugas Kacinas to retake the lead with eight minutes to play.

The Tigers would take a brief 52-51 lead, but a layup and another 3 from Carrera gave the Gamecocks the four-point lead. Bolstered by a tough interior defense, LSU would mount one final run to close out the game.

The hosts went on a 12-2 run over the final 2:45 to earn the win, and blocked four shots in the final 30 seconds to keep the Gamecocks from taking the road win, including two that would have either tied the game or put Carolina ahead. LSU made each of its final three field goal attempts in the game, and converted 5-of-6 free throws in the final 20 seconds.

Final Stats

Frank Martin post game comments

Sindarius Thornwell following LSU game

#STRecruiting: OL Trey Derouen set to announce and it’s a toss up

Trey Derouen

Trey Derouen

The momentum USC had built with OL Trey Derouen of Lilburn, GA appears to have evaporated.

Derouen was favoring the Gamecocks coming off his official visit last weekend and an in home visit with Steve Spurrier Monday night.

But Wednesday he met with Louisville coach Bobby Petrino and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and now calls his decision 50-50 between the Gamecocks and Cardinals.  As of Wednesday night, Derouen said he had not made the decision.

Derouen cancelled a scheduled visit to Kansas State for Wednesday and Thursday and this weekend’s visit to Florida.

He will announce his decision via Twitter Thursday night at 8:00 PM.

The Gamecocks also will learn soon if they are holding on to OL Christian Pellage of Brooksville, FL.  He has been committed since the summer but has been giving Florida consideration after visiting there earlier this month.  He said he will have his final decision Thursday night or Friday.


#STRecruiting: USC OL commitment Pellage holding to his pledge right now

Christian Pellage

Christian Pellage

OL Christian Pellage of Brooksville, FL  has been a USC commitment since August but the new Florida staff has tried to peel him away from the Gamecocks.  He made an official visit to Florida earlier this month and last weekend he made the visit to USC.  While giving the Gators consideration, Pellage has not backed off of his commitment.  And the commitment appeared to be strengthened by the official visit.

“The highlight was everything,” Pellage said.  “Getting with the coaches again and getting around the players again, it feels like a family here.  I love it here.  I’m going to pretty much reevaluate the last two trips, here and Florida, and see what is the best thing for me to choose and see if I’m doing the right thing.”

Pellage said he spent time with fellow offensive line commitments Zack Bailey, Blake Camper and prospect Trey Derouen.

Pellage said USC offensive line coach Shawn Elliott laid out the Gamecocks’ offensive tackle situation.

“We are low on tackles,” he said.  “He has a good feeling about me and thinks I could get a good amount of playing time in if I work hard and learn the system.  That’s my plan.”

Pellage said he and the family will get together this week to discuss things and he could have a final decision later in the week.  Mississippi State was angling for a visit but he won’t take one there.