Gamecocks close to offering top NC recruit

The South Carolina coaching staff has been hard at work putting together what could shape up to be a star-studded 2010 signing class, but now that a lot of the ground work has been laid, some focus has turned to the 2011 class. caught up with one of the top prospects in the junior class to talk recruiting.

Deuce Bello is one of the few prospects in the 2011 class that has already made an ESPN appearance.

The "double alleyoop" is what they called his national television debut after it became an internet sensation.

So that's probably one reason why the 2011 wing said that "getting to the basket" was one of his strengths.

No kidding.

Bello is a super-athletic wing who has great slashing ability at this stage in his game. Colleges are definitely taking notice.

"(Recruiting) is going pretty good,"'s No. 40 overall prospect in the 2011 class said. "I'm just enjoying it right now. Everybody is about equal right now — USC, Wake (Forest), Miami, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Duke."

He claims offers from Maryland, Miami, Wake Forest, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Florida and Florida State.

South Carolina hasn't offered the 6-foot-3 Bello as of yet, but the Westchester Academy (N.C.) standout says he believes an offer will be on the way soon.

"I'm interested," Bello said of the Gamecock program. "They haven't offered yet, but I think they will. They've been sending me a whole lot of mail and staying in contact.

"I went to their Elite Camp. It went pretty well."

Along with Bello's positive experience at USC's camp, he had the chance to take it all in with 2011 five-star recruit Quincy Miller — Bello's best friend.

"Coach (Darrin) Horn sat with me and Quincy," Bello said, "and he was telling us what we need to work on and talking to us about our summer and wanting to get to know us as individuals."

Bello — as well as Miller — liked the hands-on approach of Horn, as well as assistant coach Mike Boynton Jr.

Bello isn't exactly sure where he stands as far as offers go because a lot of schools have been calling his high school coach, Pat Khany. But at this early stage in his recruitment, a pair of South Carolina coaches have made a very positive impression on him.

"I like coach Horn and coach Boynton a lot," he said.

The nation's No. 8 ranked small forward prospect does not claim any favorites at this time, and he is not yet sure on a time frame for when he'd like to make a commitment.

Stay tuned to and for all the latest in Bello's recruitment.

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