A popular saying in life, and sports, is when one window closes, another opens. So, when USC learned Brian Bowen would not be eligible to play this season and would stay in the NBA Draft, that gave the Gamecocks an opportunity to officially offer 6-7 Keyshawn Bryant of Winter Haven, FL. He gladly accepted.
“I got a text that they were interested in me a few weeks ago and we where waiting to try to get to know each more, see what kind of guy I am and see what kind of guy he (Frank Martin) is,” Bryant said. “I did some background research on the school. We were waiting on the Brian Bowen situation. I got the call Tuesday that they were ready for me and I came up right away.”
Bryant came in for his official visit last week and he said it didn’t take him long to know he had found his new home. ‘
“I loved he place,” Bryant said. “I liked the coaching staff, the players, it was all kind of cool. In fact I told my dad, I got to know Frank Martin a little bit more and it was like, this is the place to be. I like Frank because Frank keeps it real with you. That’s the number one thing. I want someone to keep it real with me from day one. Don’t never sugarcoat anything with me.”
Bryant averaged 22 points and 8 rebounds per game last season. Basketball analysts who have critiqued him rave about his jumping ability and ability to get to the rim. But he said he’s a more complete basketball player than that.
“I can shoot a mid-range pretty good and like to run off the screens with the little jump shot in the mid-range, and I can defend full court,” he said. “I’m a pretty good slasher. I can leap, I can grab rebounds. And I can sit down and defend smaller guards because I’m quick.”
Bryant said he’s full aware of Martin’s demonstrative and demanding coaching style and he’s looking forward to getting a taste of that.
I think I’m ready for coaching from Frank Martin. A critical guy. I need somebody hard on me. That’s what I like. If you’re not on hard on me, then I slack off. His style is great with me.”
Bryant took an official visit to Tulane early last week meeting with Green Wave head coach and former Gamecock star Mike Dunleavy. That was the only other official visit he took. Some of his other reported offers were Wichita State, Florida Gulf Coast, Georgia, Memphis and Charlotte.
Bryant said he’s not sure when he’ll enroll in school but is hoping to do so this week or next week.