COLUMBIA - South Carolina's men's basketball team welcomed some size to its program Tuesday.
Gamecocks coach Frank Martin announced the signing of 6-6 guard/forward Shamiek Sheppard and 6-9 forward James Thompson.
Sheppard, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., is a three-star recruit who averaged 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists as a senior at South Shore. He was named first-team all-state and all-region team MVP during his time at South Shore. He played last season at Fishburne Military School, where he averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds and two assists.
"Shamiek Sheppard is a strong, athletic guard that we like to call a power guard, who can be a high-volume rebounder and slasher," Martin said in a released statement Tuesday. "He plays with an unbelievable amount of toughness and strength, and he should be a tremendous addition to our depth at the guard position. He gives us a different dimension than what we've had."
Thompson, a Baton Rouge, La., native, averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks as a senior at Parkview Baptist School. A three-star recruit, Thompson was named first-team all-state three times.
"James Thompson is a 6-9, long, athletic, rebounding shot-blocker that we feel is going to be a great addition to our front line," Martin said. "He brings the ability to block shots, and that is something added to things that we were missing on last year's team."
The two spring signees joined guard TeMarcus Blanton of Locust Grove, Ga., and guard Marcus Stroman of Columbia as incoming freshmen this season. Blanton and Stroman signed in the fall.
Martin also announced freshman forward Desmond Ringer and guard Jaylen Shaw will not return to their team. Their transfers have been previously reported.
"Unfortunately, Jaylen Shaw and Desmond Ringer will not be returning to our team next season," Martin said in a statement. "Two fine young men, from two great families, who sacrificed for our team. We will always be grateful for their contributions and efforts this past season."
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