It was the same strategy that South Carolina used when it landed five-star running back Marcus Lattimore. The Gamecocks got him, so they used him.
USC knew it finally had a post game when Alaina Coates chose to stay home and play for the Gamecocks. They just hoped she would be what they wanted. She is.
Relying on a game plan of throwing her the ball and asking her to carry the team’s scoring load, Coates scored 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting in Sunday’s win over Vanderbilt. After two seasons of winning a lot of games but losing more often than not because the opponent had the big girl, it’s USC’s turn to flash some height in the paint.
The Commodores felt like the Gamecocks did over the past two seasons when Tennessee-Georgia-Texas A&M-etc., just kept working the ball inside. They tried to push Coates off the block, they tried to get in her face, but nearly every time, they had to settle for receiving the inbound pass and hoping for a better result.
Coates is averaging nearly 19 points over her last four games.
The Gamecocks got her. They’re using her. Follow on Twitter at @DCTheState