July 28, 2014

Hurricanes Add South Carolina Transfer Leonard

AMERICUS - Georgia Southwestern State University head men's basketball coach Mike Leeder announced the addition of Damien Leonard, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard, to the Hurricane roster for the 2014-15 season. Leonard comes to GSW after spending two years at Southeastern Conference member the University of South Carolina, appearing in 58 games over the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

"We feel very fortunate to add a player with Damien's experience at the Division I level," said Leeder. "We look for Damien to have an immediate impact in our program, especially at the offensive end of the floor."

As a freshman at South Carolina, Leonard was a starter in 20 of 31 games. He averaged 6.8 points per game while playing an average of 21.0 minutes per contest for the Gamecocks. Leonard scored a season-high 19 points against eventual NCAA National Champion Kentucky on Feb. 4, 2012. Other highlights included a 15-point outing, that included five 3-pointers, against North Carolina - who at the time was the No. 1 ranked team in the country - and a 13-point, four-rebound performance against Alabama in the SEC tournament. 

"Damien is a proven producer in one of the most competitive leagues in the country, and we are excited he will be joining us in the fall." added Leeder. 

As a sophomore Leonard started 3 of 28 games and averaged 4.0 points per game while playing 14.8 minutes per outing. That season, Leonard scored a career-high 20 points, including six three point baskets, against Missouri, and also had a team-high 17 points at Auburn. 

"Damien is a tremendous three point shooter, and he has a great feel for how to score," said Leeder. "We think he will be a tremendous fit for how we play, and we are expecting a big contribution from him this upcoming season."

Originally from Greenville, S.C., Leonard played his high school basketball at J.L. Mann where he was a top 100 player in the country. He chose South Carolina after visiting Arizona and Oklahoma State. While at Mann High School Leonard averaged 22.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 45 percent from the 3-point line.

GSW is coming off of a season in which it went 20-11 and advanced to the NCAA Southeast Regional Playoffs for the second time in four seasons. The Hurricanes lost all five starters from that team, and will look to reload through the rest of the recruiting period.

 

Photo credit: South Carolina Athletics Media Relations