South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks have current top-ranked recruiting class

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 /

South Carolina basketball fans had a really good Wednesday.

Dawn Staley’s women’s team secured a commitment from in-state 5-star forward Joyce Edwards, giving the Gamecocks their third 5-star in the class of 2024 and putting them in the mix for the best class in the country.

Lamont Paris’ squad also picked up a major commitment as 4-star guard Eli Ellis announced his pledge to the South Carolina basketball program on Wednesday evening. Ellis is the second player to commit to the Gamecocks in the class of 2025, and his commitment moved Carolina to the top spot in the recruiting rankings.

In the very early goings of 2025 recruiting, South Carolina basketball holds the #1 team recruiting rankings according to 247Sports.

Context, as always, is important. The Gamecocks are the only team in the country with multiple commitments in the class, so it stands to reason that Lamont Paris and company would be in the top spot.

However, it is also important to note that the Gamecocks are off to a really nice start in the ’25 cycle. Ellis is a consensus 4-star player, and Hayden Assemian (the other commitment in the class) is considered a 4-star by the 247Sports composite and is ranked as highly as 124th in the country by On3.

With another year and a half remaining before Ellis and Assemian graduate high school, South Carolina basketball fans won’t see them in garnet and black for a while, but the reality of recent Gamecock recruiting makes the positives of landing commitments from two big-time players impossible to ignore.

The Gamecocks have not signed a top-150 perimeter player and a top-150 post player in the same class since 2015 when USC pulled in commitments from PJ Dozier and Chris Silva. South Carolina basketball fans remember how well things went for the team when those guys were on campus: in their two years together, Carolina went 51-20 and made a Final Four as they teamed up with veterans Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice.

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