After a 25-9 season that ended in the NIT, South Carolina coach Frank Martin knew that he was going to be losing his entire starting frontcourt of Michael Carrera, Mindaugas Kacinas, and Laimonas Chatkevicius to graduation.
On the other hand, losing reserves Raymond Doby and Eric Cobb was probably a surprise as both were freshmen. The two reserves were dismissed from the team over the offseason, leaving fellow freshman Chris Silva as the only returning player from last year’s frontcourt.
But there are reinforcements on the way, and the best of the bunch is 6’9”, 240-pound freshman Sedee Keita. A native of Philadelphia, Keita played most recently at 22ft Basketball Academy in Greenville, SC. Rivals rated Keita as a four-star recruit and the #90 prospect in the Class of 2016. ESPN also rated him as a four-star and the #85 prospect nationally. 247 Sports was a bit less high on him, ranking him #113 in the country though that outlet also gave him the four-star designation.
How does he fit onto South Carolina’s roster? The Gamecocks are fairly well set in the backcourt, but there should be plenty of playing time available up front. The real question is going to be whether Keita can coexist with Chris Silva on the offensive end. Keita’s better shooting range could allow him to play the four with Silva essentially playing the five — though Silva’s really more of a natural four himself (albeit without any stretch element). Then again — Silva is also a player who committed 9.4 fouls per 40 minutes last year, so it’s not like he’s going to be on the floor all the time.