David Cloninger

Ranking the best women’s players in South Carolina basketball history

USC women's basketball players know Dawn Staley

South Carolina women's basketball players share their thoughts about Coach Dawn Staley.
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South Carolina women's basketball players share their thoughts about Coach Dawn Staley.

1. Sheila Foster (1978-82)

Program’s top career scorer and rebounder.

2. Martha Parker (1985-89)

Three-time All-American who played in three NCAA tournaments.

3. Shannon Johnson (1992-96)

No. 2 career scorer whose number was retired.

4. Brantley Southers (1981-86)

Third-leading scorer and three-time All-American.

5. Tiffany Mitchell (2012-16)

Two-time SEC Player of the Year and three-time All-American.

6. Mindy Ballou (1982-86)

Three-time All-American who’s second in career assists.

7. Aleighsa Welch (2011-15)

Dawn Staley’s first homegrown recruit who helped begin NCAA Tournament run.


8. Jocelyn Penn (1998-03, above)

Fourth-leading scorer who anchored two NCAA tournament teams.

9. Katrina Anderson (1977-79)

USC’s first All-American who’s 13th in scoring, despite only playing two seasons

10. Marsha Williams (1989-93)

Two-time All-American and No. 10 scorer.

11. La’Keisha Sutton (2008-12)

Gritty point guard who started Staley’s run of NCAAs.

12. Denise Nanney (1974-77)

Averaged 17.8 points per game as USC’s first star.


13. A’ja Wilson (2014-present, above)

Already SEC Freshman/Defensive/Player of the Year and All-American, with two seasons to go.

14. Schonna Banner (1986-90)

All-American and No. 6 career scorer.

15. Karen Middleton (1987-91)

Volume scorer on four NCAA tournament teams.

16. Shaunzinski Gortman (1998-02)

All-American who helped lead an Elite Eight team.

17. Alaina Coates (2013-present)

Could be USC’s most dominant post.

18. Evelyn Johnson (1979-83)

Magic’s sister scored 1,620 points, ninth on the career chart.

19. Ieasia Walker (2009-13)

Point guard who aided USC’s rise to respectability under Staley.


20. Ashley Bruner (2009-13, above)

Impacted in ways much bigger than her listed height.

21. Sharon Gilmore (1982-86)

No. 11 scorer who had four winning seasons.

22. Beth Hunt (1988-90)

All-American who averaged over 20 points per game.

23. Renee Najarian (1983-85)

She was an All-American as a senior.

24. Charenee Stephens (2008-12)

An enforcer on the block who gave Staley’s early teams their attitude.

25. Khadijah Sessions (2012-16)

PG during USC’s elevation from good to dominant.