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St. Frances' Eric Cobb qualifies, set to enroll at South Carolina

St. Frances' Eric Cobb is challenged by John Carroll defenders as he drives to the basket in the second half.
St. Frances' Eric Cobb is challenged by John Carroll defenders as he drives to the basket in the second half. (Doug Kapustin)

It's been more than two months since Eric Cobb committed to South Carolina, but the former St. Frances big man finally got word late last week that he'd be able to enroll at the university and play for the Gamecocks this season.

"I was waiting for my [test] scores," Cobb said Wednesday. "I knew they would come through."

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Cobb, a 6-foot-9 ½, 275-pound center, said that he would've gone to prep school had he not gotten a qualifying SAT score. But he never truly believed that he'd have to pursue that contingency plan.

A Jacksonville, Fla., native, Cobb came to Baltimore before his senior year and quickly emerged as a valuable rotation player for St. Frances. Leaving his friends and family was a challenging yet rewarding experience for Cobb.

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"I had to adapt," he said. "Basically, it was like practice for me being away from the family. It was a good experience."

Panthers coach Nick Myles was happy to add a 6-foot-8, "back-to-the-basket" post player to his roster.

"He's definitely a 5," Myles said. "He can play some 4 once he gets into shape. He's a true post kid. He wants to be a true post – that's his advantage over a lot of other kids. He's not trying to be a hybrid. He wants to be a bruiser."

Cobb had originally committed to Kansas State, but parted ways with the Wildcats in April. According to the Post & Courier, among the schools that reached out to Cobb after his decommitment were Boston College, Massachusetts, Memphis, Old Dominion, Rhode Island, Seton Hall, USC, VCU and Washington.

A trip to South Carolina – about a four-hour drive from his hometown – gave the Gamecocks the edge.

"Just seeing that it's more than basketball to them," Cobb said. "They really care about the players. It's like a family. It's like a bond when we first met."

Cobb, who plans to major in business, said he's thankful to have his academics in order and excited to start school. Myles is optimistic about his former player's college future.

"At that level, once he gets in shape, I think it's going to be a great fit," Myles said. "I think after one year, he'll be ready to make an impact. The first year he can come in and contribute and get some minutes, get some production. I think he'll have a breakout year after that."

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