One national writer leaned over during the game and said, “That’s the No. 1 team in the country.” Rebecca Lobo tweeted that she didn’t know what it would take for South Carolina to not be in the Final Four. LaChina Robinson said it was the best performance she’d seen from any team this season.
The Gamecocks took a good nap.
“Obviously, I don’t think they thought we were going to win the game, that’s number one, and we played well enough to impress them and say those things,” Dawn Staley said Wednesday, as her team finished practicing before heading to Texas for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. “But we’re going to really just concentrate on us and try to get better and let the experts say what they want to say.”
The No. 3 Gamecocks boat-raced then-No. 4 Louisville 83-59 on Sunday, locking up Cardinals star Asia Durr and firing every weapon in their arsenal. When the 6-foot-4 center who leads the team in scoring and rebounding was slamming into the scorer’s table after throwing a retrieved loose ball for a fast break, and finished with four steals, well, Louisville knew it wasn’t going to be its day.
The kudos rolled in but USC did what it normally does after a long road trip – as Staley said, the Gamecocks took advantage of the plane ride and slept. The team returned to campus and got back on the practice floor, since it has two road games remaining on the current stretch, including Thursday at No. 14 Texas.
It’s nice to be known, but that doesn’t help USC beat the Longhorns.
“They’re big. They’re probably bigger than us in the post because they have a lot of post players,” Staley said. “I think they’re athletic, I think they got a great point guard that runs the show.”
Texas is 2-2 but the losses were each on the road to Top 25 opponents (Stanford and Mississippi State). USC beat Ohio State on the road and Louisville on a neutral court but like the national accolades, they don’t help win this game.
“Great teams don’t care what competition it is, they’re just trying to get wins,” Staley said. “I think we’re progressing to that.”
NOTE: Forward Jatarie White transferred from USC to Texas during the offseason. She is sitting out this season. Staley said she hasn’t spoken with White since she left.
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National media were saying South Carolina is a Final Four team after watching the Gamecocks destroy Louisville Sunday. Eight teams that look great after the first three weeks of the season:
NOTRE DAME (6-0)
Irish are top-ranked team in the country.
Unwise to bet against Geno Auriemma.
SOUTH CAROLINA (5-0)
Starting five may be the best lineup in the nation.
Nina Davis leads a team that’s two-deep at every spot.
MISSISSIPPI STATE (7-0)
Unsung team that has been one of the SEC’s best the past two years.
Reigning Big Ten champs have a very conducive schedule.
OHIO STATE (5-2)
Linnae Harper is eligible in December and will give Bucks another scorer.
Jordin Canada leads a team of all-stars.
Four Gamecocks on Naismith Watch list
Four USC players have been named to the 50-player Naismith Trophy Watch List by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. USC’s four honorees are the most of any school.
Has recorded a double-double in four of five games and is second in the nation with 12.8 rebounds per game.
The No. 1 rated player by ESPNW for this year has scored in double figures in four of USC’s first five games.
Ranks second on team with 16 points per game. The transfer is fifth in nation with 5.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Junior transfer ranks in the top three in the SEC in 3-pointers made per game and 3-point field goal percentage.
Who: No. 3 USC (5-0) at No. 14 Texas (2-2)
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Erwin Center, Austin, Texas
Radio: 107.5 FM
South Carolina’s probable starters: G Bianca Cuevas-Moore 5-6 Jr. (7.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg); G Allisha Gray 6-0 Jr. (16.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg); G Kaela Davis 6-2 Jr. (15.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg); F A’ja Wilson 6-5 Jr. (14.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg); C Alaina Coates 6-4 Sr. (16.6 ppg, 12.8 rpg)
Texas’ probable starters: G Brooke McCarty 5-4 Jr. (16.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg); G Ariel Atkins 5-11 Jr. (13.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg); G Brianna Taylor 5-9 Sr. (7.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg); G/F Joyner Holmes 6-3 Fr. (11.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg); C Kelsey Lang 6-5 Sr. (6.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
Next game: South Carolina plays at Duke at 2 p.m. on Sunday.