USC Women's Basketball

SEC coaches predict Gamecocks will do well but not win the league this season

The media like South Carolina women’s basketball to reclaim its spot atop the SEC, but the league’s coaches have picked the Gamecocks to finish second in the preseason poll released Tuesday.

Texas A&M, which the media picked to finish second in their poll earlier this month, was the coaches’ pick to win the conference. They also voted Texas A&M star guard Chennedy Carter as preseason player of the year, as did the media.

In the coaches poll, senior guard Tyasha Harris was a first-team all-conference selection, and senior forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan made the second team. Both players received the same honors in the media poll.

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.

Most preseason projections have the SEC as a three-team race this season — Texas A&M has Carter and returns five starters, South Carolina adds the nation’s top recruiting class to a squad that advanced to the Sweet 16 last year, and Mississippi State is still expected to be competitive after making the Elite Eight but losing star Teaira McCowan.

ESPN released its preseason top 25 on Monday, with South Carolina tops among SEC teams at No. 8, with Texas A&M at No. 9 and MSU at No. 10. The preseason Associated Press poll is slated to be released Wednesday.

SEC Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Texas A&M

2. South Carolina

3. Mississippi State

4. Kentucky

5. Arkansas

6. LSU

7. Tennessee

8. Auburn

9. Missouri

10. Georgia

11. Alabama

12. Vanderbilt

13. Ole Miss

14. Florida

Preseason All-SEC First Team

Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas

Rhyne Howard, Kentucky

Ayana Mitchell, LSU

Jordan Danberry, Mississippi State

Amber Smith, Missouri

Tyasha Harris, South Carolina

Rennia Davis, Tennessee

Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M

Preseason All-SEC Second Team

Cierra Johnson, Alabama

Daisa Alexander, Auburn

Unique Thompson, Auburn

Gabby Connally, Georgia

Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, South Carolina

Ciera Johnson, Texas A&M

Kayla Wells, Texas A&M

Mariella Fasoula, 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.