Dawn Staley gives injury updates, talks Kentucky rivalry
A’ja Wilson, Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, Lindsey Spann, Tyasha Harris.
The list of players limited or out of Friday’s practice for South Carolina women’s basketball was nearly as long as the list of players in it, as the No. 10 Gamecocks continue to deal with a nearly unprecedented wave of injuries.
“Ty didn’t practice, Lindsey didn’t practice, A’ja played a little bit, just halfcourt stuff, not fullcourt stuff,” coach Dawn Staley said, plowing through a number of updates that seems to increase by the game. Herbert Harrigan was not present for Friday’s practice.
But even with the various knee and ankle injuries hobbling USC, Staley and her team keep chugging along, defeating Vanderbilt on Thursday and turning to face Kentucky on the road Sunday.
How many players will be available for the rivalry matchup with the Wildcats is up in the air.
“They say that things work in threes, but they seem to work in fours for us. But it’s part of the game,” Staley said. “It’s been plaguing a lot of teams, and I don’t see anybody taking forfeits or postponing any games. We gotta play the games. You gotta put your energy into those who are able to play, and then we’ll worry about the injured the next day, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Herbert Harrigan, who has missed one game with a bone bruise to her knee, will not play against Kentucky. Spann who missed five games earlier this season with a knee sprain and appeared to reaggravate the injury against Vandy, is questionable. Wilson, who has missed two games with a sprained ankle, was out of a walking boot for the first time Friday in practice, but she has yet to be fully cleared to play. And Harris, who sprained her ankle Thursday night against the Commodores and sat out the final portion of the game, is day-to-day, trending toward playing against the Wildcats.
All in all, the message from Staley regarding the latter three players was the same as it has been for most of the team’s injuries this season: “We’ll know more tomorrow.”
“I would think Ty would be a go tomorrow for practice. We’ll wait and see with Lindsey. If she needs a day or so, we’ll give her a day or so,” Staley said. “(A’ja’s) gotta go up and down in order for her to be cleared to play. She was cleared for half court, a little bit of contact. So we gotta see her cut a little bit. If she’s ready to go, then we’re going to play her as is, but that all depends on her and that ankle.”
So, all told, South Carolina could have as many as nine or as few as six players healthy and available when it faces a Kentucky team that reached as high as No. 20 in the Associated Press poll with a 6-0 record, only to tumble recently, going 3-10 since then to land near the bottom of the SEC.
South Carolina and Kentucky face off in Lexington on Sunday at noon. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
Greg Hadley: @GregHadley9