Add another ACC to USC.
Dawn Staley landed a second ACC transfer for her 2015 recruiting class on Friday when she announced that Georgia Tech rising junior Kaela Davis picked South Carolina. The 6-foot-2 first-team All-ACC selection will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but will have two years of eligibility after that.
“We are so grateful Kaela and her family chose to continue her career as a South Carolina Gamecock,” Staley said in a statement. “Kaela’s experience and skill set will be a great addition to our team as we work toward getting back to the Final Four and compete for national championships.”
Staley already got a pledge from Virginia’s Sarah Imovbioh, the ACC’s leading rebounder, to play her final season for the Gamecocks. Davis’ decision gives USC an elite scorer – she was the highest-rated player to ever sign with the Yellow Jackets, the fastest in school history to reach 1,000 career points and would have been the ACC’s leading returning scorer (19.2).
Davis tied for 37th nationally in scoring last year. Despite only playing two years at Georgia Tech, Davis left with the single-season scoring record (652 points) and a tie for the best career average (18.9).
She was the No. 1 guard in the country in the class of 2013 and the No. 2 overall prospect. A McDonald’s All-American, Davis grew up with basketball – her father, Antonio Davis, played 13 years in the NBA. Her twin brother, A.J. Davis, played one season at Tennessee and is now at UCF.
The decision gives the Gamecocks an immediate answer to how they’ll replace two-time SEC Player of the Year Tiffany Mitchell when she graduates after the coming season. The Gamecocks will also lose point guard Khadijah Sessions, starting guard Asia Dozier and sharpshooter Tina Roy from their backcourt.
Davis talked about her decision on her Instagram account, thanking Tech and coach MaChelle Joseph. She said that due to her father’s NBA career, she was used to moving around, didn’t fear change and labeled leaving as one of the hardest things she’s ever done.
“But I’m a competitor at my core … it’s who I am .. and at every level of basketball career (sic) thus far,” she wrote. “That competitiveness has allowed me to not only compete at the highest level .. but WIN at the highest level.
“I want to compete for a National Championship.”
The Gamecocks are coming off the first NCAA Final Four trip in school history and will likely be a strong pick to make a return trip this season. Davis joins a class of Imovbioh and freshman guard Shay Colley.
Note: There was speculation that transfer Lexie Brown, Maryland’s rising junior point guard and a key to back-to-back Final Four appearances, would try to go with Davis as a package deal. The two native Georgians are reportedly close friends.
A source at USC said that is more than likely not going to happen.
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