South Carolina Basketball: Former starter transfers to SEC rival

South Carolina basketball big man Josh Gray entered the transfer portal this offseason, and this weekend, he committed to the Missouri Tigers.
Former South Carolina basketball center Josh Gray
Former South Carolina basketball center Josh Gray / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina basketball fans loved Josh Gray.

Ever since he became a Gamecock after transferring from the LSU Tigers, Gray showed tremendous potential thanks to his size (7'0" and 270 pounds) and ability to be a rim presence on both ends of the court. Unfortunately, the big man had an up-and-down career in Columbia that never quite lived up to his physical capabilities.

His career numbers aren't impressive, but Gray was an important part of South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris' rotation the last two seasons. His best game came in a near upset of the Arkansas Razorbacks in the 2022-2023 season when he scored 20 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. The big game was part of his late-year surge in which he became the starter at center.

Gray was not a starter during the 2023-2024 season, and when it became apparent that the Gamecocks were planning to add a player or two at the center spot in the transfer portal this offseason, Gray entered the portal himself.

Over the weekend, Gray announced his new home.

According to a report from On3's Joe Tipton, Josh Gray is the newest member of the Missouri Tigers basketball team. Once again staying inside the SEC, Gray hopes that he will be able to take his impressive per-minute numbers and translate them into a bigger role with the team from the "other Columbia."

In replacing Gray and fellow outgoing big men BJ Mack and Stephen Clark (both to graduation), the Gamecocks have brought in three post players this offseason.

Former Alabama Crimson Tide center Nick Pringle was a starter in Tuscaloosa this year as Nate Oats' team made it to the Final Four. Hailing from the Palmetto State, he plays a similar style to Gray, but Pringle is a little smaller (6'10"), a little more athletic, and much more aggressive. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

Finnish forward Okku Federiko could play any frontcourt position in the right situations. The class of 2024 freshman finished the recruiting cycle as a 4-star prospect. He was a former teammate of current Gamecock guard Morris Ugusuk who joined the South Carolina basketball program ahead of the 2023-2024 season.

Power forward/center Jordan Butler, a South Carolina native, transferred in from Missouri. Carolina and Mizzou essentially swapped Butler and Gray from a roster standpoint, but Butler has three years of eligibility remaining and plays a different style of ball. He also is a 7-footer, but he is much thinner. Butler has some shooting touch and skills with the ball in his hands that Gray could not provide the Gamecocks.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Talented recruit has good visit to Columbia. South Carolina Basketball: Talented recruit has good visit to Columbia. dark