6-4 Austin Swartz of Concord, NC visited USC unofficially Saturday for the Arkansas game and met first year Gamecock coach Lamont Paris for the first time. It was a beneficial meeting for Swartz because he came away with an offer from Paris, and the Gamecocks join an impressive list of programs who are now going after him.
“They gave me a tour before the game, and it was the first time I’ve gotten to talk to Coach Paris, so that was good,” Swartz said. “He just talked to me about the offense and how he would love to have me here. He showed me how I would fit in what he likes to do, and he told me I’m a player that could help him win.”
From his conversation with Paris, Swartz got an idea of how he would be used in the various offensive sets the coach likes to run, and he felt like what Paris likes is what he likes to do. He also was not turned off in the least by the Gamecocks’ struggles this season.
“It’s his first year there, so you’re going to have bumps and it’s probably not going to look too good as it’s not looking right now,” Swartz said. “Not too many first year head coaches that have 22-5 records or whatever it is. He carries himself the same whether he’s losing or he’s winning. He’s very steady and I think that’s important to when you’re a head coach. He acts the same when he’s down and the same when he’s up. I think he’s great. I think Coach Paris fits what I like to do. He plays to my strengths.”
Clemson is also in the hunt for Swartz, and he paid a visit to Brad Brownell and company January 14th when they beat Duke at Littlejohn Coliseum.
“It was good to talk to Coach Brownell,” Swartz said. “It was the first Clemson game I’ve been to. It was good to see how they play. It’s been going well, been talking to coach (Lucas) McKay and to coach (Sean) Dixon a lot. Those are the main two. They are somewhere in the top of the list for sure. I think Coach Brownell is a great coach. He’s doing great, they are on top of the ACC.”
Swartz called his favorites right now as Clemson, NC State, Tennessee, Illinois and Georgia, with USC also in position to get an official visit. The only official visit he has determined is one to Illinois after the season. He added he’s not close on a decision at this point.
This season Swartz is averaging 25 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per game.