Coach Frank Martin has already signed a couple of players to join the 2021 Gamecock basketball squad, but he may not be done quite yet.
If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Bruner’s older sister, Ashley, was a member of Dawn Staley’s women’s team from 2009-2013. Originally from Oklahoma, the Bruners relocated to Columbia when Ashley signed with the Gamecocks.
After wrapping up his high school career at Spring Valley, the younger Bruner, Jordan, signed with the Yale Bulldogs. In his senior year, he averaged nearly a double-double a night at 10.9 PPG and 9.2 RPG. That includes fantastic performances against ACC clubs North Carolina (17 pts, 15 reb) and Clemson (10 pts, 13 reb). He also recorded the first triple-double in program history last month in a game vs. Cornell (14 pts, 11 reb, 10 ast). Bruner led Yale to a 23-7 record and a first-place finish in the Ivy League.
Following the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, he actually intended to go through the NBA draft process, but with the uncertainty surrounding the current landscape of sports, he is now considering other options.
Bruner missed his sophomore year due to a torn meniscus, but Ivy League schools don’t allow for redshirt seasons, meaning a return to the Bulldogs is off the table.
He does, however, have the option to join another team as a graduate transfer. And the interest from coaches around the nation is already peaking. According to Evan Daniels of 247Sports, a plethora of schools have reached out to him, including Kansas, Baylor, Maryland, Xavier, Florida State, and Duke.
Frank Martin certainly has a battle on his hands if he intends to land Bruner, but there seems to be at least some mutual interest. The Gamecocks don’t have a roster spot open at the moment, but could see some offseason attrition in the form of transfers or AJ Lawson’s upcoming NBA decision. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out over the next few weeks, but it would be a huge pickup for coach Martin and Co. should Bruner decide to return to Columbia.