Gamecock basketball roster dropping fast

Ramon Galloway / USC

COLUMBIA (WACH) - USC athletics officials confirm a third player has left the men's basketball team this week.

Gamecock forward Murphy Holloway is leaving the team, school officials said Friday morning. Earlier this week, sophomore guards Stephen Spinella and Ramon Galloway announced they would also be leaving the team.

The departures reduce the Gamecock roster to just eight players after the departure of two seniors from the team as well.

Head coach Darrin Horn held a Friday morning "media" session to discuss the players' departure with local print, radio and internet reporters. However, neither the university media relations office or athletics department notified television reporters of the event.

USC did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to why television reporters were not included, but did send a press release after the fact.

Holloway, a former standout at Dutch Fork High School, initially attended Ole Miss where he averaged ten points and seven rebounds a game for the Rebels during his sophomore season.

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The Irmo native indicated to coach Darrin Horn his desire to return to Ole Miss and will be granted his release from the South Carolina basketball team. Holloway sat out the 2010-11 season after walking on to the Gamecock team after leaving Ole Miss following the 2009-10 campaign.

I came back because of my daughter and my family situation and I feel like that situation is a lot better than it was, and I want to take the opportunity to go back to Ole Miss, Holloway said in a release from the university.

I TMm disappointed to see Murphy go, South Carolina head coach Darrin Horn said in the release I TMve seen great growth in him as a person and a basketball player since he arrived at South Carolina. We wish him the best moving forward.

This week has been a peculiar one for the USC basketball program, as starting point guard Bruce Ellington also began pursuing his desire to also play football for the school.

Ellington was at Thursday's spring practice session as an observer, but, under NCAA guidelines is not yet able practice with the football team. The expectation is that Ellington will play both football and basketball as he did in high school where he was a standout in both sports.

What do you think the departure of nearly half the USC men's basketball team? What about the decision by a public university to exclude television cameras from the event?