Cam Scott to USC another feather in cap for Lamont Paris’ recruiting reputation

GG Jackson, Collin Murray-Boyles and, now, Cam Scott. All three started their basketball careers just minutes away from Colonial Life Arena.

And now all three have also become Gamecocks under head coach Lamont Paris.

South Carolina has picked up the three top in-state prospects since Paris took over the program. In the 10 years prior that, the Gamecocks struggled to lock down the best in-state recruits available.

Scott choosing South Carolina over an original decision for Texas boosts Paris’ incoming class and fills a significant hole in the roster. And it keeps Scott just 20 minutes away from home.

It’s a trend: Paris is giving these top-rated recruits an opportunity to play close to home. Jackson and Murray-Boyles found success. Scott can be the next to do the same.

“Representing your state on the front of your jersey, and your name on the back,” Scott said. “It’s a big honor.”

South Carolina’s roster will have five in-state faces this fall, and the Gamecocks still have two more scholarships to play with. Last season the Gamecocks brought in Ta’Lon Cooper, another S.C. product, for his final year.

Every year a Palmetto State recruit has gone garnet and black, they’ve raved about Paris’ recruitment process. It’s the same four words every time: “It feels like home.”

Scott had GG Jackson in his ear, too, telling the four-star shooting guard about how impactful his lone year at USC was. The two have known each other for years, going back to when Jackson was a senior year in high school and Scott was a sophomore.

Murray-Boyles’ success in his all-freshman team season certainly caught Scott’s attention as well. Watching his former high school competition find success in the SEC felt like fate.

“Just being able to follow these huge footsteps, it’s been an honor,” Scott said. “So it should be fun the next couple of years.”

Paris has now proven he can bring in top-ranked players from the state of South Carolina. USC hasn’t had that level of success since signing Sindarius Thornwell and PJ Dozier within two years of each other.

Although not No. 1 prospects in the state, current Gamecocks Zachary Davis and Jacobi Wright were in the top 10 rankings in South Carolina and have flourished in their roles, too.

Looking at transfers, Cooper’s decision to come home for a stellar final season proved how Paris can recruit out of the portal.

A 26-8 season, a second-place finish in the SEC regular season standings and March Madness appearance have brought another shot in the arm to the Gamecocks’ program under the reigning SEC Coach of the Year. The S.C. prospects want to play for Paris. And if he believes it’s the right fit, those eager rookies are willing to stay home and become a Gamecock.

It might’ve taken a little while longer for Scott to realize it himself, but it’s a decision he has no desire to change his mind about.

“Everybody appreciates it. You can tell by how hard they play,” Scott said. “And I just want to go in and contribute.”

SC players’ college choices

A recent history sampling of the state’s top high school basketball players’ original college commitments.

  • Brice Johnson (2012) — UNC

  • Sindarius Thornwell* (2013) — South Carolina

  • LJ Peak (2014) — Georgetown

  • PJ Dozier (2015) — South Carolina

  • Tevin Mack (2015) — Texas

  • Seventh Woods (2016) —North Carolina

  • Jalek Felton (2017) — UNC

  • Ja Morant (2017) — Murray State

  • D.J. Burns (2018) — Tennessee

  • Aaron Nesmith (2018) —Vanderbilt

  • Zion Williamson (2018) —Duke

  • Juwan Gary (2019) — Alabama

  • Josiah-Jordan James (2019) —Tennessee

  • PJ Hall (2020) — Clemson

  • Myles Tate (2020 — Butler

  • Bryce McGowens (2021) — Nebrasksa

  • John Butler (2021) — Florida State

  • GG Jackson (2022) — South Carolina

  • Collin-Murray Boyles* (2023) — South Carolina

  • Jordan Butler (2023) — Missouri

  • Coen Carr (2023) — Michigan State

  • Cam Scott (2024) — South Carolina

* denotes played senior season at out-of-state academy