So much for a national championship earning you universal respect.
Sports Illustrated’s women’s basketball writer Dan Greene has released his preseason top 10 for the upcoming season, and the reigning champion Gamecocks are a far cry from the No. 2 ranking they earned in the USA Today coaches poll released last week.
Greene has pegged South Carolina as the 10th best team in the country, behind No. 1 Connecticut, SEC rival and No. 5 Mississippi State and 2017-2018 opponents No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 9 Duke.
“Final Four (Most Outstanding Player) A’ja Wilson is back for her senior season, but the defending champs lost a combined 40.8 (points per game),” Greene writes about South Carolina.
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Greene is referencing the contributions of WNBA picks Kaela Davis, Alaina Coates and Allisha Gray, who constituted 48 percent of the Gamecocks’ scoring last season.
However, Greene does name Wilson to his preseason All-American team, her second such honor after College Sports Madness named her preseason Player of the Year several weeks ago.
The Associated Press will unveil its preseason poll on Thursday and its preseason All-American team on Nov. 8. The Gamecocks open their exhibition schedule on Nov. 3 against Coker, then start the regular season on Nov. 10 against Alabama State.