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  1. The final coaches poll has spoken: Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks are No. 1 March 11, 2020 South Carolina women’s basketball will end the 2019-20 season as the No. 1 team in the country in the eyes of the USA Today coaches poll. The final top 25 rankings were released Monday after the NCAA tournament was canceled in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks were the clear No. 1, with 26 of 32 first-place votes from a panel of head coaches across the country. South Carolina finished the year at 32-1 for the nation’s best win percentage, including a perfect 19-0 mark in SEC regular season and tournament play. The Gamecocks’ only loss on the year was in November to Indiana, who finished No. 22 in the final poll, and they won their last 26 games, sweeping the conference regular season and tournament titles. Elsewhere in the poll, the Gamecocks defeated No. 3 Baylor, No. 4 UConn, No. 5 Maryland, No. 10 Mississippi State (twice), No. 11 South Dakota, No. 18 Kentucky (twice), No. 21 Texas A&M and No. 25 Arkansas (three times). This marks the fifth consecutive week South Carolina has topped the coaches poll, and the 26 first-place votes are the Gamecocks’ most in that stretch. USC was widely expected to be the No. 1 overall seed in March Madness and likely would have been favored to reach the program’s third Final Four and compete for its second national title. But with growing concern about COVID-19, the NCAA canceled all winter and spring championships last Thursday. The NCAA has given no indication that it will crown or recognize a national champion, but South Carolina could try to claim a title based off the No. 1 ranking. The Associated Press is scheduled to release its final poll of the year on Tuesday. Athletics Director Ray Tanner said Friday it was “too early” to discuss whether USC would claim a title, saying his focus at the moment has been on the spread of the virus. “I will add that we were on quite a run and, if I’m not mistaken, we were 32-1, we were ranked number one in both the polls, and we won a regular season title and the tournament championship. So in my mind, we’re number one,” Tanner added. Speaking on ESPN shortly after the NCAA’s cancellation, coach Dawn Staley didn’t go so far as to say the Gamecocks would proclaim themselves champions, but did indicate she thought they deserved to be if anyone is recognized. “I’m probably gonna stir up some folks — we ended the season as the No. 1 team in the country with the best record in the country, the only team that won their regular season and conference tournament undefeated,” Staley said. “If they’re gonna pass out a national championship trophy, we got our hands out at South Carolina.” FINAL USA TODAY COACHES POLL 1. South Carolina (26) 2. Oregon (6) 3. Baylor 4. UConn 5. Maryland 6. Stanford 7. Louisville 8. N.C. State 9. UCLA 10. Mississippi State 11. South Dakota 12. Arizona 13. Gonzaga 14. DePaul 15. Northwestern 16. Oregon State 17. Princeton 18. Kentucky 19. Missouri State 20. Florida State 21. Texas A&M 22. Indiana 23. Iowa 24. Florida Gulf Coast 25. Arkansas
  2. Gamecocks Knock Off No. 5/6 UConn 70-52 Feb. 11, 2010 South Carolina's Tyasha Harris really thought coming in she wasn't bothered by her losing history against UConn. Then Harris and the top-ranked Gamecocks won - and her attitude and emotions changed quickly. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  3. #5/6 UConn 20-3 70 #1/2 South Carolina 23-1 Score By Periods Team 1 2 3 4 F #5/6 UConn 2 21 18 11 52 #1/2 South Carolina 11 24 19 16 70 Game Recap: Women's Basketball | 2/10/2020 | By PETE IACOBELLI | From USC Sports Information \ GCF Staff Report Gamecocks Knock Off No. 5/6 UConn 70-52 Next Game: Auburn 2/13/2020 | 7:00 PM 1320 AM/ 107.5 FM LIVE STATS LISTEN LIVE FULL SCHEDULE ROSTER MATCHUP HISTORY Box Score (PDF) COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina's Tyasha Harris really thought coming in she wasn't bothered by her losing history against UConn. Then Harris and the top-ranked Gamecocks won - and her attitude and emotions changed quickly. "Yes, this feels pretty good," she said with a grin. "My mind kind of changed," Harris had 19 points, Aliyah Boston dominated underneath and South Carolina held UConn to a record-low two points in the opening quarter on the way to a 70-52 win Monday night - its first-ever win over the fifth-ranked Huskies. Harris, a senior who was a freshman starter on South Carolina's national championship team in 2017, was 0-4 in her career against the Huskies (20-3). When the game ended, she thought about all the former Gamecocks who'd never celebrated a win in eight previous games over UConn. "I see all the people who started before us, people who hadn't beat UConn and I see how happy they are," Harris said. Things could get even happier before this season is over. It was South Carolina's 17th straight win and their ninth victory in 10 games against ranked opponents. So are the Gamecocks the clear-cut favorite for another national crown? "I feel like we're up there," Harris said. The Gamecocks (23-1) came in 0-8 all-time against UConn, seven of those defeats with national championship coach Dawn Staley in charge. But South Carolina took control immediately with its suffocating defense, limiting the Huskies to 1-of-16 shooting to lead 11-2 at the end of the first period. Since women's basketball changed to quarters in 2015-16, UConn's fewest points in a first quarter was 8 against Tulane in February 2016. The Huskies fewest in any quarter was 6 in a loss to Baylor earlier this year. Boston, the 6-foot-5 freshman, finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds, her 10th double-double this season. She also had three of South Carolina's eight steals and made her first 3-pointer this season. She had nine rebounds and two blocks the first 10 minutes as she continually altered shots whenever the Huskies tried to come inside. That early blitz was enough to energize the sold-out crowd of 18,000-plus and push the Gamecocks to their 17th straight victory - and their ninth win in 10 games this season against ranked opponents. UConn coach Geno Auriemma said his team's awful first quarter put them on their heels. He thought the Gamecocks sped up his young team, changing shots, defending hard on the perimeter and taking them out of rhythm. "If things don't go right early on, it's hard to right the ship," Auriemma said. South Carolina eventually grew the lead to 52-31 early in the second half. UConn cut things to 11 points on Crystal Dangerfield's jumper to start the fourth quarter. But Boston hit a basket and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan made a three to build back South Carolina's lead. Harris had a double-double, too, with a game-high 11 assists. Zia Cooke, another freshman, had 15 points for the Gamecocks. The Huskies (20-3) have been a thorn in Staley's side as she's built the Gamecocks into a championship program the past 12 years. It was UConn who ended South Carolina's last run at No. 1 with an 87-62 victory in 2015. And despite Staley's success - she's led the team to four Southeastern Conference crowns and the 2017 national championship - she acknowledged it "absolutely" bothered her not to beat the signature program in women's hoops. "I'm happy our team won, for a lot of reasons," Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley said. Dangerfield led the Huskies with a career-high 28 points. It was the second straight week the Huskies lost a highly regarded showcase game, falling 74-56 at home to No. 3 Oregon last Monday. THE BIG PICTURE UConn: The Huskies time among the top five in the rankings, which dates back to 2007, could be in jeopardy after this defeat. UConn slipped a spot in the rankings this week and should slide some more when the next vote is taken. South Carolina: The Gamecocks may have put the cherry on top of the NCAA Tournament top-overall seed sundae with this one. In case you're projecting, South Carolina will more than likely stay in its home state through the Elite Eight with a regional two hours up the road in Greenville. GAMECHANGER The Gamecocks netted three 3s early in the third quarter, including one each from the starting forwards, to stretch out a 21-point advantage. KEY STAT The Carolina defense smothered UConn in the first quarter, holding the Huskies to 1-of-16 from the field for two points, the lowest quarter total in UConn's program history. The Gamecocks locked down the fourth quarter as well – 5-of-15 shooting – to eliminate a comeback attempt from the Huskies. NOTABLES This win gives the Garnet and Black its ninth win over teams ranked in the AP Top 25, the most in the nation. The Gamecocks are 23-1, matching the 2015-16 squad's 24-game record for best in the Staley era. Tyasha Harris notched her first double-double of the season, 10th of her career, with 19 points and 11 assists. The senior finished with zero turnovers. Aliyah Boston earned her second-consecutive double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. The freshman averages a double against ranked teams. Zia Cooke dropped 15 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. Cooke averages 13.3 points against ranked foes. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan cracked double-digits for the second-straight game with 10 points. She also pulled down seven rebounds and blocked three shots. UP NEXT The Gamecocks (23-1, 10-0 SEC) return to SEC action when Auburn comes to town on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.
  4. BOX SCORE 86 #1/2 South Carolina 22-1,10-0 SEC 65 #25/- Arkansas 18-5,6-4 SEC Score By Periods Team 1 2 3 4 F #1/2 South Carolina 26 20 21 19 86 #25/- Arkansas 17 16 16 16 65 Game Recap: Women's Basketball | 2/6/2020 | By CHIP SOUZA | From USC Sports Information Boston's Double Double Powers Carolina Past No. 25 Arkansas Next Game: UConn 2/10/2020 | 7:00 PM 107.5 The Game LIVE STATS LISTEN LIVE FULL SCHEDULE ROSTER MATCHUP HISTORY Box Score (PDF) FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Aliyah Boston had 18 points and 15 rebounds to lead No. 1 South Carolina to an 86-65 win over No. 25 Arkansas on Thursday night. Boston, a 6-foot-5 freshman, also had seven blocked shots for the Gamecocks in their 16th straight win. South Carolina (22-1, 10-0 SEC) got a game-high 25 points from Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, who was 11-of-19 from the floor and added five rebounds and five assists. Zia Cooke added 14 points for the Gamecocks. South Carolina grabbed an early 9-0 lead and was never really threatened after that. It was much different than the first meeting between the teams in January, when Arkansas (18-5, 6-4) rallied from a 20-point deficit before losing 91-82. This time, the Gamecocks led 46-33 at halftime and led by more than 20 points several times in the second half. South Carolina dominated the boards 57-31 and had 19 offensive rebounds. Chelsea Dungee led Arkansas with 16 points and Alexis Tolefree, who was coming off a 35-point performance against Missouri, added 13. BIG PICTURE South Carolina: The Gamecocks just kept rolling. They have not lost since a 71-57 setback against Indiana in November. Arkansas: The Razorbacks were coming off an overtime win against Missouri. They have shown marked improvement under third-year coach Mike Neighbors, but they didn't have the size to compete with the Gamecocks. GAMECHANGER The Gamecock defense locked down the nation's fourth highest-scoring offense, holding the Razorbacks to just 65 points, their second-lowest output of the season. Arkansas scored just 16 points in each of the final three quarters. KEY STAT The Gamecocks continued their rebounding prowess on Thursday by out-rebounding Arkansas 57-31, including 19 offensive boards, which they turned into 24 second-chance points. NOTABLES Carolina dominated in the paint, outscoring Arkansas 50-28. The Gamecocks kept Arkansas off the free throw line, where it entered the game averaging 16.6 made free throws. The Razorbacks went to the line just seven times. This win gives the Garnet and Black its eighth win over teams ranked in the AP Top 25. The Gamecocks are 22-1, their best start since the 2015-16 squad opened the year 22-0. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan scored a season-high 25 points, just two shy of tying her career high. The senior just missed out on a double-double as she finished with nine rebounds. Aliyah Boston earned her ninth double-double of the season, fifth in SEC play, with 18 points and 15 rebounds. She also swatted seven shots, just one shy of the program record in an SEC game. Zia Cooke poured in 14 points, her eighth SEC game in double figures. She also tied her career high for rebounds in conference play with six. UP NEXT The Gamecocks (22-1, 10-0 SEC) return to the friendly confines of Colonial Life Arena for their biggest test in Columbia so far this year when No. 4 UConn (19-2, 9-0 AAC) comes to town on Monday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET with the game airing on ESPN2.
  5. Gamecocks Down No. 22 Lady Vols 69-48 Feb. 02, 2020 Zia Cooke scored 20 points Sunday, and No. 1 South Carolina used its relentless defense to put away No. 22 Tennessee 69-48 for its 15th straight win. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  6. Travis Bell BOX SCORE 48 #22/22 Tennessee 17-5 (7-2 SEC) 69 #1/2 South Carolina 21-1 (9-0 SEC) Score By Periods Team 1 2 3 4 F #22/22 Tennessee 9 14 13 12 48 #1/2 South Carolina 21 17 18 13 69 Game Recap: Women's Basketball | 2/2/2020 | By PETE IACOBELLI | From USC Sports Information | GCF Staff Report Gamecocks Down No. 22 Lady Vols 69-48 Next Game: at Arkansas 2/6/2020 | 8:30 PM 1320 AM/ 107.5 FM LIVE STATS LISTEN LIVE FULL SCHEDULE ROSTER MATCHUP HISTORY Box Score (PDF) COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Zia Cooke scored 20 points Sunday, and No. 1 South Carolina used its relentless defense to put away No. 22 Tennessee 69-48 for its 15th straight win. The Gamecocks (21-1, 9-0 Southeastern Conference) won for the sixth time in seven games against ranked opponents this season. But South Carolina lost leading scorer and rebounder Aliyah Boston when she hobbled off the court in the third quarter. She came back to the bench with her right knee heavily wrapped and coach Dawn Staley patted the freshman on the head as the final period began. Boston, who joked and chatted with teammates in the fourth, finished with 10 points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Tennessee (17-5, 7-2) had won its past two games at South Carolina. But it withered quickly under the Gamecocks' defensive pressure. The Lady Vols hit just four of their first 16 shots and had six turnovers in the opening quarter to trail 21-9. They closed to nine points early in the third, but Boston had a basket and four foul shots to re-establish South Carolina's lead. Tennessee shot just 34.6% (18 of 52) and finished with 21 turnovers. Rennia Davis had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Tennessee, which lost its eighth straight to a No. 1 opponent since defeating LSU in 2005. Tennessee, which came in averaging 16 turnovers a game, turned it over 11 times in the first 20 minutes and trailed 38-23 at break. It was its lowest scoring first half this season. BIG PICTURE Tennessee: The Lady Vols seem to be on the right track under former star guard and first-year coach Kellie Harper. But Tennessee is still searching for the depth it needs to match up with the country's best teams, averaging only 48 points in losses to Stanford, South Carolina and UConn this season. South Carolina: The Gamecocks look every bit the equal to the 2017 national champions. There are still tests ahead, including UConn at home on Feb. 10. GAMECHANGER Carolina set the tone early once again with a 21-9 first quarter, and pushed the lead to 19 before the end of the first half. KEY STAT The Gamecocks won the turnover battle, forcing Tennessee into 21 while committing just six. South Carolina scored 28 points off those 21 Tennessee turnovers. NOTABLES Carolina locked in early, holding Tennessee to nine first-quarter points, marking the 11th game in which the Gamecocks held their opponent to single digits in the first quarter, the sixth time it's happened in SEC play, and the third-consecutive game in which it's happened. Zia Cooke finished with 20 points, one shy of tying her career high in SEC play. It was her third 20-point SEC outing, matching A'ja Wilson for most by a Gamecock freshman. Cooke's production included four 3s. Destanni Henderson celebrated her birthday by scoring nine of the Gamecocks' 18 third-quarter points. Aliyah Boston notched 10 points to go with her five rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Tyasha Harris dished out a season-best nine assists, pushing her program best career total to 628. This marks the third straight Carolina win over Tennessee, tying the longest streak in the rivalry. Today's win also marked eight years to the day of Staley's first win over Tennessee (64-60 in Knoxville, 2/2/12) The Gamecocks are 21-1, their best start since the 2015-16 squad opened the year 22-0. UP NEXT The Gamecocks (21-1, 9-0 SEC) hit the road for a showdown with Arkansas in Fayetteville on Thu., Feb. 6. The action is set to get underway at 8:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.
  7. Game Recap: Women's Basketball | 1/30/2020 | By CHRIS BURROWS | GCF Staff Report South Carolina Breaks Records at Ole Miss Leticia Amihere scored 16 points and No. 1 South Carolina held Mississippi scoreless in the first quarter and limited Ole Miss to two points in the first half on the way to an 87-32 win on Thursday night. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  8. BOX SCORE 87 #1/2 South Carolina 20-1, 8-0 SEC 32 Ole Miss 7-14, 0-8 SEC Score By Periods Team 1 2 3 4 F #1/2 South Carolina 18 14 25 30 87 Ole Miss 0 2 12 18 32 Game Recap: Women's Basketball | 1/30/2020 | By CHRIS BURROWS | GCF Staff Report South Carolina Breaks Records at Ole Miss Associated Press Next Game: Tennessee 2/2/2020 | 1:00 PM 107.5 The Game LIVE STATS LISTEN LIVE FULL SCHEDULE ROSTER MATCHUP HISTORY Box Score (PDF) OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Leticia Amihere scored 16 points and No. 1 South Carolina held Mississippi scoreless in the first quarter and limited Ole Miss to two points in the first half on the way to an 87-32 win on Thursday night. The Gamecocks (20-1, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) led 18-0 after one period and scored 27 unanswered points before Mississippi (7-14, 0-7) got its first basket. South Carolina led 32-2 at the break. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan scored eight points, blocked two shots and added a steal in the early decisive surge as the Lady Rebels missed 19 consecutive shots and had 16 turnovers. Tyasha Harris and Herbert Harrigan finished with 10 points apiece for South Carolina, which led by as many as 57 points, 87-30, on a 3-point shot by Olivia Thompson with 1:17 remaining. Ole Miss ended its first-half scoring drought on Mimi Reid's layup with 57 seconds left in the second quarter. Reid led the Rebels with 12 points. Ole Miss finished 13 of 50 (26%) from the field and 0 of 10 from the 3-point line. The last time a Division 1 team scored as few as two points in a half was Dec. 16, 2016, when Western Kentucky defeated Lipscomb 87-35 after leading 56-2 at halftime. South Carolina was 33 of 62 (53%) from the field, 8 of 19 (42%) from 3-point range and 13 of 17 (76%) from the free throw line. The Gamecocks outrebounded the Rebels 45-22, including a game-high eight rebounds by Aliyah Boston. BIG PICTURE South Carolina: The Gamecocks were not caught looking ahead showcasing a dominating performance. The schedule moves into overdrive as the next three games feature ranked teams: No. 22 Tennessee at home, a visit to No. 25 Arkansas and a non-conference home match with No. 4 Connecticut. Ole Miss: The Rebels weren't bad defensively in the first half, forcing eight turnovers and limiting South Carolina to 13 of 30 (29%) from the field. No defense could compensate for the offensive performance, which set season lows in every statistical category. GAMECHANGER Carolina's defense once again proved to be too much for an opponent to handle as the Rebels didn't get on the scoreboard until the 57 second mark of the second quarter. KEY STAT The Gamecocks held Ole Miss to 1-of-20 from the field in the first half, and 0-of-9 shooting in the opening quarter. NOTABLES Carolina held Ole Miss scoreless in the first quarter, the first opening quarter shutout in program history. It was the 10th time this season the Gamecocks have held an opponent to single digits in the first quarter, and fifth time in SEC play. The two points scored by the Rebels in the first half were the lowest total given up by a Carolina squad, besting the previous record of seven points from Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 21, 2005. It also tied the NCAA Div. I record for fewest points allowed in a half. Laeticia Amihere finished with a game- and career-best 16 points. The freshman also tied her career high with three blocks. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan came out on fire, scoring eight of her 10 points in the first quarter. Tyasha Harris tallied 10 points on the night, continuing her streak of scoring in double figures in every SEC game this season. The Gamecocks are 20-1, their best start since the 2015-16 squad opened the year 22-0. UP NEXT The Gamecocks (20-1, 8-0 SEC) return to Columbia for a three-game home stand and get things started against #22/22 Tennessee. Things get underway in Colonial Life Arena at 1 p.m. ET with the game airing on ESPN2.
  9. Women's Basketball 1/21/2020 | GCF Staff Report Harris Named SEC Player of the Week COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina guard Tyasha Harris earned SEC Player of the Week honors, the league office announced today, after leading the No. 1/2 Gamecocks to a pair of victories. Surprisingly, it marks the first SEC weekly award of the four-year starter and two-time honorable mention All-American's career. Harris was the Gamecocks' leading scorer for the week, pouring in 17.0 points per game, but it was the timeliness of her scoring that made the difference. In Monday's battle of SEC unbeatens, Harris scored or assisted on eight of the team's nine first-quarter field goals – 10 points and four assists in the opening 10 minutes of the game. Her dominance included a buzzer-beating 3 to end the period with a nine-point advantage over No. 9/9 Mississippi State. When the game was on the line late, again it was Harris who scored the final five points to turn a three-point deficit into a two-point victory when she swiped a steal, hit the ensuing layup, buried a jumper from the left elbow and made a free throw with eight seconds to play after corralling a dangerous in-bounds pass that nearly got away from the Gamecocks. Harris finished with a season-high 23 points and seven assists. In the first game of the week, the senior became just the second Gamecock all-time to amass 600 career assists with her 11-point, five-assist outing at Missouri. She scored five of those 11 points curing a 16-2 late second-quarter run that shut down the Tigers for good. Harris is just five assists away from tying the Gamecocks' career assists record. On the season, Harris is scoring 12.4 points and handing out an SEC -best 5.1 assists per game. Through six SEC games, those numbers go up to 13.5 and 5.8, respectively. She has scored in double figures in all but four games this season, with a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Gamecocks are back in action on Sun., Jan. 26, at border-rival Georgia. Tipoff on SEC Network is set for 3 p.m.
  10. South Carolina Outfights No. 9 Mississippi St 81-79 Jan. 21, 2020 Down nine points in the fourth quarter and close to getting run out of her building, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley didn't panic. Her top-ranked Gamecocks wouldn't let her. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  11. VIDEO & NOTES: Coach Dawn Staley talks transfers and more April 17, 2019 When the news broke last week four South Carolina women’s basketball players had entered the transfer portal and intended to leave the Gamecocks, three of the names seemed to make some kind of sense. LaDazhia Williams and Bianca Jackson weren’t likely to get much playing time as juniors and wanted opportunities elsewhere. Te’a Cooper had been expected to go pro after this year anyway. But forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan’s decision was a shock. The rising senior already ranks fifth in program history in blocked shots and was expected to play a pivotal role for the Gamecocks in 2019-2020. Yes, coach Dawn Staley had docked her playing time for undisclosed reasons in one NCAA tournament game, but she had become a fan favorite and potential All-SEC player in her final season. On Wednesday, however, South Carolina confirmed Herbert Harrigan would actually be returning to the program after all and withdrawing her name from the transfer portal. In her end-of-year press conference, Staley gave some insight into why Herbert Harrigan wanted to transfer in the first place and what was done to repair their relationship. The pair met last week as part of the coaching staff’s annual post-season meetings, and it was then, Staley said, that she first got a sense of what was bothering the star player. “I thought in our discussions, Kiki wanted to revisit how I saw her in our program, and when you don’t know (how I see you), you tend to think the worse, like I’m not needed, and that’s furthest from the truth,” Staley said. “I think with maturity and growing up and understanding your worth, some players need to hear it. They need it verbalized to them to make them a lot more comfortable. Kiki is one of those players that needed to hear it. She’s a tough player. You think she’s tough-minded, but she’s 21 years old, and sometimes 21-year-olds need to hear it in order for them to have a certain comfort level. “That’s on me. I should have done a better job of not allowing that space in which she could think negative thoughts and then give it to her support system.” Staley added that she has frank discussions with players about how she sees them fitting into South Carolina’s system and what she thinks they can accomplish in the future during the recruiting process, but updating those views, reaffirming them and allowing players’ voices to be heard can be critical. “I think when you sit down and actually talk to a young person and figure out what it is that bothers them, what it is that moves them, what it is that they aspire to become, the conversations are a lot better,” Staley said. “When you’re having to hear from other people other than the source — and I’m our team’s biggest source. I’m the one that really can have the biggest impact in their life, but I also am a truth-teller. And it’s not always something that they want to hear, but I also through this process learned that I have to sit down and give them a voice and let them talk and let them figure out what they want in life and we put a plan together and we work towards that.” Along those lines, Staley said she believes she and Herbert Harrigan will have much better communication about hopes and expectations moving forward. With that in mind, Staley said she has high hopes for Herbert Harrigan’s senior campaign. “I anticipate Kiki to have an incredible season. I think she’s one of the best players in our conference on both sides of the ball,” Staley said. “There’s room for her to grow. Obviously her handle has to get better going both ways. She’s very strong going right. We got to work that left hand in order for her to balance out what she’s doing from driving right. “Her midrange is great, her 3 ball is pretty consistent when she shoots it. Defensively, I just think she needs to work a little bit harder, not just getting blocked shots, because that’s a form of defense, but it’s not the total package when it comes to defending. So we have to bump her up in those areas and get her ready to be drafted in the WNBA draft next year.”
  12. Dawn Staley, South Carolina players talk intensity of NCAA Tournament practices March 21, 2019 Dawn Staley, South Carolina players talk intensity of NCAA Tournament practices
  13. USC adds $1.5 million incentive for Dawn Staley to stick around April 20, 2018 The University of South Carolina board of trustees approved a new deal for Dawn Staley on Friday that doesn't add to her contract length but will give her a big incentive not to leave Columbia. Under terms of the new deal, the university will contribute $300,000 per year to a fund for five years, and if Staley is still coach of the Gamecocks in 2022, she will receive the $1.5 million longevity bonus. Staley is just one year removed from receiving an extension and raise — after leading the Gamecocks to the 2017 national championship, she was rewarded with an eight-year deal that made her the highest paid coach in the SEC, worth more than $14 million, peaking at $2.1 million in the final season. Staley has now spent 10 seasons with South Carolina, accumulating a 250-87 record in that time. She is the program's all-time wins leader and her teams have advanced to the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16 for five consecutive years. This past offseason, Staley's alma mater, Virginia, had a coaching vacancy after the retirement of coach Joanne Boyle. Though Staley denied any interest in the position, UVA athletic director Carla Williams confirmed that she had contacted Staley about the job before eventually hiring Texas assistant and former WNBA star Tina Thompson. Friday's deal gives South Carolina some extra assurance that Staley won't be going anywhere for the foreseeable future. With that $1.5 million in 2021-2022, she will earn $3.1 million in that year. Connecticut's Geno Auriemma, who has won 11 national titles for the Huskies, is the highest-paid women's coach in the country. He recently signed a deal that paid him up to $2.4 million by the end of the contract, in 2021. Also on Friday, the board of trustees approved one-year extensions for women's basketball associate head coach Lisa Boyer and men's basketball assistant coaches Perry Clark and Chuck Martin, keeping them at USC through March 31, 2019. Boyer will make $300,000, Clark will continue to make $300,000, and Martin will stay with a salary of $265,000. Boyer has been on Staley's staff since she came to South Carolina in 2008, first as an assistant before being promoted to associate head coach in 2010. Clark has been with Carolina head coach Frank Martin for five of his six seasons in Columbia. Chuck Martin was hired last June and has been instrumental in landing class of 2018 recruits Jermaine Couisnard and T.J. Moss. Martin, who previously served on Indiana's staff, was also key in getting former McDonald's All-American Brian Bowen to enroll at USC in January.
  14. Former South Carolina basketball star A’ja Wilson selected No. 1 overall in 2018 WNBA Draft April 13, 2018 A’ja Wilson, the best player in the history of South Carolina women’s basketball, was picked first in the 2018 WNBA Draft on Thursday night. The 6-foot-5 Wilson, who was the consensus Player of the Year in women’s college basketball this season, was drafted No. 1 overall by the Las Vegas Aces. A four-time All-SEC selection, Wilson averaged 22.6 points and 11.8 rebounds as a senior, a year after she helped lead the Gamecocks to a national championship. She also blocked 105 shots in the 2017-18 season. Wilson is now off to a career with a franchise that’s been around since the WNBA’s inaugural season in 1997. After starting in Utah, the franchise moved to San Antonio before the 2003 season. It has relocated to Las Vegas for the 2018 season. Former Detroit Pistons forward Bill Laimbeer is entering his first season as Aces coach. He won three WNBA titles while coaching in Detroit from 2002-09 before spending a couple of seasons as an assistant in the NBA. Laimbeer returned to the WNBA, to coach New York from 2013-17. “You don’t get many players that can drive like [Wilson] can. She can attack the basket, and with one dribble, cover a tremendous amount of ground,” he said. “It says something when you have a player of that size take the ball out of bounds all the time, where the trust factor is there for her to make the right pass. She’s also the player who comes back to get the ball and the outlet pass whether it’s to press break or get the ball in, because she’s going to make the right decisions. “Those are the intangibles you look for in a player, and also her shot. She shoots from an elevated position above her head, so you don’t have to worry about shot blocking. Overall, those are the intangibles that set her apart from a lot of other big players in our league. I think, in our league, her biggest thing is just going to be she can scare a lot of people who are guarding her because she’s able to take the ball to the basket off the drive.”

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