June 24, 2024

South Carolina Basketball: Former Starter Transfers to SEC Rival

South Carolina basketball player Josh Gray has transferred to the Missouri Tigers after entering the transfer portal this offseason. Gray, a fan favorite, joined the Gamecocks from LSU and stood out for his size (7’0″ and 270 pounds) and defensive presence. Despite his potential, his career at South Carolina was inconsistent and did not fully match his physical abilities.

Gray’s career stats were modest, but he played a key role in coach Lamont Paris’ rotation over the past two seasons. His standout performance was against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the 2022-2023 season, where he scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. This game was part of a late-season surge that saw him become the starting center.

In the 2023-2024 season, Gray did not retain his starting position. Anticipating new additions to the center position, he entered the transfer portal.

Over the weekend, Gray announced his commitment to the Missouri Tigers. Joe Tipton of On3 reported the move, keeping Gray within the SEC. Gray aims to leverage his impressive per-minute stats into a more prominent role at Missouri.

In response to losing Gray and fellow big men BJ Mack and Stephen Clark (both to graduation), the Gamecocks have recruited three new post players this offseason.

Former Alabama center Nick Pringle, a starter for Nate Oats’ Final Four team, has joined South Carolina. Pringle, from the Palmetto State, is similar in style to Gray but is slightly smaller (6’10”), more athletic, and aggressive, with one year of eligibility left.

Did You Know That… Josh Gray is an official 'ambassador' for the state of  Louisiana? | NBA.com

Finnish forward Okku Federiko, a 4-star recruit from the class of 2024, can play multiple frontcourt positions. He was a former teammate of current Gamecock guard Morris Ugusuk, who joined the team ahead of the 2023-2024 season.

Power forward/center Jordan Butler, a South Carolina native, transferred from Missouri. Essentially swapping places with Gray, Butler has three years of eligibility remaining and offers a different style of play. Butler, also 7 feet tall but thinner, brings shooting touch and ball-handling skills that Gray lacked.

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