‘Tis the (pre-)season!
Now that Dawn Staley has led her loaded USA Basketball Women’s National Team (USABWNT) to it’s unprecedented third consecutive FIBA World Cup championship, she can now turn all of her attention to her “day” job as head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks’ women’s basketball team.
With the season’s first official practice in the books, the 2018-19 season unofficially begins tonight with the Gamecock Tipoff, a home-grown scrimmage between the women’s and men’s basketball teams. This will give the public a first look at the Lady Gamecocks as they enter the first season of the post-A’ja Wilson era.
While some may be skeptical of the team’s progress without Wilson, junior point guard Tyasha Harris — who is fresh off tryouts with the USABWNT this summer — isn’t concerned.
The #Gamecocks began fall practice with a noticeable void on the roster. For the first time since '14, USC's missing @_ajawilson22 on the court.— Mike Gillespie (@MikeABCColumbia) October 5, 2018
"It's a big difference...her personality is huge," says @TyHarris_52.
More from the Gamecocks here: https://t.co/Ruo1WhB55O pic.twitter.com/tZkpyrgCTV
Indeed, the Gamecocks women’s basketball staff added some promising players in graduate transfer Nelly Perry and freshmen DeStanni Henderson, Victaria Saxton, and Elysa Wesolek. Gamecocks alumna Alexis Jennings and Bianca Cuevas-Moore will be returning for their final seasons of eligibility and Te’a Cooper will be active this season. And, of course, Harris, Doniya Cliney, Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, Ladazhia Williams, and Lele Jennings are back as more experienced and wiser players.
The Gamecocks Tipoff will be held at Colonial Life Arena this evening, October 5, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm. The event is free to the public, so come out and support your Gamecocks basketball! There will be autographs, fan games, and and more in a family-friendly environment. Follow the women’s and men’s teams on Twitter for all of the updates (I cover the women’s team, so tune in here for those updates as well). #GamecockNation
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