Tag:South Carolina
Posted on: December 29, 2011 12:56 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Ellington's 2-sport schedule this week impressive

By Jeff Goodman

Bruce Ellington is a busy man these days, pulling double-duty at South Carolina. 

The Gamecocks two-sport guy went for a season-high 17 points last night in a win over Wofford, then set the alarm for a 5:30 a.m. flight this morning that took him to Orlando. Then it'll be a few days back at football practice in preparation for the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 2 against Nebraska.

"It's really not that hard doing both," Ellington said. "It hasn't been too crazy. Both coaching staffs have been really good at working with me and my schedule."

And somehow, Ellington has managed to keep his GPA at a 3.19.

Immediately after Monday afternoon's football game, Ellington will jump in the car with his parents and make the six or so-hour drive back to Columbia, S.C. He figures he'll get a few hours of sleep, rejoin the basketball team for the shootaround and suit up on Tuesday night against South Carolina State.

That means the lone game he'll miss due to football is Saturday night against USC Upstate.

"It's been fun," said Ellington, who is averaging 8.1 points in seven games. "It's taken a little time for me to get back in basketball shape, but I think I'm there now."

Ellington will also likely take his starting spot back when he returns. 

"I think we'll be much better after this when we have the entire team together and healthy," Ellington said.

Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:07 am
Edited on: December 16, 2011 10:20 am
 

South Carolina 2-sport star to miss one more game

By Jeff Goodman

Darrin Horn will get Bruce Ellington back soon. For good.

The plan is for the two-sport star -- who is also a receiver on South Carolina's football team -- to miss one more basketball game, on Dec. 31.

He'll fly with the football team after the 28th to Orlando for the Jan. 2 matchup with Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. Then he'll return and almost certainly take his old spot in the starting lineup.

"He's getting better every game," Horn told CBSSports.com.

Ellington has played three games with the basketball team and is averaging 10.0 points per game. In his last outing, he went for 15 points in 25 minutes.

He's South Carolina's best player.

Listen, I'm not saying South Carolina will be an NCAA tournament team this season - or even taste the postseason of any kind. However, when Ellington returns to basketball form - and when freshman Damien Leonard starts making shots (and he will), the Gamecocks will be competitive in the SEC.

Will they battle Kentucky, Florida, Vandy, Mississippi State or Alabama in the standings? Probably not. But they could compete with all the lower-tier teams in the SEC this season - as long as Ellington gets back to what he was a year ago, when he was focused solely on basketball.

Horn is optimistic regarding his young frontline guys, sophomores R.J. Slawson and Damontre Harris, who have been solid thus far. Freshman Anthony Gill (8.6 ppg) has gotten off to a nice start.

"We're going to keep getting better," Horn. "We've got some pieces."

But it's difficult to win without your most talented piece.
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:00 pm
 

Your SEC/Big East Challenge guide



By Matt Norlander


What do you want in a preview? I've been self-assigned (is that even possible?) to give you the rundown on all of the SEC and Big East games coming up over the next 72 hours, and I wasn't quite sure where to go with this. After all, these are early-December games, half of them are afterthoughts, and preview material is usually come-and-go outside of preseason and NCAA tournament talk.

So I looked at the games and decided I'll just give you whatever random thought comes off the top of my head. A conversational tone works best here, since there are no real true tilts of consequence involved outside of the fantastic ones going on Friday night Louisville and Syracuse. (I'll be at the latter.) If there's a stat sited, I do not have it memorized. Those I looked up. I'm not huge on predictions, so you won't find those here.

All this said, I do expect these 12 games to be better than what the ACC and Big Ten gave us Tuesday and Wednesday night, by the way. If you have any other curiosities that go beyond this post, check our SEC/Big East Challenge page, which has the history of this event and stats that go along with it.

Thursday

Providence at South Carolina (7 ET): Oh this is just bad. Providence is a few years away from true relevancy, and Darrin Horn is already coaching for his job at South Carolina. NEXT.

St. John's at Kentucky (7:30 ET): Wildcats get the Johnnies tonight, less than 48 hours before Carolina comes in. I'd say St. John's would have a chance, except they're playing Kentucky. Kind of a problem. SJU doesn't have one senior on its roster and head coach Steve Lavin will not be making the trip. Kentucky will be looking ahead to UNC, but the 'Cats should win by a minimum of 23.4 points.

Ole Miss at DePaul (9 ET): Have a sick interest in this game if for no other reason than I want to know how many people show up to watch it. Have to say, the fact these teams are a combined 9-2 is a welcomed surprise.

Georgetown at Alabama (9:30 ET): Best game of the night, period. Are you sure what Georgetown is yet? We do know the Hoyas take care of the ball very well. That early trend could be bucked in Tuscaloosa, though, because Alabama is on its way to being a top-five defensive team in the country. Teams are shooting a 35.7 effective field goal percentage against the Tide. Second-worst in the country.

Friday

Florida at Syracuse (7 ET): I'll keep this strictly to basketball, because I'm not sure how much I'll be able to do that one I get there to cover the game. Basically, I'm intrigued as hell. I love Bradley Beal's (right, with Billy Donovan) game. I'm still not sold on Florida's four-guard look, even if Patric Young gets his chances to play janitor when that happens. No Erik Murphy for the Gators means they're less dynamic. I like Syracuse is a really fun one. With the Orange, you're just never sure who's going to be the player that has the big game. Looks like someone's going to need to decidedly have a huge night to beat a team a lot of people like to make the Final Four.

Cincinnati at Georgia (7 ET): Car-wreck factor has be interested. When will Cinci start playing at a level that's indicative of the talent it has on this team? Georgia's in a third-gear year, I think.

Vanderbilt at Louisville (9 ET): What do you think about this one? Vanderbilt certainly not expected to win it (I haven't checked, but I'd put the Cards at about -4.5 here). Louisville's still not at full strength, nor is Vandy. Goodman's going to be at this game. I think this one adds up to little, even if it's nice in the moment. Because come late February, both these teams will have personnel on the floor that didn't play in this game. If Vandy/'Ville are vying for the 3-seed line and you want to give the winner of this the bid, by all means, but beyond that there won't be much long-term effect from this game. I think John Jenkins struggles in this one, too.

Auburn at Seton Hall (9 ET): Oh, get it out of my face, please.

Saturday

Arkansas at UConn (3:15 ET): The Hogs are without Marshon Powell and so I don't see how Mike Anderson's new team keeps this within 20. UConn's due for a really impressive, really big win. I want to see how Alex Oriakhi plays in front of the home crowd in Hartford. Oriakhi's been public with this playing-time situation. UConn will grow and stumble a little more in December, but I'm betting we're putting this team in the highest echelon by New Year's Day.

Pittsburgh at Tennessee (5:15 ET): I'd call this game the biggest true toss-up of any listed here. I'm down on Pitt this year in regard to most others. A win here would be very uplifting for Jamie Dixon's team. Same can be said for Cuonzo Martin at Tennessee, who's probably still punching the pillow after his Vols couldn't steal that game against Memphis in Maui.

LSU at Rutgers (7 ET): Just a couple of truly nondescript, non-enthralling 4-3 BCS conference teams. I think I'd rather put away my summer clothes into storage.

West Virginia at Mississippi State (9 ET): The final game of the Challenge, it's the kind of game MSU should win without controversy if it wants to be top-20 caliber. WVU is down, considerably down, this season. The Bulldogs have twice as much talent on this team -- and a lot more size, even if Denis Kilicli will bruise it up down low with Renardo Sidney and/or Arnett Moultrie. The flip side: Huggins has been known to get his team to steal wins in these kind of spots.

Photos: AP
Posted on: August 10, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 12:21 pm
 

South Carolina's Ellington: Rare two-sport guy

By Jeff Goodman

The two-sport star is a dying breed.

Deion Sanders was recently inducted into the football Hall of Fame as one of the elite cover cornerbacks of all-time, but he was also a fairly accomplished major league baseball player.

Before him, there was Bo Jackson. After him, there have been guys like Charlie Ward, Todd Helton, Tony Gonzalez and Julius Peppers.

Now comes Bruce Ellington.

I know, Ellington isn’t exactly a household name – but South Carolina’s leading returning scorer on the hardwood is trying to pull double duty this year – and has joined the football team as a kick returner/slot receiver.

``I love both sports,” Ellington said. ``I played both when I was younger, so it’s second nature to me.”

The 5-foot-9, 200-pound Ellington, who averaged 12.8 points a year ago, led his Berkeley High (S.C.) to a state title as a senior quarterback. He played receiver and cornerback his freshman and sophomore seasons – and moved to running back his junior year.

The plan is to spend the season with the football team and then join the basketball team.

The difficult task, which Ellington is fully aware, will be getting on the field on a team that is expected to contend for an SEC title. South Carolina is loaded at the receiver spot – and the Gamecocks have one of the nation’s best in Alshon Jeffery.  

``When he was recruiting me, Coach (Darrin) Horn always told me it was my decision whether to play football,” Ellington said. ``I talked to him and he was 100 percent behind me. He even said he’s going to come to my games.”

Horn said he watched three of Ellington’s high school football games and calls his point guard “the best athlete he’s ever coached.”

``He’s got so much physical God-given ability,” Horn said. ``When you talk about everything – quickness, jumping, strength, balance, explosion – he has it all at the highest level. And what separates him is he can go all day. He’s got a gear and he can get to it when everyone else’s gear is stripped.”

Ellington and his teammates begin practice with full pads this past weekend and he said the most difficult part of the transition thus far is getting used to the heat.

``That and learning the playbook,” said Ellington, who admittedly favors basketball. ``There’s a lot more plays and you have to learn all the coverages.”

Ellington said he tried to pull double duty as much as possible in the summer, hitting the weight room with the football team in the morning and then playing pickup in the afternoon.

``I’ll always in good shape, so I think I’ll be able to come back to basketball and still be in the groove,” Ellington said.

Horn hopes so.

``We’re behind him 100 percent and hope he does extremely well,” Horn said. ``We look forward to getting him back after he wins a national championship.” 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 9, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: August 9, 2011 5:11 pm
 

SEC Offseason Roundup

By Jeff Goodman

SEC Offseason Roundup

Alabama – The Crimson Tide will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and also have non-conference games against Georgetown (12-1), vs. Kansas State (12-17) in Kansas City, vs. Oklahoma State (12-21) in Birmingham and at Georgia Tech (1-3). Jason Carter (Chipola JC) and Kendall Durant (NAIA in Texas) both transferred out of the program.

Arkansas – Mike Anderson brought his staff with him from Missouri: Melvin Watkins, Matt Zimmerman, T.J. Cleveland and Jeff Daniels (director of basketball operations). The Razorbacks will play at Uconn (12-3), at Oklahoma (12-10) and vs. Michigan (1-21). Rotnei Clarke (Butler), Jeff Peterson (Florida State) and Glenn Bryant (Eastern Michigan) all transferred out of the program.

Auburn – The Tigers will play in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii (12-22/25) and also have non-league contests at Seton Hall (12-2) and vs. South Florida (12-15). Earnest Ross (Missouri) and Ty Armstrong left the program while Varez Ward (Texas) and Noel Johnson (Clemson) are both eligible this season.

Florida – Billy Donovan had a major shake-up with his staff as Larry Shyatt took the head job at Wyoming, Richard Pitino returned to Louisville and Rob Lanier went back to Texas as the associate head coach. Donovan’s new staff consists of former Arkansas head man John Pelphrey, ex-St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts and Matt McCall – who was with the Gators in an administrative role. Florida will play in the five-team Global Sports Shootout, along with Ohio State, Jackson State, North Florida and Wright State. The Gators will play at Ohio State (11-15) and also have non-league games at Syracuse (12-2), vs. Arizona (12-7), vs. Texas A&M in Sunrise (12-17), vs. Florida State (12-22) and at Rutgers (12-29). Mike Rosario (Rutgers) is eligible this season after sitting out a year ago.

Georgia – The Bulldogs are in the CBE Classic (12-21/21) and also have non-conference contests at Xavier (11-25), at Colorado (11-28), vs. Cincinnati (12-2), vs. Georgia Tech (12-6) and at USC (12-17).

Kentucky – The Wildcats will play in the Hall of Fame event (11-19/20) and also will face Kansas in the Champions Classic (11-15) in NYC. John Calipari’s team’s non-conference slate includes contests vs. St. John’s (12-1), vs. UNC (12-3), at Indiana (12-10) and vs. Louisville (12-31). Ryan Harrow transferred in from N.C. State and Twany Beckham becomes eligible this season after transferring from Mississippi State last year.

LSU – The Tigers took a trip back in May to Italy. Lynn Nance retired and Nick Robinson slid over into his role as an assistant. LSU will play in the Charleston Classic (11-17/20) and also has non-league games at Rutgers (12-3), vs. Marquette (12-19) and against Virginia (1-2 or 3).  Three players – Aaron Dotson (Utah), Garrett Green (San Diego State) and Matt Derenbecker – left the program. Justin Hamilton is eligible this season after transferring in from Iowa State.

Mississippi – Andy Kennedy’s staff completely turned over. Mike White got the head gig at Louisiana Tech while Owen Miller and Torrey Ward are also gone. Kennedy replaced them with former FIU head coach Segrgio Ruoco, Al Pinkins and he also moved up Bill Armstrong. Robi Coker took Armstrong’s spot as the director of basketball operations. The Rebels will play Miami (11-25) at home, at DePaul (12-1), at Penn State (12-4), at Southern Miss (12-17) and at Dayton (12-30), Donald Williams, Will Bogan (Valparaiso), Trevor Gaskins (Louisiana Tech) and Isaiah Massey (Louisiana Tech) all left while Murphy Holloway (South Carolina) returned and may be eligible this year. Jelan Kendrick (Memphis) will be eligible after sitting out last season.

Mississippi State - The Bulldogs are currently on a trip to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris and will also play in the Coaches vs. Cancer event (11-17/18). Rick Stansbury’s team will face West Virginia (12-3), Baylor in Dallas (12-28) and Utah State at home (12-31). Arnett Moultrie is eligible after sitting out last season following a transfer from UTEP.

South Carolina – Orlando Early (N.C. State) left and Darrin Horn bumped up Cypheus Bunton and also promoted Justin Phelps to director of basketball operations. The Gamecocks will play in the Las Vegas Invitational (11-25/26) and also face Providence (12-1) at home, go to Clemson (12-4) and play Ohio State (12-17) at home. Ramon Galloway (La Salle), Murphy Holloway (Ole Miss) and Stephen Spinella transferred out.

Tennessee – New coach Cuonzo Martin brought Jon Harris and Kent Williams from Missouri State and added Tracy Webster. He also kept Houston Fancher as the director of basketball operations. The Vols will play in the Maui Invitational and also a non-conference schedule that includes games against Pittsburgh (12-3), at Memphis (1-4) and vs. UConn (12-21).

Vanderbilt – King Rice left for the head job at Monmouth and was replaced by David Cason (Tulsa). The Commodores will play in the Legends Classic in New Jersey and also have non-league games vs. Xavier (11-28), at Louisville (12-2) and at Marquette (12-29). Andre Walker (Xavier) and Darshaun McClellan (Louisiana-Lafayette) both transferred with one year left of eligibility.

Offseason reports: Big 12 Pac-12 | Big Ten | ACC | Big East



Posted on: June 2, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Solomon Poole continues to make adjustments

INTERESTED TEAMS:



Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – Because of a flight delay, the Dwight Howard Warriors did not arrive at Ravenscroft School (N.C.) until nearly 10 p.m. last Friday at the Tournament of Champions. Despite the late tip time, there were still plenty of media and scouts in attendance, with many staying to watch Solomon Poole, one of the top-25 players in the class of 2013.

As the game went on, and Poole continued to miss outside shots, people began to question his ranking. With the clock winding down, though, Poole reminded everyone why he is so highly touted.

Down one to the Charlotte Nets, Poole put up a stepback jumper that splashed through the net as time expired. That one play demonstrated his quickness, strength and scoring ability, and how tough he is to stop when it all comes together.

It might have been enough to make people forget his early struggles.

“I just focused,” Poole said of the way he bounced back. “I knew I had to keep going. I knew my teammates would pick me up.”

Poole, a 6-foot-1 combo guard from Terry Parker (Fla.), is the younger brother of Kentucky’s Stacey Poole and the son of former Florida standout Stacey Poole Sr. The basketball bloodlines are hard to miss when gauging Poole’s natural talent. He is a big-time scorer who finishes tremendously well in traffic and controls his body effectively in the lane. Poole can beat his man off the dribble and is strong enough to pull-up in the mid-range against defenders. While inconsistent from 3-point range, Poole does have range behind the arc.

Because of his size, though, Poole might have to play the one at the next level, and he knows it.

“I need to work on my pace,” he said. “I need to work on changing speeds.”

A long list of schools are courting the talented sophomore. Poole and his AAU coach, Antwain Tennell, rattled off offers from local schools Central Florida and South Florida, as well as Georgia Tech and South Carolina. Providence, North Carolina, Arizona, Memphis, Florida and Oklahoma State are all showing interest. 

Decision time is a long way away for Poole, but he knows what he’s looking for in a school.

“First, academics. You can’t get anywhere without that,” Poole said. “And a coach that makes you better. I want him to tell me what I’m doing wrong.”

Based on the way he makes adjustments during the game, though, it seems Poole is getting by just fine on his own.

Posted on: June 1, 2011 3:02 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 3:21 pm
 

UNC headlines 2011 Las Vegas Invitational field



Posted by Eric Angevine


The University of North Carolina is setting up the usual tough non-conference schedule for the 2011-12 season. In addition to the November 11 aircraft carrier game against Michigan State and a November 30 matchup with Wisconsin in the ACC/Big Ten challenge, the Tar Heels will also take part in the 11th annual Las Vegas Invitational. Games will be played in Orleans Arena on November 25 and 26.

The field includes host UNLV, as well as South Carolina of the SEC and Southern Cal from the Pac-12. First-round opponents for the automatic advancers will be Morgan State, Tennessee State, Cal Poly and Mississippi Valley State.

UNC won the event in 2007.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: May 13, 2011 4:35 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2011 4:39 pm
 

Recruiting Notebook: Thornwell on the rise

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The class of 2013 is going to be known for its depth at the wing position, and one player making his way up the rankings is Sindarius Thornwell.

Thornwell, a 6-foot-4 sophomore from Lancaster (S.C.), makes an immediate impact because of his length and athleticism. He handles the ball and distributes well for someone his size, and is also adept at finishing.

“I’m quick and I can handle the ball,” Thornwell said. “I’m always attacking and I play defense.”

Plenty of colleges have taken notice of the versatile 2013 prospect.

Thornwell currently holds offers from South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee State, Georgia Southern and Charlotte. He also has interest from Louisville, UCF and the entire ACC besides North Carolina and Duke.

Thornwell, who has visited Clemson and South Carolina, knows exactly what he needs in a school.

“I’m looking for playing style, good academics and playing time,” he said. “That’s it.”

2013 big man looking to improve

Most 6-foot-10 sophomores can get by on size and length alone. Andre Walker, on the other hand, is constantly looking to get better.

As it stands, he is a talented but raw big man who can run the floor and finish after he catches it.

“I need to make strong moves and play better defense,” Walker said. “I need to get better, get stronger. I also want to work on my perimeter game. I’m working hard.”

The Clarksburg (Md.) native is hearing from DePaul, Washington State, VCU, Northwestern, George Mason and Maryland.

Whitfield transfers to team with Tyler Lewis

North Carolina is loaded with prospects in the class of 2012. One player flying under the radar is Shane Whitfield, a 6-foot-5 forward.

In an attempt to make a name for himself, Whitfield is transferring next year to Forsyth Country Day School (N.C.). There, he will team up with North Carolina State commit Tyler Lewis in hopes of increasing his recruitment.

“It’s better competition,” Whitfield said. “I want to get better everyday.”

Right now, Whitfield has offers from Delaware, American, Campbell and Holy Cross, with interest from Richmond, Charlotte and East Carolina.

Other notes:

- A Texas team in need of impact players could pick up one this weekend. Recently available Sterling Gibbs and North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow are both visiting Austin this weekend.

- Unsigned 2011 center Daouda Soumaoro is currently on an official visit to Washington. Soumaoro took a trip to St. John’s recently, and said he enjoyed it.

- Top-50 2012 forward Ricardo Gathers is taking an unofficial visit to St. John’s this weekend. The Louisiana native also wants to take a trip to Florida.

Photo: 6manbasketball.com 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com