College Sports

What Frank Martin said about Seventh Woods coming to USC, other new Gamecocks

South Carolina on Monday officially recognized its seven new men’s basketball players. Six will contribute for the 2019-20 Gamecocks.

One won’t be eligible for another season.

But Seventh Woods, in these parts anyway, is as high-profile as sit-out transfers can be. The former blue chip recruit from nearby Hammond High School chose North Carolina over the Gamecocks in 2016. Three years later, he’s in garnet and black.

“I’m extremely excited to get Seventh back home,” Martin said in a news release. “He has learned a lot over the last three years, and obviously he was a rotation player on a national championship team. Who he is to this community — I don’t need to say much about it, I think that’s understood.

“I’m excited — and I think so is he — to be able to get to help him, and help him regain that trust that he had in himself, so after a redshirt year, he can line up and play with the same kind of confidence and aggressiveness that he played in throughout his high school career at Hammond.”

A two-time Mr. Basketball in South Carolina, Woods was a YouTube sensation with the Skyhawks. The four-star prospect was a top 50 player in the ‘16 class when he picked the Tar Heels. The individual success failed to translate to Chapel Hill, however, as Woods averaged 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds per game as the guard sat behind the likes of Joel Berry and Coby White.

He transferred from UNC in April, and committed — as walk-on — to USC on June 7. Woods was also being courted by Gonzaga and Michigan.

“I lacked confidence in my last year at Carolina,” Woods told The State, “and am using this year to get my mind back straight, be with the people I love and be with the people that will push me. I know what I am capable of. I’ve just got to be confident and show it.”

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Woods is one of four Palmetto State products new to the Gamecocks. The others are 6-foot-1 Hartsville point guard Trae Hannibal, 6-8 Legacy Charter forward Jalyn McCreary and 6-1 Mike Green, a walk-on guard from Myrtle Beach.

Martin on Hannibal: “Trae is a young man from Hartsville [S.C.], who scored 62 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in his final high school game. He is a dynamic point guard, who has size, strength, basketball skill and IQ. We’re extremely excited about who he will become in his time at South Carolina.”

Martin on McCreary: “Athletic, aggressive forward, who is freakishly athletic. In the open court, he is a finisher from the mid-range and he is a dunking highlight reel, a lot like Keyshawn Bryant.”

Martin on Green: “Mike, who is from the Myrtle Beach area, turned down numerous scholarship offers because of his belief in who we are as a basketball program and his willingness to play for his state. He has come here paying his own way, and doing everything in his power to earn a scholarship as we move forward.”

Martin on Micaiah Henry, a 6-9 grad transfer forward from Tennessee Tech: “Low-post player that is comfortable playing with his back to the basket. He has really good hands, and he is a highly-competitive young man that has a tremendous feel of how to score around the basket.”

Martin on Trey Anderson, a 6-5 forward from California: “Athletic wing, that can shoot the basketball. He’s very competitive and multi-talented defensively, so we’re excited about the possibilities of what he can contribute right away.”

Martin on Wildens Leveque, a 6-10 center from Massachusetts: “Athletic center, who knows he is a back-to-the basket player. He is a rim protector, he’s a runner, and he has real good hands, so he can figure out a way to help on offense and defense from the word go.”

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Andrew Ramspacher has been covering college athletics since 2010, serving as The State’s USC men’s basketball beat writer since October 2017. His work has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors, Virginia Press Association and West Virginia Press Association. At a program-listed 5-foot-10, he’s always been destined to write about the game. Not play it.
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