South Carolina women’s basketball senior guard Bianca Cuevas-Moore never got the chance to play this year, appearing in one preseason game before being sidelined for the rest of the campaign with an ACL injury.
And while USC coach Dawn Staley has yet to say whether Cuevas-Moore, who started 19 games and averaged 8.3 points last year, will use a medical redshirt to return for a fifth season in 2018-2019, she did drop a cryptic hint Wednesday that suggests it could happen.
Specifically, Staley said Cuevas-Moore, who joined South Carolina alongside classmates Doniyah Cliney and A’ja Wilson, will not participate in the team’s Senior Night activities on Feb. 22, when the Gamecocks host LSU in their final home game of the regular season.
“She’s not going to do Senior Night, so we’ll see where that goes,” Staley said.
Never miss a local story.
If Cuevas-Moore had made the decision to leave South Carolina, she likely would have participated in the ceremony as a farewell to USC fans.
Staley also said Wednesday that Cuevas-Moore has undergone surgery for her injury, and emphasized that the medical redshirt decision will be her choice.
“She’s just gotta get healthy. And it’s not just based on me, it’s her as well. She’s going to graduate, so it’s her decision whether she wants to stay or go,” Staley said.
Staley has had some recent experience with players leaving years of eligibility on the table — transfers Kaela Davis and Allisha Gray both elected to leave this past offseason for the WNBA rather than spend another year in school.
Two of Cuevas-Moore’s teammates on the current Gamecock squad are widely expected to come back for a fifth year: Cliney, who missed her freshman year due to academic issues, and Alexis Jennings, who transferred from Kentucky two years ago and sat out a season, per NCAA rules.
If Cuevas-Moore does return, she will join a crowded backcourt for USC that includes current starters like Cliney, Tyasha Harris and Bianca Jackson, a highly-rated incoming freshman in Destanni Henderson and transfer Te’a Cooper.