ESPN: New-look South Carolina offense has chance to get big step ahead

ESPN: New-look South Carolina offense has chance to get big step ahead

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here. ‘Don’t be surprised’ ESPN’s Alex Scarborough likes what he saw from the South Carolina Gamecocks offense under first-year coordinator Bryan McClendon this spring. “Don’t be surprised if the Gamecocks’ offense takes a big step forward this season,” Scarborough wrote. “Quarterback Jake Bentley having a year under his belt will help, as will the return of receiver Deebo Samuel, but more important there will be a new look to the unit with an emphasis on playing with greater pace.” The Gamecocks return all seven wide receivers who caught passes last season, but have to replace All-SEC tight end Hayden Hurst, who was picked No. 25 overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2018 NFL Draft. What a week This past week was eventful for the Gamecocks’ recruiting classes for 2018 and 2019. Four-star prospect and 2019 wide receiver/tight end Traevon Kenion committed to the Gamecocks on April 29, while Texas A&M graduate transfer cornerback Nick Harvey picked South Carolina on May 2. “Harvey, of course, will join the Gamecocks secondary for the 2018 season,” SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan writes. “His playing career at South Carolina will be over when members of the Class of 2019 enroll for class next January.” With Kenion’s pledge, South Carolina’s 2019 class is rated No. 13 in 247Sports’ football recruiting composite team rankings. ‘USC was really good’ Four-star defensive end and 2020 prospect Jacolbe Cowan gets good vibes from the...
Ranking South Carolina’s draft-eligible players; 4-star WR ‘looking forward’ to Gamecocks’ new-look offense

Ranking South Carolina’s draft-eligible players; 4-star WR ‘looking forward’ to Gamecocks’ new-look offense

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here. Catching on The South Carolina Gamecocks boast two of the top wide receiver prospects eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft, according to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report. “Deebo Samuel, a redshirt senior, checks in as the No. 4-ranked wide receiver on Miller’s list,” wrote SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan. “Bryan Edwards, who has started every game as a freshman and sophomore, is No. 9. Neither is listed among the top 25 overall prospects.” In 2016, his most prolific season, Samuel caught 59 passes for 784 yards and 1 touchdown, with 6 rushing scores. In two seasons, Edwards is already No. 13 all time in catches at South Carolina with 108, to go with 1,383 yards and 9 touchdowns. The Conway, S.C., native needs 10 more grabs to enter the top 10. Under new management Four-star WR and 2020 prospect Porter Rooks is “looking forward to seeing” what the Gamecocks offense looks like in 2018. “Mainly, just their new offensive scheme and how they’re going to do things with their new offensive coordinator,” Rooks said of South Carolina coach Will Muschamp’s pitch. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound receiver is rated as the No. 26 overall prospect for 2020, per 247Sports. ‘I like the atmosphere’ Four-star defensive end and 2019 prospect Joseph Anderson feels good about South Carolina, both on and off the field. “I like the atmosphere,” the Murfreesboro, Tenn., native told SportsTalkSC’s Phil Kornblut....
2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Bracket, schedule, teams, seeds (May 30, 2018)

2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Bracket, schedule, teams, seeds (May 30, 2018)

The 2018 NCAA Baseball tournament will begin on Friday, June 1. Below you can find a full schedule, list of key dates as well as a projected field. Florida is the defending champion, as the Gators beat LSU in the championship series a season ago. A total of 10 SEC teams made the field, the most by any conference. 2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Bracket 2018 NCAA Tournament: Teams, schedule for Regioals Gainesville Regional Game 1: No. 1 Florida vs.  Columbia  | Friday, June 1  | 1 p.m.  | WatchESPN Game 2: Jacksonville vs. Florida Atlantic | Friday, June 1  |6:30 p.m.  | WatchESPN Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |1:00 p.m. Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |7:30 p.m. Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |1:00 p.m. Game 6: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 | Sunday , June 3  |6:00 p.m. Game 7(*if necessary) | Monday , June 4  |1:00 p.m. Palo Alto Regional Game 1: No. 2 Stanford vs. Wright State | Friday, June 1  | 10 p.m.  | ESPN2 Game 2: Cal State Fullerton vs. Baylor | Friday, June 1  | 5 p.m.  |  WatchESPN Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |6:00 p.m. Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 | Saturday, June 2  |11:00 p.m. Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 | Sunday , June 3  |4:00...
Choose your own Kentucky basketball adventure: Pick draft entrants to return, recruits to reclassify

Choose your own Kentucky basketball adventure: Pick draft entrants to return, recruits to reclassify

LEXINGTON, Ky. — What a weird offseason for Kentucky basketball. With NBA draft decisions dragging on for another month, a rash of potential reclassifications in recruiting and John Calipari on some kind of talent-hoarding bender, the Wildcats’ 2018-19 roster remains very much in flux. Five players from the 2017-18 team definitely are gone: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo to the NBA draft, and Sacha Killeya-Jones and Tai Wynyard to new schools. Three Cats are expected to return: Nick Richards, Quade Green and Jemarl Baker. Four top-40 recruits have signed for next season: No. 9 E.J. Montgomery, No. 11 Keldon Johnson, No. 20 Immanuel Quickley and No. 34 Tyler Herro. That’s what we know. And then there’s this: three early NBA entrants could decide to return to Kentucky and three 5-star guards with high interest in, or commitments to, the Wildcats are considering a move from the 2019 class to 2018. What happens next season in Lexington will be shaped a great deal by those six upcoming decisions. While we wait, why not have a little fun imagining the various possibilities? Here, now: your video game-like chance to create a roster from the available options. Try to imagine all of these pieces fitting together from a style and chemistry perspective, weigh experience vs. young talent, and choose your own adventure wisely. NBA draft decisions (pick one) Unlike Gilgeous-Alexander, Knox and Diallo, the trio of PJ Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel — all former 5-star recruits — did not hire agents. They have until May 30 to pull out of the draft after working out for NBA teams and/or...
Inside the numbers: Crimson Tide have become turnover kings

Inside the numbers: Crimson Tide have become turnover kings

Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t big on a lot of statistics — at least not the ones fans see on a regular basis. However, a big exception to that is turnovers. He calls it “one of the most significant statistics in winning and losing,” and it’s becoming ingrained in everything the Crimson Tide do on the field. That’s why you hear things such as, “We want to protect the football at all cost,” from Damien Harris. The senior running back didn’t have a fumble last season. His entire position group had just 1, committed by Ronnie Clark against Mercer. Just a few years ago fumbles were a major concern for the Crimson Tide backfield, but no more. If Alabama could stop having issues with the returners fielding punts, the team would be posting some eye-popping numbers. Consequently, even though Alabama hasn’t led the nation in turnover margin during the Saban era, they’ve still become the kings of the statistic. Only once since 2007 has Alabama not had a plus ratio. Alabama turnover ratio Season Gained Lost Margin Rank 2007 24 20 +4 34 2008 25 19 +6 32 2009 24 12 +12 4 2010 26 14 +12 tie-11 2011 20 12 +8 23 2012 29 15 +14 13 2013 19 17 +2 tie-48 2014 20 22 -2 tie-71 2015 27 17 +10 tie-21 2016 29 19 +10 17 2017 24 10 +14 tie-5 Overall, that’s 267 turnovers created compared to 177 lost, +90 during the 11 years for an average of +8.2. When Alabama can run the ball and play top-notch defense, there aren’t many opponents who can beat...
Ole Miss OC Phil Longo discusses Air Raid offense, why Shea Patterson is a ‘perfect fit’

Ole Miss OC Phil Longo discusses Air Raid offense, why Shea Patterson is a ‘perfect fit’

OXFORD, Miss. — Just like his boss, Hugh Freeze, new Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo’s journey to the SEC began in the high school ranks. His ascension to college football’s most competitive level, however, marks an indirect return to the birth-grounds of his schematic philosophy. This goes back to the late 90’s, when Mike Leach ran Kentucky’s offense under Hal Mumme, himself a former Texas high school coach who became an architect of the Air Raid. Longo, then just a head coach at Parsippany Hills High School (Troy, N.J.), drove down to Lexington and attended one of Leach’s coaching clinics. The trip opened Longo’s eyes, to say the least, and so started a long-running relationship between the two men. Longo spent the next two decades gradually climbing the coaching ladder, jumping to colleges like D-III William Patterson, Slippery Rock, Minnesota-Duluth and Southern Illinois. Eventually he garnered national attention while presiding over the absurdly prolific offense at Sam Houston State, an FCS program that led the country in total yards per game last season, and parlayed that success into his first ever D-I coaching job. Longo spent this spring retooling an Ole Miss offense that loses starting quarterback Chad Kelly and leading receiver Evan Engram, along with experienced wideouts Quincy Adeboyejo and Damore’ea Stringfellow. In their absence, the Rebels will rely on what they hope is a new cast of stars — 5-star quarterback Shea Patterson, young receivers like Van Jefferson and D.K. Metcalf, and now-eligible running back Jordan Wilkins. “The lights started coming on last week,” Longo said one day before the Rebel’s spring game. “I think things are starting to get into a rhythm...
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