CFA Takeout: Temarcus Blanton

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina's fall class is better than we'd imagined, and that's because shooting guard Blanton is better than we'd imagined.

When Temarcus Blanton poured in 30 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday afternoon, no one who had seen him this season was surprised. The South Carolina signee has proved to be better than advertised and thrilled locals who will enjoy watching him make Columbia his home the next several years.

Blanton likely belongs in our national top 100. He possesses lean strength and is a very aggressive and confident scorer, as evidenced by his taking 27 of Luella's 64 shots in a victory over Mullins. Doral Moore is the most heavily covered prospect on the team, as the junior center is drawing early consideration for national top 15 status.

But Blanton clearly is the more productive of the two at this juncture. He's a very streaky outside shooter but uses a quick first step and pull-up jump shooting game to rack up points. He's better at the intermediate levels than he is going all the way to the rim, but he's definitely athletic enough to finish with slams on the break.

He also demonstrated surprising passing ability. Though hardly a point guard, he'll be a fine distributor from the wing and especially because he'll command attention from defenses as a scorer.

Defensively, Blanton also should be solid. He needs to focus on that end more consistently than he does now — which can be said for nearly all high school prospects — but easily possess the talent to be a tough assignment to score against.

Also, there's no denying the fact that the Gamecocks desperately need help. They stand just 2-5 and, according to Ken Pomeroy's statistics, rank No. 208 nationally in adjusted offense. Thus, even if Blanton makes the customary freshman mistakes and proves to be inefficient early, just the fact that he can put the ball in the net should make him an immediate contributor for Frank Martin's program

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