If you are a fan of South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball, you likely nearly had a heart attack in the dying seconds of their game against Texas A&M yesterday. Good news: the ladies pulled it out to improve to 17-0 on the season and 4-0 in SEC play.
A key to much of that? A'ja Wilson. All she did was score 26 points, tear down eight rebounds and block eight shots against the Aggies. (A few nights prior against Kentucky? 26 points, 13 boards and eight blocks, that close to a triple-double.)
Because of her performance over the past few days, Wilson was (deservedly) named espnW's National Player of the Week late Sunday evening.
It was a week that was less about how good Wilson will be than how good she is...Putting together arguably the best back-to-back performances of her career, certainly her most statistically prolific back-to-back performances, Wilson was unstoppable in games in which her team was anything but invincible.
Wilson wasn't just good this past week; she was as good as the team with the best chance to make this season something other than a foregone conclusion needed her to be.
The team will continue to ride the #22 train as much as they can as they head toward the final fourteen games of the regular season. Oh, by the way, they still have Tiffany Mitchell, Alaina Coates, Tina Roy, and a host of other players that can get the job done. Despite two bad misses by Mitchell from the line late in the contest yesterday, to go along with a slow afternoon, that doesn't take away the fact that she's still a good player. Same story with Roy (scoreless against A&M) and Coates (five points despite 11 rebounds). Needless to say, the Gamecocks will need those four playing at a high level if they're to take down teams like UConn, which is flying at breakneck speed toward a fourth straight title. And, most importantly, not only make it back to the Women's Final Four, but win it.
But this week, A'ja Wilson was spectacular and is playing every bit like the player we expected she'd be. Let's hope it continues.