South Carolina's top prep player to join Gamecocks

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina coach Dave Odom said 2007
Mr. Basketball for the state Mike Holmes will be admitted to school
and eligible to play for the Gamecocks next season.

Holmes could be the third Mr. Basketball from the state on the
court for the Gamecocks next winter. South Carolina transfers Devan
Downey from Cincinnati and Zam "Buck'' Fredrick III from Georgia
Tech also won the award in high school and will be eligible to play
when the season starts.

"This has been a long process, but a fair one. I'm really proud
of Michael and the way he handled himself through the process. Many
other signees might have become discouraged, but Michael never
wavered,'' Odom said in a statement Tuesday.

Holmes led Lee County High to back-to-back state titles,
averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds a game in his senior season.

Holmes said he chose South Carolina because he wanted to stay
close to home. He also has good memories of playing on the
Gamecocks' home floor at the Colonial Center as Lee County made the
state title game four years in a row.

"I love the Gamecocks fans,'' Holmes said in a statement. "The
fans are supportive -- I know a lot of fans where I live. My
next-door neighbor is a die-hard fan and he was always talking
about me going to South Carolina. I'm glad I chose to be a