South Carolina basketball fans are going to be very familiar with Gamecock Eli Ellis even before he steps on campus as a member of the class of 2025. The skilled guard is a social media dynamo and an offensive force despite lacking elite size or athleticism.
After committing to the Gamecocks in November, Ellis began his junior season and has been dominating the competition. At the Good Guys vs. Cancer showcase last week, Ellis scored an efficient 34 points and filled the stat sheet with 8 rebounds and 5 assists, as well.
The high-level of play didn’t stop for Ellis there, however. Playing with his YNG Dreamerz Moravian Prep squad against Naas Cunningham and Rolling Loud, the 6’0″ guard dropped 44 points, an OvertimeElite record.
Normally an absolute killer with the ball in his hands, Ellis also displayed some off-ball catch-and-shoot ability in this game.
He is a point guard at the high school level, but he shares some similar traits with current South Carolina basketball star combo guard Meechie Johnson. Johnson began his collegiate career as a point guard but has since shifted to the 2-spot, allowing him to focus more on scoring. Ellis could take a similar path.
South Carolina basketball fans are going to struggle to remain patient over the next two years while they wait for Eli Ellis to graduate from high school and enroll in Columbia.
The consensus 4-star prospect is joined by Hayden Assemian (4-star forward) in the class of 2025, and in the early goings of tracking the ’25 cycle, the Gamecocks have the highest-rated class in the entire country.
By the time Ellis and Assemian arrive in Columbia as members of the South Carolina basketball program, most of the current Gamecock roster will have graduated or otherwise moved on to other things.
However, sophomore Zach Davis and freshmen Collin Murray-Boyles and Morris Ugusuk could still be on the roster. Class of 2023 signees Trent Noah (top-150 wing) and Okku Federiko (top-150 forward) will be on the team, and current redshirting freshmen Austin Herro and Arden Conyers will, as well.
That’s a solid base to work with, and Gamecock head coach Lamont Paris has shown an ability to find the “missing pieces” in the transfer portal.
South Carolina basketball fans are cautiously optimistic that all of this means that they will have plenty of competitive basketball to watch in the coming years.