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In the family
South Carolina is among the latest to offer 2020 cornerback Jalen Huff .
The rising junior at Buford (Ga.) High School is the cousin of Gamecocks sophomore defensive back Jamyest Williams.
“It meant a lot, not only because of the family there, but when I was down there, it really felt like it was home,” Huff said of South Carolina. “Everybody treated me right. The coaching staff was really nice. For my first time being there, I felt like I knew the staff, knew everybody. It means a lot.”
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound prospect already has offers from Arkansas State, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Ole Miss and Syracuse.
The progress South Carolina has made over the last few seasons is one factor keeping the Gamecocks in the running for 2019 quarterback Garrett Shrader.
“Coach [Will] Muschamp’s done a great job, a nine-win season last year, won a bowl game,” the Charlotte, N.C., native told The State’s Matt Connolly . “From where they were under coach [Steve] Spurrier during the last part of that staff, he’s done a great job.”
The Charlotte Christian standout is rated as the No. 13 overall dual-threat quarterback for 2019, according to the 247Sports composite.
Saving best for last
The SEC on Thursday unveiled the schedule for its annual football media days .
Muschamp is set for the event’s final day, Thursday, July 19.
This will be Muschamp’s third media days appearance with South Carolina and his seventh overall, having previously attended four times during his tenure at Florida (2011-14).
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Off the court
South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley has filed a defamation lawsuit against Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk , according to WIS News 10 in Columbia .
“Staley, who filed the suit on Thursday in Richland County, cites the ‘defendant’s tortious and defamatory statements,’ as the reason for the suit, which also requests a jury trial. The lawsuit also outlines a provision that each party must file an alternate dispute resolution within 210 days of the suit’s filing before it goes to court,” WIS’ Tanita Gaither wrote.
The controversy began following South Carolina’s 64-54 win over Missouri on Jan. 28. During the game, there was an incident in which two opposing players collided and their respective teammates rushed the court.
From the other Columbia
Following the news of the lawsuit and Sterk being fined $25,000 by the SEC, the Missouri president and chancellor released a statement on Thursday night backing their athletic director .
“We remain confident in University of Missouri Athletic Director Jim Sterk. Since he came here in August 2016, Jim has exhibited a passion for our student athletes and their success and safety both on and off the court. He has proven himself to be an excellent administrator,” the statement read.
According to The State’s Ben Breiner , SEC commissioner Greg Sankey levied the fine against Sterk for violating SEC Bylaw 10.5.1, which states, “Coaches and administrators shall refrain from public criticism of other member institutions, their staff or players.”
Going out in style
Off-court happenings aside, No. 7 South Carolina (23-5 overall, 12-3 SEC) celebrated senior night during its women’s basketball home finale against No. 24 LSU on Thursday night.
Gamecocks forward A’ja Wilson was sensational in her team’s 57-48 win against the Tigers, scoring 27 points and grabbing 24 rebounds.
“She obviously wanted to win on senior night. She wanted to win because we want to secure a top 4 seed in the SEC Tournament. And she wanted to leave on a great note in front of the fans who really have supported her for four years. They have poured into this gym to watch her play. I can say the people coming to watch her play each game have helped her become an even better player,” Staley said of Wilson .
The All-America forward has averaged 17.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.4 assists per game in four years in Columbia.
What has caused the South Carolina men’s basketball team’s (15-13, 6-9) improved play as of late? According to Gamecocks coach Frank Martin, the answer is easy to see.
“The reason we’re playing better is real simple: Those two guys,” Martin said of point guards Hassani Gravett and Wesley Myers, via The Big Spur’s John Del Bianco . “There is no other way to explain it. Those two guys are playing a lot better. When your point guards play better, your team plays better.”
In the Gamecocks’ last two wins, Gravett and Myers have averaged a combined 22.5 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
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