As things stood a few weeks ago, the South Carolina Gamecocks were projected to only need have three scholarships to fill in the 2016 recruiting cycle thanks to the graduations of Michael Carrera, Laimonas Chatkevicius and Mindaugas Kacinas. But recent events have changed things significantly, leaving Frank Martin with several more spots to fill than originally planned.
Currently, the Gamecocks have three players either signed or committed. Sedee Keita signed his NLI during the early period in November. With the late signing window opening earlier this week, forward Maik-Kalev Kotsar's NLI was processed just yesterday, with the news of his signing announced by Martin on Twitter. We're still waiting on Rakym Felder - who committed back in March - but we expect he'll get his in before the May 18 cutoff.
Where things stand
With Eric Cobb and Jamall Gregory kicked off the team after their recent vandalism and marijuana charges, that leaves the Gamecocks with two extra scholarships that they didn't have before. However, with the recent news about Raymond Doby also being charged with pot possession breaking a few days ago, we'd fully expect that the likelihood of him returning to the team is slim. That would leave the Gamecocks with three scholarships going into the 2016-17 season. Big-time transfer Kory Holden, despite being unavailable to play next season due to NCAA regulations, is in town this weekend and would take one of those scholarships if he ends up here when it's said and done. As for the other two spots, Martin could opt to grab a JUCO or grad transfer that can get on the court right away. Or, he can opt to bank the two scholarships toward next year.
What impact will the loss of Cobb and Gregory have on the program?
From a depth standpoint, it's obviously not ideal. From a development standpoint, both players were likely to have figured more into the overall lineup with the seniors gone. Cobb averaged six minutes a game as a reserve guard (including a seven-rebound performance against Francis Marion), while Gregory averaged 12 minutes per game in 20 games but didn't see the floor after the Arkansas game on March 5. Gregory certainly appeared to progress more than Cobb did during the season and figured to be a significant part of the rotation in 2016-17. (By the way, Gregory has enrolled at Chipola College and will play JUCO ball next season in an attempt to latch on with a Division 1 program by fall 2017.)