Palmetto Recruiting: Thursday night perfecta! Martin scores first Gamecock commitment - Thaddeus Hall and Minda Kacinas makes his commitment to USC. Let's go for the trifecta - Point guard to visit USC this weekend.
Life of a Gamecock: Check out Adam Garrett's take on Hall and Kacinas, along with the some of the other guys on our recruiting boards - Updates on 2012 Recruits (posted prior to their commitments last night).
Gamecock Anthem: Checking in with Thaddeus Hall - Hall pass: Martin lands first commitment.
Gamecock Central: More on Minda - Another for Martin.
NBC Sports: USC hoops gets some national press on a great recruiting day - South Carolina adds commitments from Thaddeus Hall and Minda Kacinas.
Dave Cloninger: Happiness, where are you? This is an important piece on Gamecock hoops at a critical moment. Read it all, please.
ESPN.com: On the subject of Frank Martin, the Coach tells ESPN's Jason King that he is confident he can turn the Gamecock program around. "I just couldn't say no." He's already family, isn't it? The Colonial Life Arena is going to rock next season (Ed. - isn't it high time we came up with a nickname for the place?).
Sportstalkgolive: USC cuts another Horn tie by ending Western Kentucky series.
Leftover Hotdog: General Malaise posts his South Carolina Baseball 2012: Auburn Tigers Preview.
Post & Courier: Pitcher Jordan Montgomery off to a hot start for South Carolina. Way to go, Gumby!
The Daily Gamecock: Isabelle Kurshudyan writes USC turns poor start upside down. The article is great. The photo, on the other, is unfortunate; while it goes with the headline, Tanner English performed that back-flip right before a mid-week "L" to CofC.
Brad Senkiw: Speaking of mid-week losses - Maybe mid-week games matter, maybe they don't.
Anderson Independent-Mail: USC looks to take series at Auburn.
Athlon: SEC Football: Running Back Rankings for 2012. Does 21=1?
The Rubber Chickens: Kenny Miles Roils the CTU Fanboys (and we attempt to quiet the controversy). Is this Kenny's way of telling us he is staying? If you think Tbone is actually attempting to insert some diplomacy into the situation, you can think again, as you might imagine, he stirs the pot with unabashed relish.
Tony Barnhardt: Georgia looks like a good bet to win SEC East, but that could change.
GoUpstate.com: Boiling Springs standout Thompson impressing this spring. This is pretty stale (more than a week old) but worth your attention; you may be seeing a lot more of Dylan on the gridiron next fall than you previously had suspected.
Bleacher Report: Flounder posts South Carolina Football: 5 Summer Goals for the Gamecocks (slideshow) and Alex Roberts writes - Brandon Shell, Next Gamecock Superstar (straight article). Also see John Dove's article - The 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of Alshon Jeffery's Game. More stupidity from a non-Gamecock BR writer; regarding slide 6 - did you even see the "fight" at the CapOne Bowel, Mr. Dove? How was Alshon immature when Dennard swung and Alshon backed away. Moron.
Yahoo! Sports: Chicago Bears Visit South Carolina's Melvin Ingram: A Fan's Take.
The Daily Gamecock: Men’s golf takes youthful squad to SEC Championships and Women's golf heads to SEC Championships. Good luck, Gamecocks!
Spurs Up Blog: Voting is open for the AgSouth USC Athlete of the Year. I voted for Melvin Ingram and Markeshia Grant - though I'd have liked to have voted for La'Keisha Sutton, too.
Gamecocksonline: Beverly Smith's softball squad (23-23, 3-16) is dressing out for its final home action of the season this weekend - Gamecocks Begin Final 2012 Home Stand vs. No. 8/7 Tennessee. The league is as tough in softball as it is in football and baseball, but given time, Smith is going to build a winner here.
SB Nation: Mike Slive Approves Of Arkansas' Decision To Fire Bobby Petrino. The more one considers the whole L'Affaire Petrino, the more one must come to the inescapable conclusion that no one in Fayetteville comes out of this looking good - except the Razorback players who are unfairly caught in the middle.
Mr. SEC: Slive not a fan of Spurrier's plan. Does this shock you at all? The SEC has a favorite son in the East, and its colors are Red and Black, not Garnet and Black. Honestly, Commissioner, if no game is more valuable than any other game, then why do we bother with quasi-geographic divisions at all, or concern ourselves with permanent cross-division rivals? Why not seed the teams each year and play odds versus evens? Or manipulate the divisions like the ACC and the B1G to produce the biggest bang in the championship game? After all, no SEC game is more important than any other, right? In light of the brazen schedule-manipulation that issued forth from Birmingham this past winter, the Commissioner's statements are a poor joke. If no game is truly more meaningful than any other for crowning a division champion, then let's have UGA play Bama as originally scheduled, and give USC the back-half of the home-and-home with Mississippi State (which is just as fair, and just as logical, as allowing the Dawgs - widely considered the "best" team in the East - to "complete" their series with a weak Ole Miss team, while receiving the boon of avoiding LSU, Bama and Arkansas for a second-straight season). The real problem with Spurrier's suggestion, as you can divine, is that it upsets the desired outcome for 2012 - which, in turn, upsets the proponents of the favored-club from the East. Accordingly, the idea must be dismissed out-of-hand as whining or manipulative; you can already guess what the narrative is from the pro-UGA press.
In any event, Pennington's thinly-concealed anti-Spurrier animus is beginning to get old; the HBC's suggestion has merit regardless of who puts it forward, and is fair because it would apply equally to everyone, plus it would alleviate the impact of out-of-division scheduling imbalances. The more you read Pennington, the more you're left with the inescapable conclusion that - like most anti-Spurrier partisans - he is against the division-wins-only idea either (a) because Spurrier advanced it rather than someone else he likes better [cough, cough, Mark Richt, cough, cough] or (b) the perception that the proposal would hurt Georgia in the short run. (And let's be honest, here - there's little doubt at Mr. SEC as to which Eastern Division coach is most beloved). I also loved the nice touch of how John photo-shopped Spurrier's mug onto a crib as a "whiner", and the swipe he takes at the Gamecock Nation by saying that Carolina fans "from Beaufort to Ninety-Six" would suddenly flip-flop against the idea if Georgia had the most division wins under the plan. Five-will-get-you-ten that if Mark Richt endorsed the concept, John would have been its main champion and have been among the very first to pen paeans to its wisdom and farsightedness. (It also would have been cooler and more alliterative for him to write "from Frogmore to Sugar Tit").
NBC Sports: Want bulletin board material? Then put this on your bulletin board. Play hard. Play smart. Be great. Your reward will be unforgettable. The broken trophy means nothing - particularly in light of the fact it was Carson Tinker's father who broke it. After Carson's harrowing, heart-breaking experience during the tornado, all is forgiven.