South Carolina Women's Basketball 2016 NCAA Tournament Capsule

South Carolina Gamecocks
SEC (31-1, 16-0)
Head Coach Dawn Staley and her staff have had an uphill battle this season as injuries have plagued South Carolina all season long. However, the Gamecocks have done what elite programs do when faced with adversity by continuing to win at a high level in the SEC, the toughest conference in all of women’s college basketball. South Carolina has been knocking on the door of a national championship in recent years and they were competitive against UCONN in a 66-54 loss back on February 8 in Columbia. Thus, it will be very interesting to see how the Gamecocks come together in the NCAA Tournament now that they are finally healthy.  
Big Wins: 11/13 Ohio State (88-80), 11/22 at UCLA (68-65), 11/27 vs Arizona State (60-58)
Bad Losses: 2/8 Connecticut (54-66)
Coach: Dawn Staley
Why They Can Surprise:
Winning close games against quality competition like UCLA and Arizona State during the non-conference schedule will serve the Gamecocks well in the postseason. The experience in the backcourt with Tiffany Mitchell and Khadijah Sessions is going to be invaluable in the postseason. Sophomore guard/forward A’ja Wilson has continued to grow offensively as she has become the leading scorer for South Carolina and simply does not take very many bad shots. Wilson is shooting nearly 55 percent from the field this season. Defensively, the Gamecocks can lock teams down very easily when clicking on all cylinders. Junior Center Alaina Coates has been a relentless force on the boards all season long. The ability to keep teams from dominating from the outside is another reason South Carolina can make a run at a national championship. Opponents have only shot well under 30 percent from behind the three-point line against the Gamecocks. This ability to make teams one-dimensional, combined with plenty of depth, will wear teams down over the course of 40 minutes in the postseason.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Free throw shooting in close games will be something to watch as South Carolina has had issues during the season from the charity stripe. They also will need to do just enough from behind the three-point line to keep teams honest defensively. In the loss to Connecticut, the Gamecocks had a rough second half shooting the basketball, hitting only 32 percent from the field and making just three shots from three-point range.   
Probable Starters:
Tiffany Mitchell, Senior, Guard, 15.0 ppg, 2.5 apg
Khadijah Sessions, Senior, Guard, 6.7 ppg, 2.2 apg
Asia Dozier, Senior, Guard/Forward, 3.2 ppg, 2.2 apg
A’ja Wilson, Sophomore, Forward, 16.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.1 bpg
Alana Coates, Junior, Center, 11.6 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Key Roleplayers:
Bianca Cuevas, Sophomore, Guard, 6.6 ppg, 1.8 apg
Tina Roy, Senior, Guard, 5.8 ppg, 2.3 apg
Sarah Imovbioh, Senior, Forward, 4.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Doniyah Cliney, Redshirt Freshman, Guard, 3.3 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.7 (36th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.8 (33, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.9 (17, 2)                 
Field-Goal Defense: 34.4 (10, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.3 (187, 6)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.3 (120, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.6 (255, 10)
Rebound Margin: 7.8 (26, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.7 (74, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.8 (88, 3)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NCAA First Round win over Savannah State
2015    NCAA Second Round win over Syracuse
2015    NCAA Third Round win over North Carolina
2015    NCAA Quarterfinal win over Florida State
2015    NCAA Semifinal loss to Notre Dame
2014    NCAA First Round win over Cal State Northridge
2014    NCAA Second Round win over Oregon State
2014    NCAA Third Round 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
*all team stats through 3/3