USC Women's Basketball

Back on top: Dawn Staley, South Carolina picked to win SEC

South Carolina women’s basketball has been picked to win the SEC in the preseason media poll released Tuesday.

Gamecocks senior guard Tyasha Harris was also named to the league’s preseason All-SEC first team. Senior forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan was named second-team All-SEC.

South Carolina has been picked to finish atop the league in five of the past six seasons now. The Gamecocks have finished in the top two of the SEC standings in each of the past five years and won four consecutive SEC tournament titles in that stretch.

In 2018-2019, USC finished the regular season behind only Mississippi State, picked to finish third this season, before falling in the quarterfinal round of the SEC tournament to underdog Arkansas, picked to finish fifth this year. The Gamecocks went on to make their eighth NCAA tournament in a row and advance to their sixth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance.

During the offseason, coach Dawn Staley’s team lost three players to the transfer portal, including All-SEC second-teamer Te’a Cooper, but added the nation’s No. 1 ranked recruiting class, including four players ranked in the top 15 nationally, and transfer Destiny Littleton from Texas, a former McDonald’s All-American.

Harris, a two-time All-SEC honoree, holds the program record for assists in a season and is fourth in career assists, 103 away from the record. She averaged 10.9 points and 5.3 assists per game last season.

Herbert Harrigan, an SEC All-Tournament team honoree her sophomore year, is fifth in program history in career blocked shots and averaged 10.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season.

SEC PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

1. South Carolina

2. Texas A&M

3. Mississippi State

4. Kentucky

5. Arkansas

6. Tennessee

7. Auburn

8. LSU

9. Missouri

10. Georgia

11. Alabama

12. Florida

13. Ole Miss

14. Vanderbilt

PRESEASON MEDIA ALL-SEC TEAM

Player of the year: Chennedy Carter, guard, Texas A&M

FIRST TEAM

Chennedy Carter, guard, Texas A&M

Rhyne Howard, guard/forward, Kentucky

Tyasha Harris, guard, South Carolina

Ayana Mitchell, forward, LSU

Chelsea Dungee, guard, Arkansas

SECOND TEAM

Unique Thompson, forward, Auburn

Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, forward, South Carolina

Rennia Davis, guard/forward, Tennessee

Ciera Johnson, center Texas A&M

Mariella Fasoula, forward, Vanderbilt

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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.
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