South Carolina basketball: Gamecocks in the pros

The South Carolina Gamecocks celebrate during the 2017 NCAA Tournament. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
The South Carolina Gamecocks celebrate during the 2017 NCAA Tournament. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Sindarius Thornwell #0 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Sindarius Thornwell-New Orleans Pelicans

Sindarius Thornwell is by far the greatest South Carolina basketball player of the 21st Century, earning SEC Player of the Year honors as a senior, and leading the Gamecocks to the Final Four. After being drafted by the Bucks in the 2017 draft, he’s spent a few years bouncing from team to team.

Thornwell was released by the Clippers earlier this season, and was very close to playing overseas, before ultimately landing an offer to play for the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA bubble.

Thornwell got significant minutes in the bubble’s preseason action and proved to be a valuable veteran for the young New Orleans roster. Thornwell had a few good outings, even earning a spot on HouseOfHighlights with an awesome “Nutmeg” assist.

His contract ends after this season but his performance in the bubble should help him draw some interest from other NBA organizations ahead of the 2021 season.

Brian Bowen II- Indiana Pacers/Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Brian Bowen II never actually played for the Gamecocks but did attempt to join the team after his family was one of many in a Louisville basketball scandal. Bowen was with the program for a total of 140 days, practicing with the team  but never getting NCAA approval to participate in game action.

According to TheState, even when Bowen was unsure how his NBA Draft Combine results were he still came back to Columbia to help recruit players for Martin’s program. Bowen helped recruit T.J. Moss and A.J. Lawson.

Bowen skipped the NBA draft in 2018 and played internationally in Australia for the Sydney Kings. Bowen is currently on a two-way deal with the Indiana Pacers, signing with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Bowen averaged over 16 points and seven rebounds an outing last year.

PJ Dozier- Denver Nuggets

PJ Dozier was a five-star recruit that followed in his father’s footsteps by attending South Carolina. Dozier was one of the best basketball recruits the program has ever had. He was ranked as the 25th best player in the nation by 247 Sports coming out of the 2015 class.

Dozier was apart of the Gamecocks’ historic Final Four run. After going undrafted, Dozier bounced around a few different teams before landing a spot on the Denver Nuggets, where he’s gotten the chance to prove his value.

Chris Silva- Miami Heat

Chris Silva just finished his rookie tour for the Miami Heat and he could not be having a better season. Silva has been showing out in his minutes that he’s getting with Jimmy Butler and their team of underdogs.

Silva was an important piece to the Final Four run, playing alongside Thornwell and Dozier. He’s beloved in Columbia for his dominant defensive performances and his passion for the game. Silva is currently in the playoffs with the Heat in a reserve role.

Whether you believe he is short-term or long-term in Miami, he may be the Gamecock with the most upside in the NBA.