USC basketball

James Thompson’s future with USC remains in limbo

Most of men’s and women’s teams have reported

dcloninger@thestate.comJuly 6, 2014 

James Thompson


As expected, James Thompson will not be starting classes at South Carolina on Monday.

Coach Frank Martin confirmed that Thompson, the 6-foot-9 signee from Louisiana who was arrested last month for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, wouldn’t be with the Gamecocks for the second summer semester, which begins Monday. Martin also said Thompson wasn’t set to report until the fall semester anyway.

“That was always the plan,” Martin said.

Whether Thompson ever suits up for the Gamecocks still is in question. The staff is waiting for Thompson’s legal situation to be cleared before deciding his future.

When the legal process will conclude is a mystery. Online records and a clerk of court in Baton Rouge, La., had no court date for Thompson listed on any recent or future docket.

“There’s not much I can say,” Martin said. “He’s an awesome kid, and we just got to sit back and see what happens. He’s an awesome kid. I don’t know what else I can tell you.”

The rest of the team has been on campus since early June, going through individual and small-group workouts. All of the Gamecocks (save freshman Shamiek Sheppard, who is facing knee surgery) will compete in the S.C. Pro-Am, which begins Thursday.

USC’s women’s team will receive one more part of its recruiting class Sunday when McDonald’s All-American Bianca Cuevas enrolls. The No. 35 overall player in the nation and the No. 7 point guard, Cuevas is reporting from the Bronx.

She is the third McDonald’s All-American coach Dawn Staley signed this season, along with Jatarie White and top national prospect A’ja Wilson.

“Bianca is every bit of New York,” Staley said in a statement when Cuevas signed. “She comes to us with a lot of flash and can put the ball in the hole.”

Staley’s Gamecocks will add the final piece of their team in the fall, when the fifth member of the signing class enrolls. Doniyah Cliney, a 6-foot guard from Newark, is expected to report then.

The fall semester begins on Aug. 21.

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