#13 South Carolina Women's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

South Carolina Gamecocks
Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #4 SEC
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During A’ja Wilson’s four years at South Carolina, the Gamecocks went to two Final Fours, won three SEC titles and won a national championship. During her senior season, Wilson averaged 22.6 points and 11.8 rebounds and was then selected first overall in the WNBA Draft. Without Wilson, this will be a different South Carolina team, but there is enough talent on this roster to win an SEC title and make another deep NCAA Tournament run.
2017-18 Record: 28-8, 12-4
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Dawn Staley
Coach Record: 250-87 at South Carolina, 422-167 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
A’ja Wilson, Forward, 22.6 ppg
Lindsey Spann, Guard, 10.3 ppg
Victoria Patrick, Guard, 1.6 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Alexis Jennings, Senior, Forward, 11.4 ppg
Tyasha Harris, Junior, Guard, 10.4 ppg
Doniyah Cliney, Senior, Guard, 7.8 ppg
Bianca Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, Junior, Forward, 7.1 ppg
LeLe Grissett, Sophomore, Forward, 4.2 ppg
LaDazhia Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 1.2 ppg
Bianca Cuevas-Moore, Senior, Guard, DNP last season
Key New Players
Te’a Cooper, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Tennessee
Destanni Henderson, Freshman, Guard
Nelly Perry, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Clemson
Victaria Saxton, Freshman, Forward
Elysa Wesolek, Freshman, Forward
Alexis Jennings was second on the team last year in points and rebounds behind Wilson. The 6-2 senior will not dominate the paint like Wilson, but she is more than capable of playing a larger role and being a leader in the frontcourt. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan will likely step into Wilson’s starting spot after averaging 7.1 points and 3.7 rebounds off the bench as a sophomore. Sophomores LeLe Grissett and LaDazhia Williams and incoming freshman Victaria Saxton will again provide frontcourt depth. The newcomers on the perimeter will make an even bigger impact. Point guard Destanni Henderson is a top ten recruit and the Gamecocks also bring in Tennessee transfer Te’a Cooper and Clemson transfer Nelly Perry. And three starters are back on the perimeter too. Tyasha Harris dished out 6.1 assists per game, Doniyah Cliney is the experienced senior on the perimeter and Bianca Jackson is the team’s most dangerous outside shooting threat. South Carolina also welcomes back Bianca Cuevas-Moore, a former part-time starter who missed last season with a knee injury. Coach Dawn Staley has a very deep and talented roster and that is enough for this group to make a nice tournament run. However, they lack a superstar of Wilson’s quality and the rest of the roster will need to pick up the slack in order for the Gamecocks to reach their recent level of success.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.2 (37th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.2 (81, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.3 (10, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.6 (27, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.4 (303, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.1 (79, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.7 (157, 7)
Rebound Margin: 7.5 (26, 4)
Assists Per Game:14.9 (84, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.1 (75, 6)
Madness 2019 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#23 Alexis Jennings
Madness 2018 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#7 Destanni Henderson
#32 Victaria Saxton