March was turning into April, and South Carolina was the talk of the men’s basketball world.
The Gamecocks knocked off Duke, Baylor and Florida, and they were celebrating on the floor at Madison Square Garden, heading to the Final Four for the first time in school history.
Eric Cobb spent his March of 2017 in Marianna, Fla., finishing his season at Chipola, a junior college in the Panhandle, and wondering if he had fumbled away his dream for good. He still cringes at the mention of it.
“Whooooa,” he said. “It took a big toll on me. It made me humble. I was thinking, ‘If you didn’t do what you did, look what you would have been a part of?'”
Cobb had worked hard through high school in Jacksonville, Fla., and St. Frances in Baltimore to get the chance to play high-major basketball at South Carolina in 2015-16. He played little as a freshman, and late in the season he was arrested in connection with a string of BB gun-related vandalism incidents, and also for possession of marijuana. He