‘People are unsure’ what to expect from South Carolina basketball, Dawn Staley says
The women’s basketball coaches of the SEC agree with the media — South Carolina was voted by both to finish second in the conference for the 2018-2019 season.
Two weeks after the media poll was released, the coaches’ version dropped Tuesday, with Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks once again being slotted behind only Mississippi State, which is coming off back-to-back national championship game appearances.
Unlike the media, however, the coaches voted USC junior guard Tyasha Harris to its preseason all-SEC first team Senior forward Alexis Jennings, who was on the media’s first team, was on the coaches’ second team.
Harris led the conference in assists per game last season at 6.1, and set a South Carolina record for assists in a season while earning second team All-SEC honors. She was also second in the SEC in assist-to-turnover ratio in 2017-18, at 2.4.
Jennings will be looked upon by Staley to take the reins of South Carolina’s frontcourt with the departure of A’ja Wilson. In her first season in Columbia last year after transferring from Kentucky, she averaged 11.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, including five 20-point games.
South Carolina has finished in the SEC’s top two in each of the last five regular seasons, including four consecutive championships. The Gamecocks have also won the last four SEC Tournaments, a record.
SEC Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Mississippi State
2. South Carolina
6. Texas A&M
14. Ole Miss
Preseason First-Team All-SEC
Caliya Robinson, F, Georgia
Maci Morris, G, Kentucky
Anriel Howard, F, Mississippi State
Teaira McCowan, C, Mississippi State
Sophie Cunningham, G, Missouri
Tyasha Harris, G, South Carolina
Rennia Davis, G, Tennessee
Chennedy Carter, G, Texas A&M
Preseason Second-Team All-SEC
Malica Monk, G, Arkansas
Janiah McKay, G, Auburn
Unique Thompson, F, Auburn
Taylor Murray, G, Kentucky
Ayana Mitchel, F, LSU
Shandricka Sessom, G, Ole Miss
Amber Smith, G, Missouri
Alexis Jennings, F, South Carolina
Evina Westbrook, G, Tennessee