South Carolina Locks Up Top 10 Class

    
November 13th, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. -  South  Carolina head men's basketball coach Darrin Horn announced on Wednesday the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to attend South Carolina and join the men's basketball squad beginning with the 2010-11 season.  Scout.com has Carolina's five-member class ranked No. 10 in the nation in its 2010 team recruiting class rankings, while Rivals.com has the class at No. 12.  Additionally, both organizations have South Carolina's class as the highest rated in the Southeastern Conference.

Bruce Ellington (G - 5-10 - 185 - Moncks Corner, S.C./Berkeley High School), Damontre Harris (F - 6-9 - 225 - Fayetteville, N.C./Trinity Christian  School),  Brian  Richardson  (G  -  6-5  -  180  -  Wilson,  N.C./Greenfield  School),  RJ  Slawson  (F  -  6-8  -  190  -  Charleston,  S.C./Fort Dorchester  High  School)  and  Eric Smith  (G  -  5-11  -  185  -  Mullins,  S.C./Christ  School)  will  don  the  Garnet  and  Black  next  season.    All  five student-athletes will enter their first year at Carolina with four years of eligibility remaining.

"This is our second recruiting class at South Carolina and it continues to help us take the steps that we want to take with our program," Horn said.  "We addressed our needs that we'll have with graduation and I think we've added a nice mix of talent and athletic ability.  No question this class will have an immediate impact on our team next season and is a special class as we work to build South Carolina basketball."

Bruce Ellington (G - 5-10 - 185 - Moncks Corner, S.C./Berkeley High School)

Three-year  letterwinner  for  coach  Charlie  Harrison  at  Berkeley  High  School  ?  A  consensus four-star  prospect  ?  Rated  as  the  No.  52  overall prospect and the No. 12 point guard in the country by Scout.com ? No. 48 overall and No. 8 point guard by Hoopscoop.com ? No. 94 overall prospect by Rivals.com ? MVP at the Desert Dual AAU Tournament in July 2009 ? Garnered all-region honors all three years at Berkeley ?Averaged 28.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists as a junior ? A South Carolina High School Basketball Coaches Association (SCBCA) Preseason Elite 5 (all state classifications) ? A SCBCA Preseason Top 5 Senior Class (4A) ? Chose South Carolina over Clemson, Tennessee, Miami (Fla.), Kansas, Georgia Tech and Auburn ? Former AAU teammate of fellow signee RJ Slawson.

Damontre Harris (F - 6-9 - 225 - Fayetteville, N.C./Trinity Christian School)

Three-year letterwinner for coach Heath Vandevender at Trinity Christian School ? Four-star prospect ? Rated as the No. 40 overall prospect and the No. 11 center in the country according to Scout.com ? No. 56 prospect and No. 13 power forward by Rivals.com ? Rated No. 62 overall and No. 5 center according to ESPN.com ? Averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game as a junior ? Also garnered SEIC All-Conference First Team and SEIC All-Tournament honors last season ? Chose South Carolina over Florida, Wake Forest and Maryland.

Brian Richardson (G - 6-5 - 180 - Wilson, N.C./Greenfield School)

Three-year letterwinner for coach Rob Salter at Greenfield School ? Three-star prospect ? 1A NCISA First-Team selection, the Coastal Plains Independent Conference Player of the Year and the Coastal Plains Conference Tournament MVP all three years of prep career ? Led squad to 1A NCISA Final Four during junior season when he averaged 22.0 points, five assists and six rebounds per game ? Shot 40 percent from beyond the arc as a junior ? Chose South Carolina over Alabama and Auburn.

RJ Slawson (F - 6-8 - 190 - Charleston, S.C./Fort Dorchester High School)

One-year letterwinner for coach Leon Wheaton at Fort Dorchester High School ? A consensus four-star prospect ? Rated No. 69 overall prospect and No. 15 power forward in the country by Scout.com ? No. 112 overall and No. 21 power forward by Rivals.com ? No. 82 overall and No. 21 power forward according to ESPN.com ? Named all-state, all-region, First Team All-Low Country and region player of the year as a junior when he averaged 20.4 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 2.3 assists and 43 percent from beyond the arc ? Led Fort Dorchester to the Lower State Finals during junior season ? Transferred from Stratford following freshman season and sat out sophomore campaign ? A South Carolina High School Basketball Coaches Association (SCBCA) Preseason Elite 5 (all state classifications) ? A SCBCA Preseason Top 5 Senior Class (4A) ? Chose South Carolina over Clemson, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia Tech ? Former AAU teammate of fellow signee Bruce Ellington.

Eric Smith (G - 5-11 - 185 - Mullins, S.C./Christ School)

Three-year letterwinner for coach Mark Gerald at Mullins (S.C.) High School ? Three-star prospect ? Transferred to Christ School prior to senior year ? A first-team all-state selection all three seasons at Mullins ? Region player of the year as a junior ? Scored over 1,500 points thus far during prep career ? Led Mullins to state finals as a junior when he averaged 20.0 points and eight assists per game. ? Chose South Carolina over Clemson and Auburn.