Horn Lands Third 2009 Pledge

The South Carolina Gamecocks basketball program picked up its third commitment of the 2009 class Friday. Coach Darrin Horn has been all over the country looking for players to fill out his future rosters. Read inside as GamecockAnthem.com has the full report on Coach Horn's latest pick-up.

The South Carolina Gamecocks basketball program picked up its third commitment of the 2009 class when 6'5", 180-pound shooting guard Steve Spinella committed to Carolina Friday.

The three-star shooter also had offers from Penn State, Seton Hall and UNC-Greensboro. He was receiving interest from Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Oklahoma State.

Spinella was blown away during his official visit to South Carolina this week as he was treated to the Gamecocks' thrilling, final-second victory over the No. 24 Florida Gators.

"The game against Florida, it was awesome," Spinella said. "The people were nice; the facilities were great. I love the coaches."

Since being named Head Coach, Darrin Horn has asked the USC students to pack the Colonial Life Arena each and every game. Wednesday's game marked the unveiling of The Garnet Army, the Gamecocks' new student section. Spinella says the atmosphere sparked by the new student section played a huge part in his decision.

"That was the whole thing," he said. "It was unbelievable. It was like a just barely packed stadium and the student section was great; they were going crazy. And just how many parents and people who didn't go to school (stood out)."

And as for the improbable game-winning play? Spinella says he can't even describe it.

"No, I haven't (seen anything like it)," he said. "It was crazy."

Spinella says his relationship with Horn also played a large part in his decision.

"I felt like alone from being an awesome coach, he was a really good person as well," Spinella said. "And him being an awesome person rubbed off on a lot of the players. The players were very cool, and on and off the court they were nice."

Spinella also credited Coach Mike Boynton as a big reason he chose the Gamecocks, and described Boynton as a great person as well.

It came as no surprise to Vice President of Apex Academy Rich Marcucci that Spinella would want to surround himself with good people like Horn, his assistants and players.

"Off the court he is a tremendous kid," Marcucci said. "We are a training academy, so he came to us as a post-graduate here. He was completely qualified when he got to us, so he's actually taking some junior college courses."

Marcucci also believes that Spinella can fit in with Horn on the court as well. The 6'5" shooter is averaging around 30.5 points a game, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Scout.com National Recruiting Director Dave Telep describes Spinella as having a "shooter's touch with size and sneak-up-on-you athleticism," which should help him fit in perfectly in Horn's system.

"He called me from the game and said, 'This is me; I love this," Marcucci said. "So, I guess it's going to fit real well. (South Carolina) seems to think it's a perfect fit for them, and he thinks it's a perfect fit. He said they really move the ball, and they look for each other. All are things that he is really excited about. And he is that type of kid. He scores about 32 points a game for us, but he's not the type of kid that occupies the ball."

"I'm thrilled for him; he deserves it," Marcucci added. "He's going to have a tremendous career there. He'll be a great player in that program, and he's going to do well for the school. So, we're just really excited for him."

Lastly, Spinella wanted to send out a message to all of Gamecock Nation.

"The message I want to give to Gamecock Nation is that I'm committed, and I can't wait to be there next year and be a part of their family."

Spinella joins four-star Christ Church (Arden, NC) standout Lakeem Jackson and three-star William T. Dwyer HS (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) standouts Ramon Galloway on the Gamecocks' 2009 commitment list.

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