GREENVILLE, S.C. — Sindarius Thornwell scored 24 points, and seventh-seeded South Carolina used sudden hot shooting in the second half to knock second-seeded Duke out of the NCAA Tournament, winning 88-81 Sunday night in a charged-up atmosphere for the second-round game at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The Gamecocks (24-10) took advantage of energy provided by a… Continue reading “South Carolina stuns second-seeded Duke”

Sindarius Thornwell South Carolina basketball

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell is the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week for games ending the week of Feb. 16. Thornwell was selected by’s Jeff Borzello, in partnership with the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Borzello’s popular weekly freshman watch column will continue to feature nation’s the top freshmen each week in addition to the national player of the week. Later in the season, the USBWA will release a midseason watch list before naming finalists for the award. This season marks the first time a weekly national freshman of the week will be selected and, each Tuesday through Feb. 25, a standout first-year player will be chosen for the honor.

Thornwell, a 6-5 guard from Lancaster, S.C., scored 41 points as the Gamecocks won back-to-back SEC games for the first time in three seasons. Against Vanderbilt last Thursday, he finished with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists in the 65-59 victory. Then over the weekend, he had 22 points, four rebounds and four assists in a 67-66 victory over Alabama, shooting 6-for-11 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free-throw line.

The Integris Wayman Tisdale Award is to be presented to the national freshman of the year at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on April 14, 2014, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award will also be presented at the gala to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU’s Chris Jackson was the recipient. Last season, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart became the third winner of the Wayman Tisdale Award. Other notable previous winners of the national freshman of the year award include Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.

The Tisdale Award winner will receive a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray. The April 14 banquet will also honor the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.

The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American at the University of Oklahoma. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following a courageous and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.

The Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award is produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation responsible for creating the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award. Access Sports produces all events associated with the award, including the annual awards dinner. Proceeds from the activities affiliated with the award are used to support various worthy charitable causes, including providing opportunities for disadvantaged youth to participate in basketball leagues, clinics, and training throughout the state. In addition, Access Sports supports the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation which helps fund prosthetics for those who cannot afford the cost on their own and may not be covered by insurance.

Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515,

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With more than 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

Related links:
• Jeff Borzello’s Wayman Tisdale Award Watch (Feb. 11)
• Integris Wayman Tisdale Award

2013-14 Wayman Tisdale National Freshmen of the Week
• Week of Dec. 8: Chris Perry, USF (American Athletic Conference)
• Week of Dec. 15: Jordan Woodard, Oklahoma (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Dec. 22: Jabari Parker, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference)
• Week of Dec. 29: James Young, Kentucky (Southeastern Conference)
• Week of Jan. 5: Marcus Foster, Kansas State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 12: Wayne Selden, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 19: Joel Embiid, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Jan. 26: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Feb. 2: Jordan Mickey, LSU (Southeastern Conference)
• Week of Feb. 9: Marcus Foster, Kansas State (Big 12 Conference)
• Week of Feb. 16: Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina (Southeastern Conference)

By Justin Byerly

Madison Jones, a six-foot point guard out of Ravenscroft HS in Raleigh, NC recently informed that he is getting the most interest right now from Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Seton Hall, Nebraska and Richmond.

Mike Kobani, a six-foot-nine inch forward for Caldwell Academy in the class of 2013 is averaging 17.5 points per game, 12.1 rebounds and almost 1 assist this season. He is getting interest from Coastal Carolina University, High Point University, Virginia and Villanova.

Erik Hopkins, a six-foot-four guard out of Columbia (SC) Keenan is getting some interest as of late from Western Carolina University, Wofford College, Tennessee State and Presbyterian College.

Tracy Gathings, of Ben L. Smith HS (Greensboro, NC) recently has been receiving interest from Virginia Military Institute along with Gardner-Webb. Tracy is six-foot-five and is averaging around eighteen points per game.

Sharwyn McGee of Upper Room Christian Academy in Raleigh, was recently offered a scholarship by Jacksonville (Fla.) University. McGee is a six-foot-five forward. His strengths are rebounding, scoring the basketball, defensive pressure, great athleticism, and needs to work a little on his three-point shot.

VJ King (8th Grader) of United Faith (Charlotte) recently scored sixteen points, had two rebounds, and two assists in a win over Central Park Christian over the weekend.

AJ Clark, a five-foot-ten senior point guard out of Western Alamance HS (NC) is averaging nearly twenty-eight points per game this season to go along with seven rebounds and six assists. He is getting most of his looks from Division Two schools and a little interest from Navy. He recently scored 23 points and grabbed ten rebounds in win against Burlington Williams HS.

Qua Neal of South Rowan HS (NC) is averaging nearly twelve points per game this season and in a win over North Iredell had eighteen points and six assists with eight rebounds on Friday (1/27)

Sindarius Thornwell, one of the top players in the class of 2013 in the nation out of Lancaster HS (SC) scored twenty-one points, grabbed nine rebounds and had seven assists in a win over Spartanburg HS Friday (1/27)
He has offers from nearly every school in the SEC and ACC.

Derrick Copeland, a six-foot point guard out of Kannapolis AL Brown HS had twenty-two points, two steals and five assists on Friday.

Mike Brown, a six-foot-three guard out of West Charlotte HS who has signed with Western Carolina University, had fourteen points, ten rebounds, four steals, and six assists in a win over Mooresville HS Friday.

Kennedy Meeks, a six-foot-nine center out of West Charlotte HS scored ten points in the win Friday also. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Head Coach Roy Williams was in attendance for the big man. He holds offers from almost every major program except for Duke and North Carolina.

Maurice Howard of Saluda HS (SC) went for fifteen points and five assists in a win on Friday.

Connor Burchfield, a six-foot guard out of number one ranked 3-A school Concord (NC) HS had Twenty points in a win over Asheville Roberson HS on Saturday (1/28). He is getting interest from Davidson (N.Car) and others.

Darren Black, a five-ten guard out of Concord HS (NC) is getting interest from Xavier University, Pittsburgh University, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and a host of others. He went for eleven points in a win on Saturday (1/28) over Asheville Roberson HS.

Demarcus Lewis, a six-foot-three guard out of Barea HS (SC) went for fifteen points against Wade Hampton HS (SC) and fourteen points against Greenville Southside HS this past week. He is getting interest from North Carolina A&T University as of late.

Rayshawn Speas, out of North Forsyth HS is getting interest from UNC-Pembroke as of late. The class of 2012, is averaging nearly nine points, seven rebounds, and three blocks per game. He had ten points in a thriller of Asheboro HS Friday (1/27).

Darius Bryant, a six-foot-one inch guard out of Calhoun Falls Charter (SC) recently scored seventeen points in a win on Friday (1/27). He is getting little interest as of late but may be flying under the radar for some schools. His strengths are his ball handling, getting into traffic, and defense. Needs to work more on his ability to use his left hand.

Tyshun Flowers of Hickory Christian Academy (NC) recently had seven points and two assists Friday (1/27)

Cory Magwood of Wade Hampton (Varnville, SC) has been a scoring machine in his last few games. He recently scored twenty-four points, nine rebounds and four assists in a loss on Friday (1/27). Charleston Southern recently came to one of his games. The class of 2012 guard is also getting attention from Georgia Southern, Jacksonville University, High Point University, Furman University, and Gardner-Webb. He is averaging nearly twenty eight points per game this season.

Taylor McCurry of Asheville Enka HS, a six-foot-four inch forward, recently scored twenty seven points Friday (1/27) in a loss to Asheville HS. McCurry leads WNC in scoring this season at nearly twenty-nine points a game.

Deveron Roberts, of Asheville (NC) HS recently scored twenty-five points in a huge win over Asheville Enka HS in MAC Conference play. The two-sport star and quarterback for Asheville HS is getting interest from Western Carolina University, among others. One of the quickest guys I have seen in WNC this year.

Drew Combs, a five-foot-ten point guard out of Wilmington Ashley HS recently went for thirty-two points in a double-overtime loss Friday (1/27). He also poured in eight assists in the loss. He is getting interest from Lincoln Memorial (Div. II) who came in to see the game.

Curtis Webb, an all-state guard out of Dorman (SC) HS recently surpassed to the one-thousand point mark in a win over JL Mann Friday (1/27). He scored seventeen points and hit three three- point shots in the win. As of late he has been getting interest from Limestone College and a few others.

Jevon Patton, of Gastonia Highland Tach recently had twenty-five points, ten assists, seven steals, and five rebounds in a 63-61 win on Friday (1/27). And he surpassed the one-thousand point mark on. 1/24 as he went for thirty-one points in a win.

Clarence Williams of Druid Hills (Ga.) HS had nine points, seven rebounds, three blocks and one steal for the big man on Friday (1/27). He has been getting contact recently from Western Carolina University.

Brandon Goodwin of Norcross (Ga.) HS dropped seventeen points, had five assists, and five rebounds in a win Friday (1/27). Brandon recently was offered a scholarship by Gardner-Webb University. He also has interest from Florida Atlantic University, VCU, Tennessee, Wofford and Appalachian State University.

Diondre Pratt of Anson HS scored thirty-three points on Friday (1/27) while also grabbing five rebounds. He had twenty-four points and six rebounds on 1/14. He holds offers from Lincoln Memorial, Chowan College and Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte.

By Justin Byerly

Photo Credit:

Allerik Freeman 6’4 210 Jr. Olympic HS Charlotte (NC)– Over 20 offers already, recently told me that UCLA has offered. Others include Arizona, Texas, Georgetown, NC State, Florida, Syracuse and Kansas. Freeman is the top ranked 2013 player in the state.

Kennedy Meeks 6’8 255 Jr. West Charlotte HS (NC)– Has offers from Florida, Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State, Georgia, and Tennessee to name a few. Ranked by many as a top 20 player nationally.

Trey Mitchell 6’4 190 Jr. Olympic HS Charlotte (NC)– In a conversation with Trey yesterday he told me that Hampton, Memphis, East Carolina, and Appalachian are showing him the most interest.

Sindarius Thornwell 6’4 180 Jr. Lancaster HS (SC)– Comfirmed he has over 16 offers by phone today, the 2nd. Those include South Carolina, Tennessee, Clemson and Oregon State. Ranked by ESPN as the #1 recruit in the class of 2013 in South Carolina.

James Demery 6’4 170 So. The Oakfield School Greenville (NC)– High flying guard is getting interest from Kansas, Virginia Tech, NC State, South Carolina and East Carolina University. He is ranked by ESPN as the 12th best guard in 2014.

Christian Hairston 6’7 180 Jr. Greensboro Day (NC)– Confirmed to me via text message that Oklahoma State University has already offered and he is recieving high interest from Appalchain State. Should be a very talented Greensboro Day School this season.

Jalen White 6’1 175 Jr. Kennedy Charter HS Charlotte (NC)-Recieving interest from Appalachian State, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, The Citadel, Mercer University, College of Charleston and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Will be taking a visit to Radford soon, he confirmed in a text earlier this week.

Julian Reed 5’11 155 So. Cleveland HS (NC)– Gaining interest from Elon and Radford he confirmed via text message. Julian averaged nearly 22 points a game last year as a freshman.

Timothy Bates 5’11 170 Jr. North Rowan HS (NC)– Showing interest from University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Winthrop University. Led North Rowan to the NCHSAA 1-A title last year.

Oshon West 6’2 178 Jr. North Rowan HS (NC)– Getting high interest from Wichita St and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Averaged around 13 points a game last season.

Darren Black 5’10 155 Jr. Concord Senior HS (NC)- Darren comfirmed by text message early this week that Wake Forest University and the University of South Carolina are recruiting him the hardest right now. University of North Carolina at Charlotte is also involved.

Quinton Ray 6’0 165 Jr. Middle Creek HS (NC)– After a phone conversation with Quinton, he told me that Mercer University, Gardner-Webb University and North Carolina- Central are recruiting him the hardest right now. Also getting interest from Texas Pan-Am and Radford University.

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