South Carolina freshman forward Shamiek Sheppard tore the ACL in his right knee over the summer and was expected to redshirt during the 2014-15 season, but the New York native has been cleared to return to practice early.
According to a report from the AP, Sheppard is practicing ahead of schedule and Gamecock head coach Frank Martin said that the 6-foot-6 freshman could see game action if he can practice without any setbacks. A slasher, who was regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, Sheppard could give a boost to a South Carolina bench that only has one freshman this season in Marcus Stroman. Martin had said publicly that Sheppard would redshirt this season but the freshman is recovering nicely and could help.
After starting the season 2-3, the Gamecocks have reeled off five straight wins heading into two more non-conference games before SEC season. Sheppard might not make a huge difference for the team this season, but he gives the team another able-bodied player in practice and he could provide some good minutes on the wing if he can get healthy.