South Carolina Gamecocks News: Football, recruiting, basketball begins, and more

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /

Here is the latest South Carolina Gamecocks News from the last week, starting with a big sigh of relief from the football team after a closer-than-it-should-have-been game against Jacksonville State.

In an ugly win over the “other” Gamecocks, South Carolina football won 38-28 on the back of four takeaways.

A 2nd quarter fumble recovery by Tonka Hemingway (stemming from a self-inflicted fumble by JSU’s backup quarterback) was Carolina’s first takeaway in over 14 quarters of football.

A few Gamecocks made statistical history or were nominated for national awards.

Wide receiver Xavier Legette finished the JSU game with the second-most receiving yards in a single-game performance in Gamecock history (217).

Quarterback Spencer Rattler moved into 9th on the all-time USC passing list, passing Dylan Thompson. He is also on pace to break the all-time completion percentage record.

Freshman defensive back Jalon Kilgore was nominated for the Shaun Alexander Award, given to the country’s top freshman each season.

Running back Mario Anderson was nominated for the Burlsworth Award, earned each year by the top walk-on or former walk-on in college football.

The football team had one of the biggest (literally) recruits in the nation on campus.

David Sanders, ranked as highly as #1 in the country, is the top offensive tackle in the class of 2025, and he visited Columbia on Saturday.

There was some other minor recruiting news for the Gamecocks this week, as well.

2024 running back target Daniel Hill was named the high school player of the week in the state of Mississippi. He is deciding between South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee.

2025 4-star pass rusher Zahir Mathis put the Gamecocks in his top-5. South Carolina is joined by Texas, Tennessee, Florida State, and Ohio State.

After announcing that South Carolina football was in his top-8 earlier in the week, 2025 4-star tight end Logan Brooking committed to Clemson.

South Carolina women’s basketball star Kamilla Cardoso made a big-time preseason watch list.

The 6’7″ center will be the full-time starter down low this season after playing behind (and next to, at times) Aliyah Boston in recent seasons. Last week, she was one of 16 players to be put on the preseason watch list for the Wade Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top player.

Dawn Staley, as Dawn Staley does, appears close to landing one of the top prospects in the country.

Camden High School’s Joyce Edwards took her final visit last weekend, and it was to Columbia. Edwards is ranked as high as #1 in the country, and she is viewed as a lean to the Gamecocks. She revealed this past week that she plans to announce a commitment soon. South Carolina basketball fans should be optimistic.

Lamont Paris’ South Carolina basketball program also had a 5-star on campus this past weekend.

Jamier Jones, a 5-star wing with tremendous athleticism, was in Columbia for a visit. The class of 2025 shooting guard/small forward is a Florida native but has programs from all over the country courting him.

The men also had their final tune-up for the 2023-2024 season.

The Gamecocks topped the Wofford Terriers 60-57 in an exhibition at Colonial Life Arena. USC overcame a 17-point halftime deficit to pull out the win.

Mark Kingston’s baseball program stayed hot in recruiting.

High-upside junior college pitcher Brendan Sweeney committed to the program last week.

Gamecock baseball legend Jordan Montgomery is a World Series champion.

Gumby and his Texas Rangers team defeated the Arizona Cardinals (and former USC teammate Christian Walker) in five games to win the franchise’s first-ever World Series.

South Carolina baseball alum Wes Clarke participated in the Arizona Fall League Home Run Derby and All-Star Game this weekend.

Clarke did not advance past the first round in the Home Run Derby, but he had one of the longest home runs of the night and entertained the crowd by eating a hot dog during his brief timeout.

He picked up the start for the National League All-Stars in the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game (affectionately called the “Fall-Star Game,” playing first base and batting third.

Another Gamecock baseball legend was nominated for a major award at the MLB level.

Whit Merrifield, who just elected to become a free agent and who will collect a nice paycheck next season, was named a finalist for the Silver Slugger award in the American League for utility players. Merrifield split his time between second base and the corner outfield in 2023 and was an American League All-Star selection for the Toronto Blue Jays.

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