#11 South Carolina Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

South Carolina Gamecocks
Overall Rank: #11
Conference Rank: #3 SEC
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Coach Dawn Staley has taken South Carolina to the NCAA Tournament eight times in a row. Seven of those trips have resulted in at least an appearance in the Sweet Sixteen. That impressive domination will not end any time soon. The Gamecocks have some key pieces to replace, but the program has brought in four of the top ten recruits in the country. They will be good right now and will continue to be good for at least the next four years.  
2018-19 Record: 23-10, 13-3
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Dawn Staley
Coach Record: 273-97 at South Carolina, 445-177 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Te’a Cooper, Guard, 11.9 ppg
Alexis Jennings, Forward, 11.2 ppg
Doniyah Cliney, Guard, 4.2 ppg
Bianca Cuevas-Moore, Guard, 8.9 ppg
Bianca Jackson, Guard, 4.0 ppg
Nelly Perry, Guard, 3.6 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Tyasha Harris, Senior, Guard, 10.9 ppg
Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, Senior, Forward, 10.4 ppg
Destanni Henderson, Sophomore, Guard, 5.5 ppg
Victaria Saxton, Sophomore, Forward, 4.1 ppg
LeLe Grissett, Junior, Guard/Forward, 3.4 ppg
Elysa Wesolek, Sophomore, Forward, 1.9 ppg
Key New Players
Laeticia Amihere, Freshman, Forward
Brea Beal, Freshman, Guard
Aliyah Boston, Freshman, Forward
Zia Cooke, Freshman, Guard
Olivia Thompson, Freshman, Guard
Destiny Littleton, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Texas, not eligible
Tyasha Harris and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan will be the senior leaders of this team. Harris will once again run the point after averaging 10.9 points and 5.3 assists. Harris has developed into a superb playmaker and a solid scorer from everywhere on the floor, however, it is her ability to take care of the ball that makes her so important to this team. In 33 games, Harris committed just 55 turnovers last year. Harrigan, a 6-2 forward, added 10.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and a team high 2.2 blocks. Sophomores Destanni Henderson and Victaria Saxton did not see too much playing time as freshmen, but both are capable of playing a much larger role this time around. Freshman Zia Cooke will spend one season learning from Harris at the point guard spot, although Coach Staley could certainly have more than one point guard in the starting lineup. Brea Beal is a big 6-1 guard who can help this team in every facet of the game. Aliyah Boston and Laeticia Amihere are ready to dominate the in frontcourt. At 6-5 and 6-4, respectively, those two have the physical prowess and talent to make a huge impact as freshmen. If those newcomers can live up to their potential right away, this is a South Carolina team that can compete for an SEC title and another trip to the Final Four. If not, it may be another year or two before the Gamecocks make a serious push for a national title.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.3 (28th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.8 (227, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.4 (43, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.6 (143, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (172, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.5 (118, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.0 (79, 4)
Rebound Margin: 1.3 (155, 8)
Assists Per Game: 13.0 (169, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (51, 5)
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#4 Zia Cooke
#7 Aliyah Boston
#8 Laeticia Amihere
#9 Breanna Beal