South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks make top list for major transfer portal player

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris has the Gamecocks in contention for big-time transfer portal player Jordan Sears.

South Carolina basketball transfer portal target Jordan Sears guarding Pittsburgh's Nelly Cummings.
South Carolina basketball transfer portal target Jordan Sears guarding Pittsburgh's Nelly Cummings. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

At this stage of the offseason, the South Carolina basketball program has experienced two transfer portal defections. Guard Meechie Johnson and multi-positional reserve Ebrima Dibba each have entered the portal in recent days.

With three graduating seniors (point guard Ta'Lon Cooper, forward BJ Mack, and forward Stephen Clark) and two incoming freshmen (forward Okku Federiko and wing Trent Noah), that leaves Gamecock head coach Lamont Paris with up to 3 scholarships to work with in the transfer portal.

As both starting guards are gone, bringing in at least one dynamic player on the perimeter will be a major emphasis for Paris. One of the Gamecocks' targets on the outside is UT-Martin transfer Jordan Sears.

On Thursday night, Sears released his top-6 schools, and South Carolina basketball made the cut.

Sears is also considering the Alabama Crimson Tide, the LSU Tigers, the West Virginia Mountaineers, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, and the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Sears, who began his career at Gardner-Webb, is a graduate transfer player who has top-end upside as a scorer. The way he gets his points is a bit of a mesh-job of the skillsets of the outgoing Cooper and Johnson.

Similar to Cooper, Sears is an elite catch-and-shoot player. He shot over 40% from 3 during the 2023-2024 season (just like Cooper), and he shot around 45% in spot-up, catch-and-shoot situations. He also is a savvy pick-and-roll player with really good passing instincts when the defense is in the process of switching or collapsing on the action. His overall assist rate and total assist numbers were also very similar to Cooper's this past season.

Like Johnson, Sears' range is unlimited as he hit over 20 shots from over 25 feet this season. He also has a tight handle (especially on crossovers) and some impressive athleticism that is most often seen in his quickness with the ball in his hands.

Despite being just 5'11", Sears has some bounce in his game. He threw down a couple of lobs this for the Skyhawks and seems to hang in the air when finishing acrobatic layups in traffic.

For his career, Sears has shot over 35% on 3-pointers, and he shot over 43% last year. He scored over 21 points per game while dishing out over 4.5 assists and pulling down 4.5 rebounds per game during the 2023-2024 season. In his two seasons as a full-time starter for Tennessee-Martin, he combined to average over 18 points per game.

Sears has played both point guard and shooting guard in his career. He works best if there is at least one bigger perimeter defender on the floor with him, something the Gamecocks will have in wings Zach Davis, Myles Stute, and Trent Noah next season.

You can watch some of his film here.

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