USC Women's Basketball

USC has 'expressed interest' in elite transfer prospect with ties to current Gamecock

TCU guard Amber Ramirez (4) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor in the semifinals of the women's Big 12 conference tournament in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 4, 2018.
TCU guard Amber Ramirez (4) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor in the semifinals of the women's Big 12 conference tournament in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 4, 2018.

South Carolina remains a prominent figure in the burgeoning transfer market of women's college basketball, and now, Dawn Staley is apparently pursuing one of the best players available this offseason.

Sophomore Amber Ramirez announced in early April that she would be transferring from TCU. The 5-foot-8 guard averaged 10.8 points, 2.86 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game for the Horned Frogs this past season and started 23 games for the team, which advanced to the semifinals of the WNIT.

On Wednesday, Ramirez's former AAU coach, Ray Caldwell, confirmed to The State that South Carolina has reached out to her and is interested in adding the San Antonio, Texas, native.

As a high school senior, Ramirez was ranked the 12th-best recruit in the nation, and the fourth-best player at her position, by ESPN.

She also has a connection with South Carolina through current Gamecock Tyasha Harris. The pair played together as members of the U18 national team during the 2016 FIBA Americas championship in Chile, helping lead the U.S. to a gold medal and each averaging more than 10 points per game.

Should Ramirez choose USC, she would have to sit out the 2018-2019 season but would then be eligible for two seasons. And while much has been made about Carolina's backcourt depth heading into next year, the future beyond that is less crowded. As of now, Staley has three guards locked in for 2019-2020: Tyasha Harris, Bianca Jackson and Destanni Henderson. South Carolina is still waiting on its first high school commit for the class of 2019.

In addition to Ramirez, USC is pursuing Texas A&M graduate transfer Anriel Howard, one of the SEC's top rebounders, and is among the finalists for her services. Meanwhile, the team has had two early departures this offseason, as guards Bianca Cuevas-Moore and Victoria Patrick transferred to West Virginia and North Florida, respectively.

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