A HOYA AND A GAMECOCK
When Gaffney High stars Shaq Davidson and L.J. Peak both placed South Carolina caps on their heads at Tuesday’s press conference it appeared they would continue their close friendship and playing careers in Columbia.
Five seconds, later, those plans changed abruptly as Peak flung his Gamecock cap to the ground to reveal a Georgetown hat — much to the chagrin of many Gamecock fans who packed the Gaffney High gym.
Talk about Hoya Paranoia.
Peak, a wiry 6-5 swingman, is regarded as one of the rising senior prospects in the country. ESPN ranks him as the 54th-best basketball prospect in the 2014 class.
Peak said he chose Georgetown because of the school’s history of putting players into the NBA. Hoya Otto Porter was a top three selection in last week’s NBA draft.
“I feel that Georgetown can get me to the next level,” said Peak, engulfed by reporters and cameramen.
He said he also likes the Hoya’s deliberate style of play and has forged a close relationship with Hoya coach John Thompson III.
Peak said he made his decision Sunday.
Peak chose Georgetown over South Carolina and Florida State. He averaged 14.5 points a game for Whitney Young in Chicago. He moved back to Gaffney this spring.
Gaffney basketball coach Mark Huff said Peak informed him of his decision and was caught off guard when the player put on the Gamecock cap.
“I thought that rascal was fooling me when he said he was going to Georgetown,” Huff said. “Georgetown is a great school with a history of getting players drafted.”
Davidson, meanwhile, pulled no surprise. South Carolina was the heavy favorite to land the versatile Davidson, who will play wide receiver in college.
“Every time I would go down (to USC) I would feel at home there,” said Davidson, wearing a protective bandage on his right hand after tearing a thumb ligament.
Davidson said Auburn came in a strong second for his services.
Davidson said he and Peak discussed attending the same college but decided they needed to go where they felt the most comfortable.
Davidson is rated the 138th-best football prospect and the 17th-best wide receiver in the 2014 class by ESPN. He amassed a total of 1,403 yards and 13 touchdowns in leading Gaffney to the 2012 Class 4A Division I state championship.
Both players’ verbal commitments don’t become binding until their respective sports’ signing days.