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

South Carolina football scored an unconventional touchdown when Spencer Rattler found defensive tackle Boogie Huntley for a score in the 1st quarter. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football scored an unconventional touchdown when Spencer Rattler found defensive tackle Boogie Huntley for a score in the 1st quarter. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /

Here is the latest South Carolina Gamecocks News from the last week, starting with the Gamecock football squad whipping the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Shane Beamer’s team smacked Vanderbilt 47-6 for the largest margin of victory in the SEC rivalry’s history.

In a sloppy, wet game, the Gamecocks played well in almost every area.

Spencer Rattler went for over 300 yards passing and is now just two off of the all-time Gamecock record for 300-yard performances.

Xavier Legette had another 100-yard game, as well, putting him two games away from the single-season record for games with 100 yards. He also went over 1000 yards on the year, becoming just the fifth Gamecock to ever accomplish the feat.

Mario Anderson had over 100 yards with 72 coming on one impressive 2nd half run.

The defense had a good day. Outside of a couple of drives in which Vanderbilt had success running the ball, the Gamecocks dictated the game and dominated on defense.

The special teams finally got their first touchdown of the year as Keenan Nelson, Jr. blocked a punt, recovered the loose ball, and took the kick back for a touchdown.

Running back Juju McDowell suffered a season-ending collarbone injury during the game.

The Gamecocks made some mild recruiting news, as well.

Class of 2024 running back Daniel Hill was chosen as an All-American and will play in the All-American Bowl. He plans to announce his commitment during the game. South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee are his finalists, but the Gamecocks and Crimson Tide are the heavy favorites in his recruitment.

’24 flip candidate Quaysheed Scott was named the 8-AA Region Player of the Year in South Carolina. He is currently committed to Kentucky.

The top player in the class of 2025, 5-star offensive tackle David Sanders, was on campus for the Jacksonville State game and called his visit “amazing.”

Gamecock wide receiver Xavier Legette received an honor for his near record-breaking performance against Jacksonville State.

Legette was chosen as the National Co-Offensive Player of the Week by the Senior Bowl after going off for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns.

It was a great week for the South Carolina basketball teams, and it all started with Dawn Staley’s squad traveling to Paris, France to take on the #10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

After a tight first quarter, the Gamecocks started dominating. In the end, Kamilla Cardoso and MiLaysia Fulwiley were too much for the Irish, and USC won 100-71.

Cardoso finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Fulwiley had 17 points, 6 assists, 6 steals, and one ridiculous highlight that had Magic Johnson, Kevin Durant, and others talking about her online.

Just six days later, after returning to the States, USC played #14 Maryland at home.

In a similar pattern, the first quarter was close, but then Dawn Staley’s team blew it open, beating #14 Maryland by an astounding 114-76.

Seven Gamecocks (Te-Hina Paopao, Chloe Kitts, Ashlyn Watkins, Kamilla Cardoso, Tessa Johnson, MiLaysia Fulwiley, and Bree Hall) finished with at least 12 points, and Kitts and Watkins had double-doubles.

Lamont Paris’ men’s team had a nice week, as well.

On Monday, the Gamecocks opened the regular season with USC-Upstate and handled their business 82-53.

The Gamecocks shot over 50% from the field and from behind the 3-point line. Meechie Johnson and Ta’Lon Cooper led the way with 15 points, and BJ Mack and Myles Stute also had double-figures. The guards and wings handled most of the rebounding load.

On Friday, South Carolina basketball played a tough neutral site game against Virginia Tech in Charlotte as part of a triple-header for the Hall of Fame Series.

In a game that was close most of the way, the Gamecocks pulled out the impressive win by a score of 79-77.

Myles Stute (21) and BJ Mack (19) combined for 40 points, and Ta’Lon Cooper and Meechie Johnson were also in double-figures. The bigs rebounded better than they did against USC-Upstate, and Cooper and Johnson combined for 12 assists. The Gamecocks shot better than 50% from the field again, and they were just under 50% from outside.

Two Gamecocks are set for redshirts according to Coach Paris.

Freshman wing Arden Conyers and freshman walk-on combo guard Austin Herro (brother of NBA star Tyler Herro) will redshirt this year barring major changes.

The South Carolina basketball team officially welcomed its two class of 2024 signees.

Versatile forward Okku Federiko and sharpshooting wing Trent Noah both sent in their signed NLIs last week. Both players are ranked in the top-150 in the ’24 cycle.

There was some women’s basketball recruiting news over the last week, as well.

2024 5-star Kennedy Smith officially announced her top-5 (a list that included South Carolina basketball) and her commitment date. On Saturday, she announced her pledge to the “other USC” and committed to Southern Cal.

2025 5-star Zakiyah Johnson announced her top-12. South Carolina is joined by UCLA, Mississippi State, Arizona, Southern Cal, LSU, Notre Dame, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio State, UConn, and Lousiville.

The ’24 class had its first two commitments officially sign their National Letters of Intent last week. 5-star point guard Madisen McDaniel and 5-star post player Adhel Tac will be Gamecocks next year.

The Gamecock baseball team signed their 2024 class, as well.

While these players will not be on campus until the fall of 2024 (and won’t play until the spring of 2025), South Carolina baseball signed a top-10 class.

Players like 1B/OF PJ Morlando (the top-ranked player in the class), RHP Carson Messina, SS Dalton Wentz, IF KJ Scobey, and RHP Max McClellan all could be chosen relatively early in the 2024 MLB Draft, so these potential future Gamecocks could have to make the decision whether to go pro or go to school.

Mark Kingston’s club learned part of their future schedule after the conference expands in 2025.

Oklahoma and Texas are joining the SEC in the fall of 2024, so the ’25 baseball schedule had to be adjusted. Part of the adjustment is that every team will have two “permanent” rivalries that will be played every season, while the rest of the schedule will rotate each year to include the rest of the league. South Carolina baseball’s permanent rivals are the Florida Gators and Kentucky Wildcats.

A South Carolina baseball legend brought home some MLB hardware.

First baseman Christian Walker won his second-straight Rawlings Gold Glove award for National League first basemen.

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