Dawn Staley continues to reshape her roster as she prepares for her second season at South Carolina.
Staley added her second transfer in less than four weeks Tuesday when the school announced former Maryland guard Marah Strickland is joining the Gamecocks. Strickland and Rend Lake (Ill.) College transfer Ebony Wilson join an incoming class headlined by Texas center Kelsey Bone and ranked No. 4 nationally by one recruiting site.
Staley had room for the transfers because of a pair of departures. Team spokeswoman Diana Koval said freshman guards Miranda Tate and Tonia Williams have left the program. Freshman center Sada Wheeler quit midway through last season.
Former Gamecocks coach Susan Walvius signed Williams and Wheeler, who played in six games. Tate, who averaged 3.0 points in 21 games last season, originally committed to Temple before following Staley to USC.
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Williams, who averaged 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 11 games at USC, said she is transferring to West Virginia in the hopes of getting more playing time.
“It had something to do with that. And I just felt like I did what was best for me, and felt like West Virginia was the better choice,” Williams said. “I really loved my teammates. It was hard for me to leave them.”
Attempts to reach Tate and Wheeler were unsuccessful.
Playing time apparently was an issue for Strickland at Maryland, which won the ACC last season and reached the Elite Eight for the second consecutive year.
The 6-foot Strickland started 59 of 70 games in two seasons for the Terps, but she played 100 fewer minutes last season than she did as a freshman. The former Parade All-American averaged 8.8 points as a sophomore and ranked among the ACC’s top 10 3-point shooters.
After sitting out the 2009-10 season under NCAA transfer rules, Strickland will have two years of eligibility remaining.
“Marah brings a level of experience that no one on our roster has after playing in the ACC and for a top-10 program,” Staley said in a release. “She has the ability to play both sides of the ball and can shoot from long distance. Having her in practice this year will be invaluable to our program.”
Strickland was at work Tuesday and unavailable for comment.
Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.