In this weekly feature, GamecockCentral.com gives USC fans an in-depth summary of everything that took place in the world of Gamecock athletics over the past week. At GamecockCentral.com, we provide fans with in-depth, insider coverage. Whether it's press conferences, games, breaking news, analysis, answering your questions, or delivering inside information you will not find elsewhere, we work hard to keep your finger on the pulse of of your Gamecocks.
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Here's the latest on Carolina athletics...
*** Steve Spurrier and Sterling Sharpe finished tied for sixth in this year's Chick-fil-A Golf Challenge, shooting -7 overall and winning $35,000 for charity.
*** USC had three former Gamecocks' names called in the NFL Draft. Pharoh Cooper was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth round, the New York Jets traded up to nab Brandon Shell in the fifth round, and the New York Giants picked Jerell Adams in the sixth round.
*** Will Muschamp continues his spring "Spurs Up Tour", making stops at several Gamecock Club meetings around the state. Some highlights from those talks?
- He feels the future is bright at the quarterback position in Columbia.
- Freshman Evan Hinson is not yet on campus, but is being eyed by the staff at a potential contributor at tight end - or even receiver.
- Although Muschamp inherited a three-win program, he's not interested in rebuilding and wants to win now.
- During the Spartanburg stop, Muschamp had plenty to say about Upstate native Deebo Samuel.
*** What's the scoop on USC's SEC East opponent, Florida, following the Gators' spring ball? We went into plenty of detail with a Florida football expert to break down the strengths, weaknesses, and more on 2016 Gators.
*** In our latest discussion piece, we break down USC's toughest game during the 2016 football season and which players are the best draft prospects on the roster.
*** USC lost a verbal commitment from the 2017 class recently when JUCO wide receiver Stephen Guidry backed off his pledge. Guidry, a Louisiana product originally, has since been offered by Alabama, LSU, and others.
*** Will Muschamp and his staff hosted a prospect event back on Saturday that featured games, a scavenger hunt, a dunk tank, and much more and several talented prospects were on hand to participate. Our team provided in-depth returns from many of the biggest names in attendance. Two commitment also came out of the event, with USC landing wide receiver Shawn Smith and running back Kyshaun Bryan. You can watch Bryan in action here and watch Smith's film right here.
*** Speaking of Smith, he may not have been a household name to Gamecock fans, but his coach spoke with us and broke down his game in great detail in a one-on-one feature.
*** Recently offered in-state quarterback Jay Urich continued building a relationship with the Gamecock coaching staff and discussed a potential decision timeline with us.
*** Four-star DB Tre Shaw was on campus for the second time in less than a month. With the secondary being such a priority in the recruiting class for USC this cycle, could Shaw join the Gamecock fold? He breaks down his interest...
*** USC's staff was the first to offer in-state 2018 DT Kelijiha Brown, who quickly turned around with a visit back on Saturday. It appears that South Carolina is in a good spot with him early, based on his comments.
*** Chris Clark's Insider Report goes into detail with more returns and insight into how USC's big recruiting weekend went in this lengthy report.
*** Wes Mitchell brings more detail on the two commitments USC recently gained, plus other insight from the recruiting trail in Carolina Confidential.
*** A Georgia wide out visited USC for the first time recently, and his stock has been on the rise as of late. What did Salem's Justin Marshall think? Did USC work its way into contention?
*** Goose Creek product Javon Kinlaw was placed in junior college by South Carolina - how's he doing now? What position is he working at and how much does he weight? That and more from his coach, who has an interesting connection to the Gamecock staff.
*** An in-state athlete who is an intriguing prospect is drawing significant interest from South Carolina. Could the South Aiken standout nab an offer?
*** Florida wide receiver Jordan Pouncey is picking up big offers at a brisk rate, with Alabama and South Carolina being two of the more recent schools to step up with a scholarship. What does the 6-foot-3 pass-catcher think of Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks?
*** In another edition of Carolina Confidential, Wes Mitchell drops a new name to watch from the 2016 class that's appeared finished for a while. The player, a JUCO product, went on record with Wes to give more insight into his situation.
*** A 6-foot-3 safety from Tennessee seems plenty intrigued by a recent USC offer.
*** The Gamecocks also offered a current Virginia Tech commitment, and he seems to be interested in taking a look at what's going on in Columbia.
*** Friday's Insider Report gave plenty of scoop and insight on new offers that USC has dispensed during the spring evaluation period.
*** The Gamecocks split the weekend series against Florida, with game three being called due to weather. In game one, USC suffered a heartbreaking loss after giving up a lead in the ninth inning to the Gators. The Gamecocks rebounded in game two with a one-run win, led by Gene Cone's two-out solo home run in the seventh. Game three was ultimately called due to weather, but Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan gave the Gamecocks' team some high praise afterwards. Baseball writer Collyn Taylor weighed in with his take after watching the series in person.
*** Pitcher Braden Webb was named SEC Freshman of the Week once again after his performance against Florida.
*** USC is coming down the stretch in SEC play heading towards the postseason. What is Chad Holbrook saying about his team?
*** How are USC's former players doing in pro ball? Our breakdown can be found here...
*** On the baseball recruiting front, USC picked up a big pledge from a junior college product, which you can read about right here...
*** USC rode pitching and late scoring to a 4-1 win in a midweek game over USC Upstate, after which Upstate head coach Matt Fincher was quite complimentary of the Gamecocks. For 15 more things following the game, check here.
*** Next up for USC is a conference road series against Kentucky, which we previewed in this piece.
*** Frank Martin added to his 2016 recruiting class by landing 7-footer Khadim Gueye out of Florida, who signed with the Gamecocks this week.
*** Martin also filled his assistant coaching vacancy by hiring Bruce Shingler from Towson State. In this piece, hoops insider Carey Rich takes you behind the scenes of the hire and brings information you absolutely will not find anywhere else.
*** Outgoing senior Sarah Imovbioh has garnered an invitation to the Nigeria National Team Training Camp. The 25 players invited to camp will be narrowed down to a roster of 12 who will play in the FIBA Women’s Qualifying Tournament in France in June.
Training camp is in Imovbioh's hometown and begins May 15. She played in all 35 games this season for USC. Imovbioh averaged 4.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while averaging 14.2 minutes of play.
*** Sophomore Gabriel Friedrich was one of 49 at-large selections to the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship, played from May 25-30 the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Friedrich is currently ranked 55th nationally and was a Second-Team All-SEC selection following a 20-17 overall record this year.
*** This week, Caroline Dailey earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Singles Championships, while Hadley Berg and Paige Cline received an at-large bid to NCAA Doubles Championship. The NCAA’s individual championships begin on Wed., May 25, at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma., after the team championships.
*** USC is headed to the Tuscaloosa Regional for the NCAA tournament. The 17th-ranked Gamecocks will be the number three seed, competing against 12 other teams at Ol' Colony Golf Complex. The event will be held from May 16-18.
The top five teams and the low individual not on those teams from the Tuscaloosa Regional will advance to the NCAA Championship, to be played May 27 through June 1 at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore. The selection is USC's 24th NCA Regional appearance overall.
** Senior Matt NeSmith was honored by the league as a First Team All-SEC selection, the league office announced Wednesday, while senior Brend Gramley was selected to the conference’s Community Service Team. NeSmith is now a three-time All-SEC honoree, earning first team nods the past two seasons. His career 71.67 average is the best in Carolina history and he was a semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award this year.
*** Junior first baseman Kaylea Snaer was selected to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District 4 team, the organization released today. Snaer, the NCAA Division I doubles leader, broke the SEC's single season doubles mark this year. To qualify for nomination to the CoSIDA team, a student must have completed one calendar year on campus, have a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average or higher and be a starter or major contributor to the team. Winners from the eight districts move onto the national ballot, released later this month.
*** USC posted a 2-1 record in a weekend series against no. 4 Alabama. Game one on Friday was a 3-1 victory for the Crimson Tide, while the Gamecocks rebounded with a 2-1 win the following day. Sunday's rubber match was shortened by rain, with the game being called 5-1 in favor of Alabama after five innings of play. The Gamecocks close SEC play beginning on Friday against nationally ranked Missouri on the road.
TRACK & FIELD
*** USC participated in the Penn Relays on Friday and Saturday. Jussi Kanervo defended his title in the men’s intermediate hurdles, with the junior posting a time of 50.54.
On Saturday, the Gamecocks finished with a win in the 4x200 relay as well as several top-10 times. David Winters, DeVon Lewis, Ncincilili Titi, and Ryan Bermudez posted the program's first-ever 4x200 win at the event, defeating Auburn by .15 seconds. The team is off this weekend, followed by competition at the SEC Tournament, which will be hosted by Alabama.
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