Marcus Stroman and Gamecocks Benefit from Overseas Experience


Marcus Stroman wrapped up his trip overseas with Guy Rancourt’s USA East Coast basketball club team last week. Before the trip Frank Martin stated to GamecocksOnline, “This will be a tremendous experience in basketball and life for Marcus.”

Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Last year Martin noted that the practice time and game experience that Ty Johnson and Sindarius Thornwell would gain from playing overseas would be invaluable, and it is no different for Stroman. The experience gave Stroman some extra practice time with a team and some valuable game experience against quality opponents.Although the team only won one game out of the four they played, Stroman showed in each game that he is a floor general and someone who is ready to make life uneasy for opposing guards while on defense. Leading the team in both assists (17) and steals (16) over the four game span, he showed what the fans and coaches can expect out of him this season. He will take care of the ball, distribute it, and play solid defense. Stroman should benefit from having more athleticism surrounding him this season as well as a healthy Thornwell and McDonald’s All-American P.J. Dozier.The added playing and practice time for Stroman is not the only bonus the Gamecocks get from having a player on the East Coast Team. It is also a big opportunity to boost the Gamecock brand for fans and recruiting. When the team has players capable of being a part of a team that plays overseas against solid competition, it excites the fan base. The Gamecocks already have great fan support as seen by attendance being ranked in the top 35 in the nation for a team that has not had much success in many years. Having two players that played for the East Coast team and a McDonald’s All-American should excite the fan base to a new level by boasting one of the most talented back courts in the country.

As far as recruiting is concerned, having the connection to the East Coast’s Rancourt is a big selling point for Frank Martin. “It will be great for Carolina to be once again represented overseas through the East Coast Basketball Club,” said Martin. He can sell recruits on the fact that he has now had three players take part in the event at South Carolina. It also puts the South Carolina brand alongside teams like Syracuse, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Maryland, and Iowa, who all had players on the team overseas.

South Carolina is a more appealing place to play basketball now than it has been in a long time. The only thing left to do is translate this success into wins.