South Carolina can be a hoops school again

The message from Frank Martin and the Gamecock basketball program needs to emphasize what is possible at South Carolina.

When another Frank was in command of the team back in the 1970's, Frank McGuire of course, the Gamecocks often found themselves as a top 10 squad competing for ACC titles. Unless shown proof, recruits today would laugh when hearing that.

With the "one and dones" becoming the norm for elite hoops prospects that attend college, Frank Martin and his staff need to do reel in a group of stars that can leave their stamp.

The 2014 class will bring in current commitments in 4 star point guard Marcus Stroman and rising 3 star wing guard Temarcus Blanton, both national top 150 players.

The 2015 class offers talents such as Gamecock legacy shooting guard P.J. Dozier from Spring Valley High, and then 2016 rolls out the praised guard Seventh Woods from right down the road at Hammond School. Dozier and Woods remain open with their recruitment and boast major offers. A combination of the above talent could definitely swing the momentum for South Carolina basketball, and most importantly, the explosive play of these kids would capture the enthusiasm of a "sleeping giant" fan base.

Right now, South Carolina is clearly a "football school", and the basketball coaches must embrace that fact, instead of being sensitive about their message to recruits. Although history will confirm that South Carolina was actually a "basketball school" in the past, before going independent and then joining the SEC, kids today can't relate.

South Carolina is not North Carolina, South Carolina is not Kentucky, South Carolina is not Duke, but the message should ring, "Come to South Carolina and be responsible for making us special, making us a basketball power, again."

A kid can either be one of a long line of greats at an established program where a national championship is expected, or he can be a trailblazer and create unimaginable success, never to be forgotten.

The academic and athletic facilities are strong, the Colonial Life Arena is as impressive as most when packed to capacity, and one of the most passionate fan bases in the country longs to be inspired. Gamecock nation eagerly awaits who will be responsible for that.

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