Joey Pankake and Christian Walker: Are the bats starting to wake up?
Sportstalkgolive: The SportsTalk interview with Frank Martin. You should listen to it all. On the issue of Damontre Harris and Anthony Gill, Coach Martin was both pragmatic and sympathetic to their situation, which strikes me as pitch perfect; Martin also said he would meet with both and sell his vision for the program: "When I said yes to this job, I understood that I would have to re-recruit the guys who were here. That comes with the territory." It sounds like Gill and Harris are still working-out with the team while they decide their futures, and that the Coach is comfortable with that for the time being. As far as looking for fresh talent, Coach Martin had a great quote: "Recruiting is like Waffle House ... it's always open."
Carey Rich: The "Captain" tweets that R.J. Slawson is also considering a transfer. Dadgummit! We need these guys to stick! Carey goes on to say in subsequent tweets that "Social media has become powerful, so I urge Gamecock fans not to be distasteful in your opinions regarding kids who are contemplating transferring. They read it all. The number one reason they're considering is because of the lack of support for the program. Say what you want, all three of these kids will do well under the tutelage of Frank Martin and his staff....I PROMISE you. Try not to help run these kids off. They're already being influenced by others.....let's not help them." Amen to that.
Spur of the Moment: Darryl goes into even greater depth about the potential transfers of Harris and Gill in his blog post - As he prepares to start recruiting, Frank Martin field questions about potential transfers. Plus, it looks like Fresno, CA big-man and nationally-ranked C Robert Upshaw won't be following Coach Martin to Carolina, based on comments made by his family; well, we can always hold out hope that he'll give us a look when the spring recruiting period starts tomorrow.
The Daily Gamecock: Martin names new hoops coaching staff.
Gamecocksonline: Gamecocks Earn 7-0 Win At College of Charleston - avec video.
Sportstalkgolive: Gamecock pitching dominates College of Charleston. I wonder if we should give Westmoreland or Montgomery a shot at a weekend start, especially since Forrest Koumas is going to be out for two weeks with a sore elbow; maybe we don't have a choice? When Koumas comes back he can try to find his form again during the mid-week games.
Gamecock Central: Scott Hood asks the same question - Will Montgomery become the third weekend starter?
Post & Courier: USC overwhelms College of Charleston.
Baseball America: Aaron Fitt offers up his projected field of 64 and predicts that we'll be hosting a regional when it's all said and done; interestingly, he offers up this editorial gem in the notes: "Clemson and South Carolina have not met in regionals or super regionals since the field expanded to 64 teams, while other geographic rivals (like Miami and Florida) are paired against each other over and over again. It's time for the Tigers and Gamecocks to meet in a regional, and we're giving Clemson a No. 2 seed in Columbia." Aaron has already forgotten that the NCAA solons had carefully arranged for us to meet the Tigs in the super-regionals last year, but UConn upset the apple-cart along the way. Awwwwww! He also seems to forget that the tourney selection committee routinely matches us up with our old ACC chums UNC and NCSU in regional play - both of whom also just so happen to be big "geographic rivals" like Clemmy. Also, never mind the fact that our favorite thing to do is to send Clemson packing from Omaha, Aaron - it's not nearly as fun to dismiss them from Columbia, and we already get to do that during the regular season anyway.
(Ed. - Perhaps Aaron can instead be persuaded to plead with the powers-that-be in Indianapolis to pair the Paw with the Peach State Pups in the tournament? Ponder, if you will, how our pals from the land of Pogo Possum would wax rhapsodic over the prospect of post-season play against their Land Grant compeers from Pickens County - who have been celebrated in some Peanut State precincts as no less than their "true rival from the state of South Carolina." They really do seem to go together don't they? Kind of like Luke and Bo. Aren't they both just dreamy? Bless their hearts!)
In any event, David Cloninger tweets that a USC-CU regional will never happen - and while I don't think it's very likely, I'm not so sure about "never."
Bruce Feldman: Clowney 2.0 ready to bring the heat from inside. Working on his hands, and his inside move. It makes me scared for Aaron Murray and Tajh Boyd. Ok - not really.
Sportstalkgolive: Phil Kornblut's recruiting report - Louisiana defensive lineman considering USC, along with some other good recruiting notes.
Mr. SEC: Spurrier Rips Offense For Poor Practice.
Athlon Sports: Ranking the SEC's College Football Coaches. What do you think?
The Big Spur: Junior Day Rewind. A good freebie from TBS.
Gamecock Central: Photos: Farmer's Market Progess.
Anderson Independent-Mail: Changing from Arkansas to A&M could be good USC football. Some of y'all may like this, but I'm still not buying into it.
Gamecocks in the Draft
ESPN SEC Blog: Fifteen SEC players in new mock draft. Melvin Ingram is projected as high-first rounder (7), and Stephon Gilmore as a mid-first rounder (21) - which seems consistent with the prevailing wisdom. But Alshon Jeffery doesn't even make the second round? I'm a very big Kiper fan, but c'mon Mel, get real. The only thing that really changed for Alshon between 2010 and 2011 was that Stephen Garcia unraveled on him - not being a few lbs overweight.
Rotoworld: Jeffery ran 4.48, 4.49 at Pro Day. Alshon has done some work-outs with the Vikes and Jets.
The Daily Gamecock: USC equestrian squad wins Southern Equestrian Championship. Congrats, ladies. The team Jumps Three Spots to No. 3 in Latest Coaches Poll.
Gamecocksonline: South Carolina Racks Up 11 Wins At Gamecock Open Meet.
Saturday Down South: S.M. Oliva posts Faith & Football: The Battle Over Religion In The Locker Room. This may (or may not) generate a lot of controversy. I think it's a non-issue.
NBC Sports: Ironically, NBC aired a report by Bob Costas last night on the "pressing issues" of collegiate sports in general and CFB in particular - ‘Costas Tonight’ dives into the dysfunction of college athletics. Coincidence? Perhaps not. In all seriousness, I can't stand Costas. Check out Coach Martin's remarks here.