Dawn Staley had to be feeling great Tuesday.
Not because the South Carolina Gamecocks coach has guided the women’s basketball team to a 2-0 record at the start of the season.
Not because her team is coming off a 94-86 road win over No.15 Maryland.
Not because the Gamecocks are ranked No. 2 in the coaches poll, and fourth in the AP top 25.
Not because she’s coming off the best offseason of her life as a coach, guiding USC to the national championship last season.
Staley had to feel good that a world-famous, award-winning musician compared the Gamecocks coach to one of the greatest singers of all time – Whitney Houston.
That’s right, South Carolina alum and Gamecock superfan Darius Rucker compared Staley to the late, great Whitney Houston.
“Coach Staley u k kw u sing like Whitney!!” the former Hootie & the Blowfish front man turned country music superstar wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
Rucker was likely having some fun with Staley. The two are well acquainted, and Staley helped introduce Rucker at the free concert he performed at Colonial Life Arena last spring, making good on a promise he made if the USC football team won six games in 2016.
Fulfilling a promise is what indirectly led Rucker to say Staley sings “like Whitney.” And like Rucker’s free show, it started with Gamecocks football.
Fraendy Clervaud, a morning news anchor on WACH FOX’s “Good Day Columbia,” is a Florida alum. Prior to last Saturday’s game between the Gators and Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium, he made a bet.
Because of the Gators’ loss, Clervaud had to sing “We Hail Thee Carolina,” the Gamecocks’ alma mater and fight song. He did it on Facebook Live, surrounded by his colleagues, and posted his rendition on Twitter.
“Not the best singer but I tried,” Clervaud tweeted, tagging several USC luminaries – including Staley.
That prompted Staley to retweet, adding a supportive reply.
“You did great! Much better than I could have ever done,” Staley wrote, adding there’s room for Clervaud to become a permanent member of USC’s fanbase. “Might as well join gamecock nation with how much love you put into singing our song.”
Rucker saw that tweet, and picked up on Staley’s self-effacing comment about her singing.
The question is, if Rucker and Staley are ever together on the stage again, will they sing a duet?