South Carolina Basketball: 4-star forward puts Gamecocks in top group

4-star forward EJ Walker named South Carolina basketball among his top-12 schools.
South Carolina basketball target EJ Walker
South Carolina basketball target EJ Walker / James Weber/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

South Carolina basketball has the nation's top recruiting class in the 2025 cycle. It's early, but the Gamecocks are the only program in America with two 4-star players committed in the class as guard Eli Ellis and forward Hayden Assemian pledged themselves to the program in the fall.

Gamecock coach Lamont Paris appears as if he would like to take a couple more players in the class, as well, and one of the remaining targets in the class is 4-star forward EJ Walker.

On Friday, Walker announced his top-12 schools, and South Carolina basketball made the cut.

Walker's entire top-12 includes the South Carolina Gamecocks, Illinois Fighting Illini, Xavier Minutement, Dayton Flyers, Louisville Cardinals, Iowa Hawkeyes, West Virginia Mountaineers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Purdue Boilermakers, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Cal Golden Bears, and Wisconsin Badgers.

Walker, a native of Erlanger, Kentucky, plays his prep ball at Lloyd Memorial High School in the Bluegrass State. The 6'8" forward can operate at any of the frontcourt positions in the right situation as he has the ballhandling and shooting chops of a small forward but the strength and toughness of a true post player.

Walker's best two traits on film are his smooth shooting stroke and his comfortability as a rim runner in the pick and roll game. Walker is not a high flyer or an overwhelming athlete, but when he dives to the basket, he is strong enough to shake off contact and skilled enough to put the ball on the floor when the defense covers the roll well.

Walker is built similarly to Gamecock class of '25 forward commitment Hayden Assemian, but the two play a very different game. Both players are about 6'8" and 220 pounds, but Assemian is an athletic dunker and finisher, while Walker has shown a bit more skill as a shooter and ballhandler who could operate some on the perimeter if playing alongside a more traditional big.

Coach Lamont Paris has shown in his two years in Columbia the desire to have players who can play inside-out. Forwards Hayden Brown and BJ Mack are the most obvious examples of that as both players operated as back-to-the-basket scorers and pick-and-pop shooters. Walker can fit that mold plus bring the added wrinkle of a competent roll man, as well.

You can watch some of his film here.

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