Gamecocks Score With Lithuanian

Dave Odom has coached his share of Lithuanian players and he's always into the idea of recruiting another one. This month, the South Carolina Gamecocks went down the Lithuanian path once again.

Evaldas Baniulis, a 6-foot-7, 205 pound wing player committed to South Carolina this month. By our count, Baniulis makes right around a handful of Lithuanian kids Dave Odom has recruited and coached during his career.

Baniulis averaged 18 points a game last year and was just beginning to hit his stride as high-major teams were showing interest in him. South Carolina got him on campus and locked him down.

"He went in and they had an exhibition game; an NBA game down there," Florida Air Academy Coach Aubin Goporo said. "It blew him away and he likes the facility. He really likes the coaches and the coaching staff plus Coach Odom coached a bunch of Lithuanians when he was at Wake Forest."

Baniulis is a legit perimeter player. Goporo said he's got to become a better rebounder but as a perimeter prospect he gets it done. "His dream is to be a 6-9 shooting guard and he shoots it like crazy."

Apparently, he makes them in big time games as well. "His best game last year was 42 points in a regional final. He shot 14 3s in that game and made 11. He's also very smart kid. Typical European who understands the game very well."

And he loves South Carolina plenty too.

"He came back and said it was the only place he wanted to go. He told me not to schedule any more visits for him. I told him if it's what you want and what your parents want you to do, go for it. So we called the coaches at South Carolina and they were happy."

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