Howard talks South Carolina visit

Matt Howard has been on the campus of South Carolina a lot over his lifetime, but this time, things were a little different. The A.C. Flora (Columbia, S.C.) standout took an unofficial visit to check out the Gamecocks' program Wednesday.

Matt Howard has been on the campus of South Carolina a lot over his lifetime, but this time, things were a little different.

The hometown kid visited to take a mini-tour of the campus with his parents and finally got the chance to meet head coach Darrin Horn.

"It went well," Howard said. "We talked with coach Horn for most of it and toured the academic center.

"It was nice. I've been there so many times, but it was nice talking to coach Horn."

While Howard enjoyed the visit, his parents were equally, if not more, impressed with the presentation their alma mater presented.

"(My parents) asked me what I thought about," he said. "They really liked it. They seemed real excited."

So what did he think of the visit: "That South Carolina really wants me to play for them."

Other schools that have offered and are vying for the 6-foot-4 guards services are Virginia Tech, VCU, Richmond, William & Mary, Jacksonville, Bucknell, Mercer, UNC Wilmington, Harvard and Georgia Southern with the likes of Clemson, Georgia and Marquette also showing interest.

A lot of schools with high academic standards are entering the picture or have already put a bid in for Howard since he boasts a 4.6 weighted grade-point average.

Fans have approached Howard about being the "hometown hero," but the thought is really starting to sink into his mind.

"It sounds nice to be the (hometown hero)," he said. "My friends are just like ‘it'd be crazy to see my best friend play for my favorite team.'"

Howard always grew up a fan of the school as well, so when he saw how much the local school put into the research for him, he was taken back a bit. The coaching staff put together a convincing presentation. The Howards especially liked the part where a map was used to let them know just how close they are to campus.

"That was kind of cool," the A.C. Flora junior said. "I thought (the presentation) was going to be something they showed everybody, but they personalized it with that."

Everything wasn't all positives, as the coaches gave Howard some things to help push his development for the future.

"Coach Mike (Boynton) always talks about my defense, using my left hand and keeping my head up," he said in reference to what he needs to work on. "Coach Horn talked about my shot preparation and using the same foot every time. "(Stuff like that) keeps me motivated."

As far as his decision goes, it will be based upon "My relationship with the coaches and academics and how it will help my future as a basketball player and a person out on the workforce."

Howard also mentioned the possibility of visiting VCU and Virginia Tech next Saturday.

Future visits to South Carolina will also take place so the family can talk to more advisers at the school.

"Mama was happy (with the visit), and that goes a long way," Howard's father, Craig, said.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories