South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock head coach Lamont Paris in to see nation's top player

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris was at the Chick-fil-A Classic to see a number of players, including the nation's top player in the class of 2025, AJ Dybantsa.
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris / Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina basketball fans have been tuned in to some happenings just outside of Columbia as the 2023-2024 iteration of the Chick-fil-A Classic has been taking place in Lexington, South Carolina at River Bluff High School. The tournament, in previous years, had hosted big-name players like Steph Curry, Zion Williamson, and Anthony Edwards.

Gamecock women's basketball signee (and nation's #2 player) Joyce Edwards and her Camden squad have already played against Sarah Strong (the country's top-ranked player who is uncommitted right now), and former South Carolina basketball high school legend Jermaine O'Neal returned to Columbia as the coach of his son (2025 4-star wing Jermaine O'Neal, Jr.) and Dynamic Prep.

Arguably the best team in the Classic has traveled to the Midlands of South Carolina all the way from California. Prolific Prep is one of the top assemblings of talent in the history of high school basketball, and the team boasts elite talents like '24 5-star Derrion Reid, '24 5-star Zoom Diallo, '24 5-star Aiden Sherrell, '24 4-star Mikey Lewis, '25 4-star Winters Grady, and '26 5-star Tyran Stokes.

However, potentially the biggest star on the team is class of 2025 5-star AJ Dybantsa. Formerly the top player in the class of 2026, Dybantsa reclassified to join the '25 recruiting cycle and is now ranked at the top in the 2025 recruiting cycle.

Recently offered a scholarship by South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris, Dybantsa played his first game of the Chick-fil-A Classic with Coach Paris in attendance.

Originally from Massachusetts and now playing his high school ball in California, it seems like a bit of a reach for Gamecock fans to expect Dybantsa to wind up sporting garnet and black. However, the recruiting efforts in Columbia have picked up since Paris got to town, and several big-name prospects have considered to Gamecocks, including America's 3rd-ranked player Darryn Peterson.

The Gamecocks already have two players committed in the '25 cycle as dynamic scoring guard Eli Ellis and athletic forward Hayden Assemian pledged their services to the program this fall.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks' latest NCAA Tournament projections. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks' latest NCAA Tournament projections. dark