Forward Austin Steed will not return to the South Carolina men's basketball team next season, coach Darrin Horn announced Friday.
The decision appeared to be Horn's. The coach said at his postseason news conference Friday that there was not a place for Steed on next year's roster. But Horn added that Steed's scholarship will be honored, if he chooses to stay in school and graduate.
This decision should only come as a minor surprise. Steed was obviously in Horn's doghouse by year's end, and with talented big men R. J. Slawson and Demontre Harris coming to Columbia next fall, it was likely that Steed would never find his way back into the lineup. I'm still not really certain why Horn dislikes Steed, as I didn't think Steed was necessarily any worse than Johndre Jefferson. However, word around the camfire is that Steed wasn't a hard worker and never dedicated himself to developing his game in the ways Horn would have liked him to. If that's the case, then what we're seeing here is likely Horn trying to trim what he views as deadweight.
The interesting question now is whether or not Steed will stay at USC to finish his degree. If he decides to leave, it will free up space for Horn to go out and recruit another big man. With that in mind, you have to admit the graciousness of Horn's choice to honor the scholarship.