USC's Ringer to transfer from basketball program

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin all of a sudden has another scholarship in play.

Forward Desmond Ringer is leaving the program after one season with the Gamecocks. Multiple reports out Tuesday indicate the Georgia native intends to transfer to Mercer, which is about an hour away from his hometown.

The six-foot-nine, 255 pounder is set to join a team that is coming off an NCAA Tournament win over Duke.

Ringer played sparingly during his freshman season, averaging roughly 10 minutes per game and averaging just two points and two rebounds per game. He came to Columbia as a highly-respected recruit, ranking as one of the top prospects in the state of Georgia.

His departure could potentially aid South Carolina's pursuit of Houston transfer Danuel House.

The former Conference USA freshman of the year was one of the top recruits in the country in 2012 and has turned some highlight reel moments since. He plans to visit USC this week and was recruited by coach Frank Martin while Martin was at Kansas State.

House is leaving Houston because he says he does not feel comfortable playing for new coach Kelvin Sampson who faced significant NCAA sanctions for his time coaching at Indiana.

House also has other visits planned and nothing is final.

The now open scholarship at USC may also be spoken for already as South Carolina commit Shamiek Sheppard, a six-foot-six wing from Virginia, will likely slide into that spot.