Frank Martin put the finishing touches on a major recruiting coup earlier today when he received a commitment from Ft. Lauderdale / Northeast HS star Demetrius Henry. Henry is rated a composite four-star prospect with a 93 / 100 rating according to 247 Sports. This power forward's major strength is a polished offensive game. He bangs around well down low and can score the ball in the post, while also possessing a solid face-up mid-range jumper. He has some moderate ball-handling capability and can make plays in transition. He's even versatile enough to play wing in certain situations. However, given the Gamecocks' major need for height in the post, expect Henry to start his career as a primarily low-post player. He also brings a lot defensively, especially on the glass. There's a good chance he starts right away. His commitment brings Carolina up to 21st in 247's recruiting team rankings. Considering that Carolina also has Tyrone Johnson coming in from Villanova, we have reason to be optimistic about the talent infusion we'll experience this coming season.
This commitment is Frank Martin's biggest win to date on the recruiting trail. Obviously, five-star bluechipper Sindarius Thornwell is the most highly rated player Martin has signed, with 2014 commitment Marcus Stroman also highly regarded. However, Darrin Horn and his staff had both made major inroads with these two players, both of whom are local products who wanted to play at Carolina other than in adverse conditions. They may very well have committed to Horn himself if Horn had received more time, and in any event, neither needed much persuasion from Martin when he took the job. They knew that Martin would breathe life into their beloved in-state program, and they wanted to be a part of what's cooking. Henry is a different animal. This is an out-of-state prospect who chose the Gamecocks over Miami, an up-and-coming ACC program in his backyard. This is not someone who would have normally considered the Gamecocks. However, Martin was involved with Henry going back to his days at K-State, and he immediately worked Henry's interest in the Gamecocks. As G'n'B notes, when asked why he chose Carolina, Henry immediately responded, "Frank Martin." It was Martin's vaunted recruiting magic that brought Henry here.
Getting big-time out-of-state prospects will be important for Carolina going forward. Our state is not a hotbed of basketball talent, although it obviously produces some good players from time to time. In the past year, Martin has performed the winning formula to a T, keeping the in-state talent home and getting some major players at key positions from out of state. I'm excited for next season.