This is a big week for Gamecocks basketball, with Demetrius Henry set to announce his decision on Wednesday at 10. Henry will be deciding between Carolina and Miami and is reportedly torn on the decision. This would be a major get for Frank Martin and his staff. Henry is rated the 119th player in the country and in the high three-star range by 247 Sports, and Rivals has him even higher at 100 and four stars. The powerful 6'9 forward can do a number of things the Gamecocks really need. He's relatively polished offensively, works the boards well, etc. If Henry doesn't sign with us, Carolina still has a good shot at Darryl Reynolds, another solid prospect with offers from Villanova and Seton Hall. Reynolds, too, is choosing this week; he's up on Tuesday. Although Henry is the big remaining prospect on the board, we could use them both. In any event, we'll have a much better idea of what kind of front court we'll have next year by the end of the week.
Needless to say, there's going to be a lot of turnover announced in the coming weeks. Carolina only graduates two seniors this season, Lakeem Jackson and LaShay Page, but with six current commitments and Henry and Reynolds still on the board, something's going to give. This is going to be another new-look team next year. The good news is that if we're going to be inexperienced, at least one of our freshmen will be five-star blue-chip prospect Sindarius Thornwell, who should provide a sizeable upgrade over Brian Richardson and Damien Leonard. Desmond Ringer and one of the uncommitted prospects could help Michael Carrera in the front court along with hopefully improved play from the two European sophomores. It's hard to imagine us going anywhere but up, although we're likely to still be far from a top 25 team.
The other news on the Gamecocks basketball front is that talented assistant coach Brad Underwood is reportedly going to be hired by Stephen F. Austin this week. This was likely an inevitability; Underwood was a long-time top assistant under Bob Huggins and then Martin at Kansas St. and has been looking to move up to a head-coaching position. I trust Martin to make a good choice on Underwood's replacement.