Beatty (copy)

South Carolina freshman David Beatty is leaving the Gamecocks after struggling to find playing time his first year. File/Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina

COLUMBIA — The attrition from South Carolina’s basketball team continues.

On Monday, freshman guard David Beatty became the third player to transfer since the season ended. “We want to thank David for everything he did for our program during his time with us, and we wish him the best on and off the court moving forward,” coach Frank Martin said in a statement.

“It was a great situation, it just wasn’t the best for my situation,” Beatty exclusively told The Post and Courier. “The coaches were great, coach Frank Martin was great, the fans were great, the city of Columbia was great. It just wasn’t the right fit for my style of play.”

The move wasn’t surprising in its content, only in its date. Beatty, the highest-rated member of the Gamecocks’ last recruiting class, only averaged 11.8 minutes per game and played more than five minutes once in USC’s final eight games.

Yet he wasn’t announced as leaving over two weeks ago, when USC said that Ibrahim Doumbia and Khadim Gueye were also departing. Generally, Martin likes to announce all arrivals/departures at once.

Beatty said that he recently asked for the release and he had no school in mind for his next stop. The native of Philadelphia played for three schools in his final three years of high school.

“It doesn’t matter where I go, I just want to find a situation that best fits me,” he said.

USC had a fourth departure on Feb. 17, when Kory Holden left the team after an injury-marred season. He has signed with South Alabama. 

Beatty struggled to get on the court in the final half of the year despite USC needing a lot of help at guard. The Gamecocks suffered through inconsistent point-guard play all season and Beatty, a natural two-guard, couldn’t take advantage of the open spot when two-guard Hassani Gravett was moved to point.

He scored a season-high 16 points on Dec. 27 against Limestone and played a season-high 33 minutes against Ole Miss in USC’s New Year’s Eve conference opener, when Gravett was lost to a sprained ankle. He averaged three points and one rebound per game for the season.

The Gamecocks now have two open scholarships for next season. Rakym Felder is set to return from a redshirt season where he was suspended for the first half of it, and Gravett is back as a senior. Martin picked up a commitment from freshman point guard T.J. Moss over the weekend.

USC also signed freshman two-guard Jermaine Couisnard.

Follow David Cloninger on Twitter @DCPandC.