Mike Wilson/SEC Country
Gamecocks fans aren't the only ones falling for Sindarius Thornwell.

The media on Sindarius Thornwell

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

“South Carolina’s outrageously good senior is leading the NCAA Tournament in scoring among all who played in at least two games (25.7 ppg) and is more singularly responsible for his team’s placement in the Final Four than any other player,”writes CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, one-half of the Eye on College Basketball Podcast.

Norlander tabbed Sindarius Thornwell as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player ahead of the Final Four.

RELATED: Sindarius Thornwell is NCAA Tournament’s MOP so far, CBS Sports says 

The Gamecocks’ senior leader has been the toast of Columbia for the last few years; it’s about time the rest of the country caught Thornwell fever.

Sindarius Thornwell-South Carolina-South Carolina basketball
Sindarius Thornwell has had plenty of reasons to smile through March. (Getty Images)

On Monday, Sports Illustrated’s Dan Greene praised Thornwell and his ‘secure the bag’ mantra, calling him “the do-it-all star who spent the weekend taking over wins against higher seeds.”

In CBS Sports’ ranking of all projected starters in the Final Four, the Lancaster, S.C., native came in at No. 2, thanks to his play on both ends of the court.

“His perimeter work on the defensive end (2.2 steals) is all guts, and he still makes time to average 3 assists in addition to 7 rebounds,” writes Norlander. “He’s so confident operating in traffic you would think he could survive an avalanche.”

Former South Carolina great on Final Four Gamecocks

Former Gamecocks and Denver Nuggets standout Alex English spoke highly of both the men’s and women’s hoops programs on ESPN on Tuesday.

RELATED: Alex English — South Carolina basketball teams are ‘hitting their peak’ 

“Everybody here in Gamecock Nation is very proud of the teams,” English said. “The men have got to continue playing the tough, tough Frank Martin defense they have played all year.”

The Nuggets’ all-time leading scorer has been on hand for every game in the men’s team’s run to the Final Four.

Gamecocks draft prospects

PJ Dozier-South Carolina-South Carolina basketball
PJ Dozier has the size and ability to play at the next level. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

To anyone who watches South Carolina play, there are two players in particular that stand out: Sophomore PJ Dozier and the aforementioned Thornwell.

Both players are considered legitimate prospects in the upcoming NBA draft.

RELATED: NBA draft prospects lead Final Four run

According to nbadraft.net, Dozier will be drafted with the second pick in the second round (32nd overall) by the Los Angeles Lakers. The site has Thornwell going to the Boston Celtics a few slots later as the 38th overall pick.

At pick No. 49, the Milwaukee Bucks take Thornwell in the latest mock draft from draftexpress.com. Thornwell’s profile on the site includes a quick scouting report from Jonathan Givony of The Vertical.

Another OL #SpursUp

The Gamecocks received their second offensive line commitment of the 2018 cycle on Tuesday with Chapin OL Hank Manos.

RELATED: South Carolina lands commitment from 2018 center Hank Manos

The state champion wrestler picked his home-state Gamecocks over offers from Duke, Wake Forest and N.C. State.

“He is a huge asset for the future of the offensive line at the University of South Carolina,” said incoming TE Will Register on his former teammate at Chapin. “He is a relentless worker and I’m glad he is coming.”

Spring practice report

Could Kiel Pollard be returning punts in 2017? (Hale McGranahan/SEC Country)

The final week of spring practice is underway as the Gamecocks prepare for their annual spring game on Saturday.

Hale McGranahan was on hand for practice Tuesday morning, with some interesting notes on the team’s options at punt returner …

“Junior cornerback Rashad Fenton, who fielded punts during practice last week, was joined by sophomore wide receiver/tight end Kiel Pollard,” reports McGranahan. “Sophomore wide receiver Bryan Edwards, another option at punt returner for South Carolina, did not catch punts on Tuesday.”

The 6-1, 235-pound Pollard returning punts? I like his odds against the gunners.

Baseball rolls

Despite The Citadel’s best efforts at psyching out USC, the Gamecocks topped the Bulldogs, 15-1, at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in Charleston on Tuesday night.

After plating nine runs in the top of the second inning, the Gamecocks never looked back.

Cocky tweets

The Elite Eight reactions have come and gone, but we’re still left with more Gamecocks gold from the Twitterverse.

The perfect analogy …

This is just too awesome. Also, how about Sin being maybe just an inch shorter than LeBron while in high school?

Wait …WHAT?