USC Women's Basketball

Former Gamecock finds new basketball home with SEC rival

Former South Carolina women’s basketball player LaDazhia Williams is set to transfer to Missouri, she announced on Instagram on Wednesday.

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New Beginnings.........

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Williams will have to sit out the season, per NCAA rules, and will then have two years of eligibility remaining.

The rising junior forward was one of four players to announce she was transferring from South Carolina earlier this offseason. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan later changed her mind and returned to the Gamecocks, Bianca Jackson announced she would go to Florida State, and Te’a Cooper has yet to announce her destination.

The Gamecocks also added a transfer this week in former Texas guard Destiny Littleton. A rising junior, she will have two years of eligibility with Carolina.

Williams is the second former USC player to transfer to Mizzou in the last three years — guard Haley Troup did so in 2017 as a freshman before playing a game at South Carolina. Williams played limited minutes in her time at Carolina, averaging 6.2 per game in 48 appearances. She also averaged 1.3 points and 1.7 rebounds per contest.

On and off the court, South Carolina and Missouri have developed an intense rivalry over the past few seasons, though coaches Dawn Staley and Robin Pingeton took extra steps to avoid any controversy this past year by having their players meet at center court in a circle during the national anthem prior to their last meeting.

In addition to Littleton, the Gamecocks are adding five freshmen, ranked as the best recruiting class in the country, for the 2019-2020 season, and returning less than half their minutes and scoring from last season’s squad, which reached a seventh consecutive Sweet 16 for the program. Senior Tyasha Harris is expected to lead USC and potentially contend for an All-American spot.

Missouri, meanwhile, is losing controversial star Sophie Cunningham to the WNBA and two of its other top three scorers to graduation after advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament this past season.

In ESPN’s way-too-early top 25 rankings for the 2019-2020 season, South Carolina checked in at No. 9. Missouri was unranked.

Greg Hadley is the beat writer for South Carolina women’s basketball and baseball for GoGamecocks and The State. He also covers football and recruiting.