South Carolina Basketball: Incoming freshman still rising up the rankings

South Carolina Basketball

South Carolina basketball signee Collin Murray-Boyles blocks Vyctorius Miller’s shot at Chaparral High School. Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic

South Carolina basketball had a tough 2022-2023 season. With massive amounts of roster attrition last offseason and this offseason, the team will likely include only two or three members from the Frank Martin tenure. Roster shakeups mean opportunities for new players, however, and one newcomer will have the chance to compete for playing time as soon as he steps on campus.

Collin Murray-Boyles was the first commitment for Lamont Paris’ 2023 recruiting class. The 6’7″ forward can play either forward spot and has shown recent improvements that should have Gamecock fans excited about his future. A Columbia native, Murray-Boyles spent his senior year at a larger school in Utah to play higher levels of competition. The move has paid off as the formerly lowly-rated forward is now considered a 4-star prospect.

Murray-Boyles signed with the Gamecocks during the 2023 signing period, so fans need not worry about losing him. His recent ascension up recruiting rankings would have made him a highly sought-after prospect had pen not already met paper. Now part of the top-150 national prospects according to 247Sports and top-100 according to on3, the forward could come in and see immediate playing time in Columbia.

Murray-Boyles’ left-handed game and mid-range proficiency could remind Gamecock fans of legendary South Carolina forward Carlos Powell. While not yet as strong as Powell, Murray-Boyles possesses the same sneaky athleticism that made Powell into a great Gamecock and a 13-year professional player overseas. Another similarity to #15, Murray-Boyles is an aggressive clean-up man on the glass as he loves going for putback dunks in traffic.

With the South Carolina roster in the state it is in, Coach Paris and his staff will be looking to the transfer portal to find forwards. Josh Gray and Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk are the only returning forwards on the roster as both Zachary Davis and Embrima Dibba are better-suited as taller perimeter players. Neither Gray nor Bosmans-Verdonk play outside of the paint much, so a versatile, athletic forward like Murray-Boyles could start at the 3 or 4 if the right portal fits aren’t found. Even if the Gamecocks bring in a veteran, expect Murray-Boyles to play lots of minutes.

Already over 200 pounds, Murray-Boyles won’t face the usual freshman issue of being too thin. His frame also appears to be able to add good weight as 225 pounds seems like a functional possibility as he continues to grow. His brother James plays professionally overseas and is 6’7″ and 215 pounds.

Murray-Boyles will be joined in the class by fellow combo forward Arden Conyers. As of now, the Gamecocks have not brought in any transfer portal players, but the roster has four extra scholarships that need to be used.