South Carolina basketball picked up another transfer for the ’21 roster.
Frank Martin has seen a lot of movement on the basketball roster over the last month, having four players opt to transfer out of the program, while two more have decided to test the NBA waters. While Keyshawn Bryant and Jermaine Couisnard could return should they not receive the professional feedback they desire, it’s safe to say that the team will look a lot different in the upcoming season.
The coaching staff has been hot on the transfer portal over the past few weeks in order to fill these newly vacant roster spots with immediate contributors. The Gamecocks added two newcomers last week, with Chico Carter and AJ Wilson committing to the program, and it now looks as though a third player will join them for the ’21 season.
Former Wichita State and Washington guard Erik Stevenson announced his pledge to the South Carolina basketball team over the weekend. He chose the Gamecocks over his other finalists, BYU and Butler.
Stevenson played for Gregg Marshall at Wichita State throughout his freshman and sophomore campaigns. In those two seasons, he averaged 6.5 and 11.1 points per game, respectively. Following Marshall’s firing, Stevenson opted to leave the program and return to his home state of Washington.
In his lone season with the Huskies, he saw a slight dip in scoring (9.3 ppg) but also recorded career highs in minutes played and free throw shooting percentage. He notched double figures in 12 of his final 17 games, beginning with a 27-point outburst versus Cal in early January.
Across his three-year college career, Stevenson has averaged 8.8 points a contest while connecting on 36% of his attempts. He’s also recorded decent rebounding numbers from the guard position, nabbing four a game, and has been known to be a great on-ball defender. Defense, alone, will earn him minutes for Frank Martin next year, and it seems to be a theme in the recent transfer additions.
They’ve now landed a long, active defender to help in the backcourt, while the previously mentioned AJ Wilson comes to South Carolina after leaving George Mason as the program’s all-time leader in blocked shots. Defense was something that was certainly missing from last season’s team, with the Gamecocks allowing an SEC-worst 79.1 points a game.
Expect more changes within the South Carolina roster, as some speculate that the Gamecocks will lose a few more players from last year’s squad. While the departures sting, Frank Martin has done a solid job in revamping the lineup with instant impact contributors.