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South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball

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South Carolina Gamecocks
2016–17 South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team
South Carolina Gamecocks Block C logo.svg
University University of South Carolina
Conference SEC
Location Columbia, SC
Head coach Dawn Staley (8th year)
Arena Colonial Life Arena
(Capacity: 18,000)
Nickname Gamecocks
Colors Garnet and Black[1]
         
Uniforms
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Home jersey
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Team colours
Home
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Away jersey
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Team colours
Away
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
Alternate
NCAA Tournament champions
2017
NCAA Tournament Final Four
2015, 2017
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
2002, 2015, 2017
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1982, 1990, 2002, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
NCAA Tournament second round
1982, 1988, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
NCAA Tournament appearances
1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
AIAW Tournament Final Four
1980
AIAW Tournament Elite Eight
1980
AIAW Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1980
AIAW Tournament appearances
1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
Conference tournament champions
Metro Conference: 1986, 1988, 1989
SEC: 2015, 2016, 2017
Conference regular season champions
Metro Conference: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
SEC: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

The South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team represents the University of South Carolina and competes in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The program enjoyed success under head coach Nancy Wilson during the 1980s in the Metro Conference, when it won five regular season conference championships and three conference tournament championships. Under current head coach Dawn Staley, the Gamecocks have improved their win totals every year, culminating in winning the SEC Championship in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. They gained number one seeds in the NCAA Tournament those same years. Following the 2014 season, Staley signed the second-ranked recruiting class in the country, highlighted by the overall top-rated recruit, A'ja Wilson. In the 2016-17 season, the Gamecocks won the national championship.

History

The first Gamecocks women's basketball team to compete at an intercollegiate level was in 1923 when they were called the Pullets.

The modern era of South Carolina women's basketball began when the Carolina Chicks took to the court in January 1974 under the guidance of Pam Backhaus. The inaugural team compiled a record of 15–7 and were the South Carolina AIAW Champions. In 1977, with Pam Parsons as the head coach the women's basketball team, they changed their nickname to the Lady Gamecocks and made post-season trips every year during her four-year tenure.

During its eight seasons in the Metro Conference, the Lady Gamecocks won the regular season championship five times and the conference tournament three times.[2]

When South Carolina joined the SEC, success was hard to come by during their first decade in one of the strongest conferences in women's basketball. They initially struggled to compete under head coaches Nancy Wilson and Susan Walvius. Walvius' teams in 2001–02 and 2002–03 broke through to finish 25–7 and 23–8, respectively, earning trips to the NCAA tournament and reaching the Elite Eight in 2002.

Walvius resigned after the 2007–08 season and Dawn Staley was named the new head coach of the team now known as simply, "Gamecocks" on May 7, 2008.

Under Coach Staley, the Gamecocks have improved or equaled their win total every season during her first seven years leading the program, culminating with a 34-3 record in 2014-15. That year they won the SEC Regular Season Championship, the SEC Tournament Championship and the NCAA East Region Championship. The season ended in the NCAA Final Four with a last second one-point loss to Notre Dame in the national semi-finals.

The following year, the Gamecocks went undefeated in conference play, only to be stymied in the Sweet 16 by Syracuse. In 2016-17, the Gamecocks garnered their third straight sweep of the SEC regular season and tournament titles en route to their second Final Four. They defeated conference rival Mississippi State in the national championship game to win their first-ever national title.

Head coaches

Name Years Seasons Games Won Lost Pct.
Pam Backhaus 1974–1975
1976–1977
3 78 41 37 .526
Frankie Porter 1975–1976 1 22 7 15 .318
Pam Parsons 1977–1981 5 144 101 43 .701
Terry Kelly 1982–1984 3 82 50 32 .610
Nancy Wilson 1984–1997 13 380 231 149 .608
Susan Walvius 1997–2008 11 325 165 160 .508
Dawn Staley 2008–present 9 301 221 80 .734
All-Time 43 1332 816 516 .612

2016–17 Roster

2016–17 South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Year Previous school Hometown
G 0 Patrick, VictoriaVictoria Patrick 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) Fr Edgewater Orlando, FL
G 1 Cuevas-Moore, BiancaBianca Cuevas-Moore 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) Jr Nazareth Regional Bronx, NY
G 3 Davis, KaelaKaela Davis 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) RS Jr Buford
Georgia Tech
Suwanee, GA
G 4 Cliney, DoniyahDoniyah Cliney 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) RS So Malcolm X Shabazz Newark, NJ
G 10 Gray, AllishaAllisha Gray 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) RS Jr Washington County
North Carolina
Sandersville, GA
G 12 Bradshaw, AraionAraion Bradshaw 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) Fr Tabor Academy Hyde Park, MA
G 15 Davis, TiffanyTiffany Davis 5 ft 7 in (1.7 m) RS Jr Westbury Christian Houston, TX
F 21 Harrigan, MikiahMikiah Harrigan 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Fr Flanagan Pembroke Pines, FL
F 22 Wilson, A'jaA'ja Wilson 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Jr Heathwood Hall Hopkins, SC
F 35 Jennings, AlexisAlexis Jennings Current redshirt 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Jr Sparkman
Kentucky
Madison, AL
C 41 Coates, AlainaAlaina Coates 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Sr Dutch Fork Irmo, SC
G 44 Farmer, IndiaIndia Farmer 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Sr North Myrtle Beach North Myrtle Beach, SC
G 52 Harris, TyashaTyasha Harris 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) Fr Heritage Christian Noblesville, IN
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on

Roster

Year-by-year results

Conference tournament winners noted with # Source[3]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason Coaches' poll AP poll
Pam Backhaus (Independent) (1974–1975)
1974–75 Pam Backhaus 18–12 AIAW Region II
Frankie Porter (Independent) (1975–1976)
1975–76 Frankie Porter 7–15
Frankie Porter: 7–15
Pam Backhaus (Independent) (1976–1977)
1976–77 Pam Backhaus 8–18 SCAIAW
Pam Backhaus: 26–30
Pam Parsons (Independent) (1977–1982)
1977–78 Pam Parsons 24–10 AIAW Region II
1978–79 Pam Parsons 27–10 AIAW Region II, NWIT Champions 15
1979–80 Pam Parsons 30–6 AIAW Third Place 4
1980–81 Pam Parsons 21–11 AIAW Region II
1981 Pam Parsons 7–0
Pam Parsons: 109–37
Terry Kelly (Independent, Metro) (1982–1985)
1982 Terry Kelly 16–8 NCAA Sixteen
1982–83 Terry Kelly 16–12
1983–84 Terry Kelly 18–12 7–3
Terry Kelly: 50–32 7–3
Nancy Wilson (Metro, SEC) (1984–1997)
1984–85 Nancy Wilson 18–10 8–3
1985–86 Nancy Wilson 19–11 9–1 1st NCAA First Round
1986–87 Nancy Wilson 18–12 8–4
1987–88 Nancy Wilson 23–11 10–2 1st NCAA Second Round (Play-In) 24
1988–89 Nancy Wilson 23–7 10–2 1st NCAA First Round 22 17
1989–90 Nancy Wilson 24–9 13–1 NCAA Sweet Sixteen 16 19
1990–91 Nancy Wilson 22–9 12–2 NCAA First Round
1991–92 Nancy Wilson 13–15 2–9 12th (SEC)
1992–93 Nancy Wilson 17–10 5–6 T-6th
1993–94 Nancy Wilson 14–13 2–9 T-10th
1994–95 Nancy Wilson 12–15 1–10 T-10th
1995–96 Nancy Wilson 16–12 2–9 T-11th
1996–97 Nancy Wilson 12–15 1–11 T-11th
Nancy Wilson: 231–149 83–69
Susan Walvius (SEC) (1997–2008)
1997–98 Susan Walvius 13–15 3–11 T-11th
1998–99 Susan Walvius 11–16 0–14 12th
1999–2000 Susan Walvius 13–15 3–11 11th
2000–01 Susan Walvius 11–17 6–8 T-6th
2001–02 Susan Walvius 25–7 10–4 T-2nd NCAA Elite Eight 6 13
2002–03 Susan Walvius 23–8 9–5 T-5th NCAA Second Round 18 16
2003–04 Susan Walvius 10–18 1–13 12th
2004–05 Susan Walvius 8–21 2–12 12th
2005–06 Susan Walvius 17–12 7–7 7th WNIT First Round (Bye)
2006–07 Susan Walvius 18–15 6–8 T-7th WNIT Sixteen
2007–08 Susan Walvius 16–16 4–10 T-9th WNIT First Round (Play-In)
Susan Walvius: 165–160 51–103
Dawn Staley (SEC) (2008–present)
2008–09 Dawn Staley 10–18 2–12 11th
2009–10 Dawn Staley 14–15 7–9 T-7th
2010–11 Dawn Staley 18–15 8–8 T-5th WNIT Second Round
2011–12 Dawn Staley 25–10 10–6 T-4th NCAA Sweet Sixteen 21 25
2012–13 Dawn Staley 25–8 11–5 T-4th NCAA Second Round 14 17
2013–14 Dawn Staley 29–5 14–2 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen 8 9
2014–15 Dawn Staley 34–3 15–1 1st NCAA Final Four 3 4
2015–16 Dawn Staley 33–2 16–0 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen 3 5
2016–17 Dawn Staley 33–4 14–2 1st NCAA Champions 3 4
Dawn Staley: 220–80 97–45
Total: 815–516

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Notable players

Gamecocks in the WNBA

Player Draft Seasons Note
Shannon Johnson 1999 - Orlando 11 (1999 – 2009) Last with the Seattle Storm
Shaunzinski Gortman 2002 - 9th by Charlotte 5 (2002–2006) Last with the Seattle Storm
Jocelyn Penn 2003 - 9th by Charlotte 2 (2003–2004) Last with the San Antonio Stars
Tiffany Mitchell 2016 - 9th by Indiana 2 (2016–Present) Indiana Fever
Alaina Coates 2017 - 2nd by Chicago 1 (2017–Present) Chicago Sky
Allisha Gray 2017 - 4th by Dallas 1 (2017–Present) Dallas Wings
Kaela Davis 2017 - 10th by Dallas 1 (2017–Present) Dallas Wings

Also drafted:

Retired jerseys

Retired jerseys[4]
No. Player Years
53 Sheila Foster 1978–1982
13 Martha Parker 1985–1989

Attendance

Over the years, the Gamecocks have played in three different venues. At first games were played at the Blatt P.E. Center. Later games moved to the Carolina Coliseum, which saw the first sell out for a women's basketball game on January 17, 2002. That day, 12,168 fans turned out to see the South Carolina Gamecocks take on the Tennessee Lady Vols.

On November 22, 2002, the Lady Gamecocks opened the newly constructed Colonial Center (later renamed the Colonial Life Arena). A near sell out crowd of 17,712 saw the Lady Gamecocks defeat the Clemson Lady Tigers. The first sell out with 18,000 in attendance occurred on February 8, 2016 against the University of Connecticut Huskies in a match up of the two top ranked teams in the country.

Top 10 crowds at Colonial Life Arena for Women's Basketball games:

Date Attendance Opponent Result
02-08-2016 18,000 Connecticut L 66–54
02-26-2017 18,000 Kentucky W 95–87
11-22-2002 17,712 Clemson W 72–58
01-11-2015 17,156 Kentucky W 68–60
11-13-2015 16,815 Ohio State W 88–80
01-02-2015 16,465 Auburn W 77–58
12-06-2015 16,429 Duke W 66–55
02-28-2016 16,240 LSU W 75–39
02-18-2016 16,186 Georgia W 61–51
01-10-2016 15,934 Missouri W 83–58

Starting with the 2013–14 season, the South Carolina Gamecocks became one of the national leaders in attendance for Women's Basketball. In 2014–15, the Gamecocks led the nation in attendance with 12,540 fans per game. They followed this up with an average attendance of 14,364 in 2015–16, a season where every home game had at least 10,000 fans in attendance.

Year Games Overall W–L Overall Win Pct NCAA W–L NCAA Win Pct Total Attendance (SEC/Nat Rank) Avg Attendance (SEC/Nat Rank)
2013–14 16 16–0 1.000 0–0 101,935 (3rd/13th) 6,371 (3rd/10th)
2014–15 16 16–0 1.000 2–0 1.000 196,684 (1st/1st) 12,293 (1st/1st)
2015–16 17 16–1 0.941 2–0 1.000 244,196 (1st/1st) 14,364 (1st/1st)
2016–17 16 15–1 0.938 2–0 1.000 196,431 (1st/1st) 12,277 (1st/1st)
Totals 65 63–2 0.969 6–0 1.000 739,246 11,373

Between losses to Texas A&M on February 10, 2013 and Connecticut on February 8th 2016, the Gamecocks won 45 consecutive games at home.

Player awards

National awards

  • Coach of the Year
Dawn Staley – 2014 – Basketball Times
  • All-Americans
Tiffany Mitchell – 2015
A'ja Wilson – 2016, 2017
  • Dawn Staley Award
Tiffany Mitchell – 2015

SEC Awards

Susan Walvius – 2002
Dawn Staley – 2014, 2015*, 2016
Tiffany Mitchell – 2014, 2015
A'ja Wilson – 2016, 2017
  • Defensive Player of the Year
Ieasia Walker – 2013
A'ja Wilson – 2016
  • Freshman of the Year
Kelsey Bone – 2010
Alaina Coates – 2014
A'ja Wilson – 2015
  • 6th Player of the Year
Alaina Coates – 2014*
  • SEC Tournament MVP
Aleighsa Welch – 2015
Tiffany Mitchell – 2016
A'ja Wilson – 2016
  • WBB Scholar Athlete of the Year
Aleighsa Welch – 2015
  • Denotes Co-Player / Co-Coach

Metro awards

  • Coach of the Year
Nancy Wilson – 1985, 1991
  • Player of the Year
Brantley Southers – 1986
Martha Parker – 1988, 1989
Beth Hunt – 1990
  • Newcomer of the Year
Martha Parker – 1986
Schonna Banner – 1987
  • Tournament MVP
Brantley Southers – 1986
Martha Parker – 1988
Beth Hunt – 1989

References

  1. ^ "Official Colors". University of South Carolina Board of Trustees. Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  2. ^ "South Carolina Women's Basketball History". 
  3. ^ "History" (PDF). University of South Carolina. Retrieved 10 Aug 2013. 
  4. ^ "Carolina History". 

External links