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Oct. 17, 2008


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina women’s basketball program officially opened the Dawn Staley Era with the official start of practice Friday evening at the Basketball Practice Facility. The Gamecocks will have three weeks of structured practice before playing an exhibition game against Peach State on Thu., Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena.

Following her return from the Beijing Olympic Games, where she was an assistant coach on the United States gold medal winning women’s basketball team, Staley utilized the NCAA-allowed individual workouts during the fall to begin teaching her student-athletes how she wanted to play this season. She was excited to officially begin the season so that her teaching could begin in earnest.

“We are excited to get into this part of the year where we can put in more time with the players,” Staley said. “We’ve made good progress so far, but having everyone together more often will allow us to solidify what we already taught and start adding more details to get ready for the season.”

The atmosphere was charged with anticipation as the players warmed up while Staley addressed the media. Every member of the team was as excited to start as her coach, and Staley hoped that attitude would dominate the entire session.

“We have a schedule of things we expect to accomplish at each practice,” Staley said. “It will be up to the players to fill in the details of that schedule by how quickly they can master each thing. Practice each day may be good or it may be hard, but the players will make that decision. Either way, we’re going to get the set of things for that day accomplished.”

It is that commitment to excellence and dedication that has yielded success throughout Staley’s career both as a player and coach. And, it is what the Gamecocks and their fans can look forward to throughout the season.

Keep up with the team’s progress and learn more about the first-year players during the next few weeks at