#STRecruiting: #Gamecocks making a strong run at 6-9 forward

Jalen DeLoach

6-9 Jalen DeLoach has been a journeyman in high school basketball circles. His start was at Island High School followed by a transfer to nearby Johnson in Savannah. But he was ruled ineligible to play there so he moved on to Gray Collegiate in Columbia where he won a state championship. From there, DeLoach moved to Lilburn, GA for a season at Berkmar High School to be closer to his AAU coach in Atlanta. And this season he will play for The Skill Factory in Atlanta. His next stop will be at a college, and that could well be USC.

The Gamecocks are hot on his trail. New assistant coach Will Bailey was recruiting DeLoach at Saint Louis and he picked back up on him with the Gamecocks. And Frank Martin also new about him from his season at Gray and also jumped on board in the recruiting effort and made the offer September 4th.

“It’s a blessing to get an offer from Coach Frank,” DeLoach said.  “He had seen me at Gray but then I kind of went off the radar.  Coach Will Bailey came from Saint Louis, and he had recruited me at Saint Louis and started recruiting me at South Carolina.  We just kept building that bond, and me and Coach Frank built a bond.  He saw all my film and offered me a scholarship.”

And because of his time spent in Columbia at Gray, DeLoach is no stranger to the Gamecocks.

“I’ve been to like four practices with Coach Frank,” DeLoach said.  “I already know how he his.  They’ve got Trae Hannibal, Seventh Woods, Ja’Von Benson.  They’ve got a whole bunch of bigs that I know, and people that I know at South Carolina or heard about.”

De’Loach is a big with small man skills. He can play inside and roam on the perimeter. And he’s not afraid to defend anywhere on the court. That, he said, really impressed Martin.

“How I can guard the one thru five, I can shoot the ball, I’m very versatile,” DeLoach said.  “He loves everything about me.  He said I can guard the point to the center.  I can do everything.  He wants me at the three or four at South Carolina.”

DeLoach said USC, Houston and Ole Miss have been on him the strongest. He was just offered by VCU Tuesday, and also has offers from Georgia, Iona, Texas Southern and Appalachian State. Clemson offered him a while back but he said he’s not being recruited by the Tigers.

DeLoach wants to take official visits to USC, Houston, Ole Miss, Texas Southern and Iona, and Martin has given him an indication when basketball recruiting might go live again.

“Coach Frank said they should be able to come see us December 1st and we can take officials January 1st probably,” he said.  “That’s what they’re talking about right now.”

DeLoach is listed as a three-star prospect and the #20 prospect in Georgia in the 247Sports Composite. Last season he averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks per game.

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