COLUMBIA -- Darrin Horn shuffled his South Carolina hoops coaching staff Thursday, bringing on former Louisiana-Monroe head coach Orlando Early as an assistant.

"This is a great opportunity for me to be at the highest level in college basketball with a head coach and a program that is, without question, on the rise," Early said. "I'm excited about the challenge of contributing in any way that I can to help coach Horn and South Carolina be successful."

To make room for Early, assistant Cypheus Bunton has been reassigned to become the director of player development.

Bunton will be a mentor and academic counselor to the players, but he will not have any on-court contact with the players.

"I'm excited about this opportunity to be in a position that I can focus on my true passion within coaching, which is mentoring and working with student-athletes on a personal level," said Bunton, who was present at a news conference held Thursday to announce the moves.

In discussing the decisions, Horn went back to one of his go-to mantras, about building a program.

"The staff changes we have in place are another step in that process," Horn said. "Part of that process is putting both players and staff in roles for us to be our best individually and collectively as a program.

"Our goals at South Carolina are very clear: We want our program to compete for championships, and we want our student-athletes to excel in the classroom, on the court and in the community."

Horn is 36-26 in his first two seasons at USC, although a key injury and a key suspension significantly derailed this past season, which included a 1-7 nosedive to close out the season.

Early, 42, resigned Tuesday after five seasons as the Warhawks' head coach. There, he compiled a 60-92 overall record, a 33-55 mark in Sun Belt play.

Early was named the league's coach of the year in 2007 after leading ULM to a division title.

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