South Carolina has closed its 2012 class by taking a late commitment from Montrose Christian (Rockville, Maryland) forward Michael Carrera. Carrera is the sixth and final signee of this class.
It can be assumed that Frank Martin decided to offer Carrera when it became apparent that 7'0 prospect Jordan Dickerson wasn't going to be choosing South Carolina. However, don't let that make you think Carrera can't contribute to this team. Carrera is unrated by Rivals, but he boasts an impressive offer list that includes Gonzaga, Minnesota, Ole Miss, and Virginia Tech, all programs that have been stronger than South Carolina in recent years. This kid has impressed a lot of coaches.
Carrera also fills a void on the Gamecocks roster. Although slightly undersized as a 6'6 PF, Carrera is a solid post player who is a particularly adept off the glass. He averaged 12 boards per game during his senior season. He's also developed a strong offensive game with his back to the basket. Take a look at the video in this column and you'll get a taste for what he can do in the paint, particularly his penchant for fighting for rebounds and put backs. The guy clearly has the look of one of those classic PFs who play a bit bigger than they actually are because they have high motors and a natural talent for using their bodies. (You'll also be happy to hear his teammates talk about his team work, work ethic, and level of effort.) This is the kind of player we wanted more of in the Darrin Horn years, and with the Gamecocks short on quality big men for next season, we needed a pickup like this.
The key for Carrera will be to continue developing his game. As his coach has said, he's a great athlete, but his offensive game is still a work in progress. The good news is that we now have a coach who is known for being able to develop his recruits, Carrera could become a solid contributor in time.