South Carolina basketball: Justin Minaya enters transfer portal

A 4th member of the South Carolina basketball team has entered the transfer portal.

Rising senior forward Justin Minaya has announced his intentions to leave the South Carolina basketball program, making him the sixth player from last year’s squad to either enter the transfer portal or NBA draft process. In fact, Minaya plans to do both.

In a post on Instagram earlier today, the New Jersey native thanked the university for his time spent in Columbia while also looking forward to his future at a new stop, whether that be as a graduate transfer or a professional player.

He joins Keyshawn Bryant and Jermaine Couisnard as Gamecocks to enter the NBA draft, while former teammates TJ Moss, Jalyn McCreary, and Trae Hannibal also intend to transfer. It appears that the cupboard will be pretty bare for Frank Martin in 2021, with just AJ Lawson and Wildens Leveque remaining as key contributors from last year’s roster.

In 20 games last season, Minaya averaged seven points a game and led the team in rebounding. The wing man has seen his scoring figures, three-point shooting, and free throw accuracy go down in each of the last two seasons, but he was still a major presence in the South Carolina starting rotation.

With the departure, it becomes even more evident that the Gamecocks will need to hit the transfer portal hard this offseason in order to fill the roster with immediate contributors. Martin has already landed one addition in Murray State guard Chico Carter, who’s originally from Columbia, but he’ll need to continue bringing in quality talent over the coming months to fill these recent voids.

Things are beginning to look bleak for the future of the program as this appears to be the beginning of a rebuild that Frank Martin might not be sticking around for past this season.