South Carolina Women's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


 South Carolina Gamecocks

SEC (27-4, 14-2)

South Carolina had to battle some adversity during the regular season with an A’ja Wilson leg injury that kept her out a couple of games. But the Gamecocks still found a way to the top of the Southeastern Conference during the regular season and have positioned themselves nicely as a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. South Carolina has a great mix of size and skill that will make them a tough out against anyone in the postseason. A very critical element to their success in the NCAA Tournament will be their ability to consistently score the basketball and play relentless defensively for four quarters.
Big Wins: 12/1 at Texas (76-67), 12/18 UCLA (66-57), 1/23 Mississippi State (64-61)
Bad Losses: 12/4 at Duke (63-74), 1/30 Tennessee (74-76), 2/19 at Missouri (60-62)
Coach: Dawn Staley
Why They Can Surprise:
This South Carolina team has plenty of postseason experience, which should serve them well. Matchups are going to be key as last year in the Sweet 16 the Gamecocks ran into a red hot Syracuse team that was able to get them out of rhythm a bit offensively with their pressure. A’ja Wilson is going to have to step up and be a dominant force in this postseason as there will be times where her teammates might be struggling offensively and it will be important for Wilson to ignite the offense. Alaina Coates is going to have to stay out of foul trouble and will need to dominate on the glass and with blocked shots. Coates is averaging 10.7 rebounds per game along with 2.5 blocked shots per game. Another reason they can surprise is going to be their motivation to get last year’s Sweet 16 loss to the Orange behind them and get back to the Elite Eight stage with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
Why They Can Disappoint:
If South Carolina falls behind early and can’t get anything going offensively, that is going to be problem right away. It is going to be imperative for the Gamecocks to get off to quality starts in the first quarter of games so they can settle in defensively and impose their will. Another potential cause for disappoint will be if South Carolina suffers any significant injuries to Coates or Wilson as those two are invaluable players at both ends of the court on a nightly basis.
Probable Starters:
Kaela Davis, Junior, Guard/Forward, 11.8 ppg, 2.2 apg, 3.7 rpg
Allisha Gray, Junior, Guard, 12.9 ppg, 2.7 apg, 4.3 rpg
Tyasha Harris, Freshman, Guard, 5.4 ppg, 3.1 apg
A’ja Wilson, Junior, Forward, 17.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.5 bpg
Alaina Coates, Senior, Center, 12.9 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Key Role Players:
Bianca Cuevas-Moore, Junior, Guard, 8.6 ppg, 1.9 apg
Doniyah Cliney, Sophomore, Guard, 2.7 ppg
Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, Freshman, Forward, 4.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.5 (21st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 56.9 (30, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.8 (11, 1)                 
Field-Goal Defense: 35.5 (19, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (218, 8)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.3 (142, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.6 (164, 8)
Rebound Margin: 7.6 (21, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.3 (67, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.0 (24, 2)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NCAA Round of 64 win over Jacksonville
2016    NCAA Round of 32 win over Kansas State
2016    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Syracuse
2015    NCAA Round of 64 win over Savannah State
2015    NCAA Round of 32 win over Syracuse
2015    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over North Carolina
2015    NCAA Regional Final win over Florida State
2015    NCAA National Semifinal loss to Notre Dame
2014    NCAA Round of 64 win over Cal State Northridge
2014    NCAA Round of 32 win over Oregon State
2014    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to North Carolina
2013    NCAA Round of 64 win over South Dakota State
2013    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Kansas
2012    NCAA Round of 64 win over Eastern Michigan
2012    NCAA Round of 32 win over Purdue
2012    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Stanford
2011    NIT      Round of 64 win over Appalachian State
2011    NIT      Round of 32 loss to Charlotte
2008    NIT      Second Round loss to North Carolina State
2008    NIT      First Round loss to North Carolina A&T
2007    NIT      Second Round win over Hartford
2007    NIT      Third Round loss to Hofstra
2006    NIT      First Round loss to Xavier
2003    NCAA Round of 64 win over Chattanooga
2003    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Penn State
*all team stats through 3/2