South Carolina Basketball: Elite transfer portal guard puts Gamecocks in top-4

South Carolina basketball made the final cut for elite transfer portal guard JP Pegues from Furman.
South Carolina basketball transfer portal target JP Pegues
South Carolina basketball transfer portal target JP Pegues / Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina basketball fans have been a little busy this weekend watching Dawn Staley's team in the Final Four (after beating NC State, they earned a spot in the National Championship Game against Iowa that will begin at 3:00 PM EST on ABC and the ESPN app). Because of the concentration on the women's team, some men's team news might have slipped through the cracks for many.

On Friday, an elite transfer portal target of the Gamecocks announced his top-4 schools, and Lamont Paris and company made the cut, according to a report from On3's Joe Tipton.

The South Carolina Gamecocks are joined by the Auburn Tigers, Florida Gators, and Oklahoma Sooners in the top-4 for big-time point guard transfer JP Pegues.

Pegues has been the highest-profile transfer portal target for the Gamecocks this offseason, and his status as an in-state player (he played the last three years with the Furman Paladins) has many South Carolina basketball fans reminiscing about the transfer portal recruitment of BJ Mack (Wofford) last season. The Carolina faithful hope that recruitment ends the same way as Mack's.

Though Pegues' recruitment might mirror Mack's, he is a completely different player. Mack was a power forward, while Pegues is a point guard. If the Furman transfer were to end up in Columbia, he would be used more as a replacement for Ta'Lon Cooper than anyone else.

Though he is not as big as Cooper, Pegues favors the graduating Gamecock captain as he is a hard-nosed defender who runs offense well and can shoot the basketball. Pegues is more of a scorer than Cooper, so he has the flexibility of playing with another point guard or running the offense next to an off-ball guard.

The Gamecocks have three scholarships available (for now), and they will need to add at least one guard (probably two) and a big before all is said and done. Shooting and perimeter defense will be a premium for the guards, and shot-blocking is important for the big as USC struggled to block shots last season other than Collin Murray-Boyles and Josh Gray.

Paris and the Gamecocks have had some big wins in the transfer portal in their two years with the Gamecocks as impact players Meechie Johnson, BJ Mack, Ta'Lon Cooper, and Myles Stute all came from the portal.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Lamont Paris SNUBBED in coach of the year voting. South Carolina Basketball: Lamont Paris SNUBBED in coach of the year voting. dark