COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - University of South Carolina head men’s basketball coach Frank Martin announced Wednesday the signing of six student-athletes set to join the Gamecocks beginning with the 2017-18 season and the departure of two 2016-17 student-athletes from the squad.
David Beatty (G - 6-4 – 200 – Philadelphia, Pa. – Imhotep Institute Charter High School)
A McDonald’s High School All-America nominee, David Beatty is a 4-star recruit, according to ESPN.com and 247sports.com. He was named 4A All-State First Team (Pennsylvania Sports Writers) and high school squad ranked No. 5 in the final USA Today poll.
"David is a fierce competitor," said Martin. "He is a multi-skilled guard that plays much bigger than his frame actually is." Martin continued, "He has played the point and small forward during his career. His ability to score and get to the foul line translate to college basketball.”
Frank Booker (G – 6-4 – 200 – Augusta, Ga. – Westside High School/Oklahoma/FAU)
A graduate transfer from FAU, where he averaged 5.7 points per game in 2016-17, Frank Booker began his college career at Oklahoma, where he averaged 5.1 points and 1.5 rebounds per game during his two-year career. He was named Region 3-AA Player of the Year as a senior during prep career at Westside High School and averaged 27.9 points and 4.1 assists per game during his senior season. Booker was born in Reykjavid, Iceland.
"Frank brings an unbelievable amount of experience to our locker room," Martin said. "He is a 6’4” 3-point shooter who has continued to grow his game. During his time at Oklahoma, he was a rotation player for a Sweet 16 team." Martin went on to say "He will fit in with our mindset and our quest to continue to build our program with NCAA Tournament expectations.”
Jason Cudd (C/F – 7-0 – 250 – Myrtle Beach, S.C. – Socastee High School)
A 3-star recruit according to 247sports.com, Jason Cudd averaged 18.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as a senior. He led Socastee to their first playoff appearance in three seasons during senior season and was named to the 2017 Toast of the Coast First Team. Jason father, Clint, played basketball at College of Charleston.
"Jason is the biggest player that I have ever recruited," said Martin. "He has an understanding of how to play in the low post, which in our system is a great fit. He has soft hands and the ability to shoot the basketball, Martin said. "We are extremely excited for who he is becoming.”
Ibrahim Doumbia (F – 6-8 – 220 – Mali – Miami Country Day School)
A 4-star recruit according to ESPN.com and 3-star recruit according to 247sports.com, Ibrahim Doumbia averaged 27 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks per game as a senior. He was named 2017 5A-2A First-Team All-Dade County by the Miami Herald and selected to the 2017 Miami Dade County All-Star Team. Doumbia also represented Mali on the National Team at the FIBA Africa U-18 Championships in 2016.
"Ibrahim brings an athleticism that is going to have people speaking about him for a long time," Martin said. . He can really shoot the basketball. He is a flier that will have some incredible dunks and blocked shots in his career here.”
Felipe Haase (F – 6-10 – 250 – Osorno, Chile – Miami (Fla.) Christian School)
A 3-star recruit according to ESPN.com and 247sports.com, Felipe Haase averaged 19.3 points, 12.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game as a senior. He was selected to the 2017 Miami Dade County All-Star Team and named 2017 5A-2A First-Team All-Dade County by the Miami Herald. Haase helped lead his high school squad to 2017 Class 2A state championship, scoring 20 points and assisting on the game-winning basket as time expired.
“Felipe has unbelievable international experience playing for his home country’s national team," Martin sad. "He has spent the last two years in high school in the United States adapting to the American game. He brings unbelievable skill for a 6’9” player." Martin continued, "He can really pass and shoot, and he has to continue to make the adjustment to the physicality of college basketball.”
Justin Minaya (F – 6-7 – 190 – Harrington Park, N.J. – Northern Valley at Old Tappan)
Averaging 19.5 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game as a senior, Justin Minaya was named 2017 The Record Player of the Year after leading his high school squad to the Bergen County Jamboree Quarterfinals and the North 1, Group 3 Semifinals. Justin's father, Omar, is a longtime executive in Major League Baseball, having served as the general manager of the Mets and Expos following his playing career in the League.
“Justin is a unique player because of his size and skill," said Martin. "I’ve seen him play the point, but he is a more natural fit on the wing." Martin went on to say "He has a great mind for the game and a great skill package with a mindset coming from a baseball general manager, so there is an understanding of winning and team that we as coaches are always looking for.”
Beatty, Cudd, Doumbia, Haase and Minaya each have four years of eligibility, while Booker, a graduate transfer, has one year of eligibility remaining.
Martin also announced that two student-athletes from the 2016-17 squad would not return next season. “After going through the spring and our end-of-year conversations, Sedee Keita and Ran Tut will not be part of our program moving forward," Martin said. "I’d like to thank them for all of their efforts in a record-setting year.”
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