It has not been a good offseason for South Carolina Gamecock basketball fans.
With a monstrous collapse to close the regular season, no NCAA tournament bid, and a blowout loss to end our season, the last few months have been disappointing. Coupled with the disappointing suspension and subsequent dismissal of two promising freshman, almost nothing has gone to plan. However, much needed good news came today by way of the University of Delaware. Kory Holden, one of Coach Frank Martin's biggest targets, committed to play for us in what will be his final two years of eligibility.
Holden, a 6'2" combo guard from Lithonia, Georgia who transferred to James M. Bennett High School in Maryland after his sophomore season, will hopefully become the dynamic and assertive scorer that the team has lacked the last few seasons. He is effective and versatile, and has the ability to stretch the defense out from 3, shooting 39% last season. He is a good driver, and has the ability to finish with either hand at the basket. He has enjoyed good success too, winning 2nd team All-CAA honors last season. Even though not having him in the 2016-2017 season will be a bit of a downside, his impact in the two seasons after that can't be understated.
As of right now, South Carolina has relatively good depth on the wings. With Thornwell, Notice, and Dozier projected as the starters, we have a very good wing combination. We also have Justin McKie, a veteran with a sweet shooting stroke, and unprovens like John Ragin and Temarcus Blanton on the pine, which could and should develop into our strength. However, after this year, Thornwell, Notice, and McKie will be on the graduation stage, and someone will have to step up and be the go-to guy.
This is where Kory Holden comes in. With his ability to score in many diverse ways as well as his experience, there is no reason to suggest that Holden won't be the player that coaches spend hours going through game tape, trying to find ways to stop him. This could be the under the radar move that takes us into the NCAA Tournament. Basketball season might be six months out, but things are looking up in the Colonial Life Arena.