USC Women's Basketball

Dawn Staley updates transfers, waivers and USC freshmen’s arrival on campus

After a hectic start to the offseason, the transfer carousel is coming to a stop for South Carolina women’s basketball.

Speaking with The State’s Josh Kendall at the annual SEC spring meetings in Destin, Florida, on Wednesday, Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley said she does not anticipate adding another transfer to her roster before the 2019-2020 season, “unless somebody comes that we just can’t refuse.”

The likelihood of that seems low — many of the top transfer prospects across the NCAA have selected their new schools.

USC previously lost four players to the transfer portal this offseason, had one (rising senior forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan) change her mind and come back and added another transfer in former Texas guard Destiny Littleton.

The plan, Staley confirmed, is to apply to the NCAA for a waiver to make Littleton, who left Texas after two seasons, immediately eligible for Carolina. Staley had previously said she wanted to add a transfer who could play right away, and Littleton’s high school coach and mentor, Marlon Wells, told The State that Littleton hoped to apply for a waiver for personal reasons.

“I don’t want to jinx myself, but yeah, we need her eligible,” Staley said Wednesday.

Should Littleton’s waiver be granted, South Carolina would have 12 available players for this upcoming season, including 11 on scholarship. The majority of the Gamecocks’ roster will be composed of underclassmen, with three rising sophomores and an incoming freshman class of five players ranked as the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, including four five-star prospects and three McDonald’s All-Americans.

Those freshmen and Littleton are due on campus soon to begin summer classes and workouts, Staley said — all six are expected to arrive in the middle of June, she said.

South Carolina women’s basketball is coming off a 2018-2019 season in which it advanced to its sixth consecutive Sweet 16 and finished with a No. 13 ranking in the final USA Today coaches poll. In early projections of this upcoming season, the Gamecocks have commonly been picked as a top-10 team.