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Murphy Holloway lands at South Carolina

Just how did that happen? After all, former Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway had his requests to transfer to South Carolina (because it's in the SEC) and Clemson (because Clemson may or may not have been recruiting Holloway to transfer before he made his official request) denied by the Rebels' athletic department. But Holloway found a way.

Instead of transferring somewhere and receiving a scholarship immediately, Holloway has chosen to walk on at South Carolina, where he will pay in-state tuition for the length of his transfer year before becoming eligible for a hoops scholarship in his junior and senior seasons. It's a loophole, if such an expensive, circuitous route can be called a loophole. Either way, it will get Murphy Holloway where he wanted to go -- back to his home state of South Carolina and closer to his apparently ill mother.

The Gamecocks should be grateful for Holloway's enthusiasm. The 6-foot-7 sophomore averaged 7.6 rebounds per game last season, good for fifth-best in the SEC. He also posted some encouraging tempo-free numbers, ranking near the top 200 in effective field goal percentage and offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. South Carolina is losing big-time scorer Devan Downey, leading rebounder Dominique Archie, and Brandis Raley-Ross from a team that finished 6-10 in SEC play. South Carolina's recruiting class will fill some of the holes for 2010 -- Darrin Horn landed two very good big-man recruits in Damontre Harris and R.J. Slawson this year -- and by the time Holloway returns, the Gamecocks could have one of the best front lines in the SEC.

And as for my typical outrage about the way players are treated when they want to transfer? I'll hold off this time. Holloway didn't have the freedom to pursue the ideal route to Gamecock-land, but he managed to do it all the same. That probably counts as a happy ending.