Oct. 31, 2013
Date: Friday, November 1, 2013
Arena:Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Tickets: Free Admission
South Carolina Notables
- This is the Gamecocks’ 40th season as a varsity sport, the sixth with head coach Dawn Staley at the helm. It is South Carolina’s 23rd season in the SEC.
- In a vote of student-athletes and coaches, the team selected tri-captains this season – Elem Ibiam, Khadijah Sessions and Aleighsa Welch.
- South Carolina holds the No. 21 spot in the USA Today/WBCA Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Associated Press is scheduled to release its preseason poll on Friday. The Gamecocks were tabbed the No. 13 team in the nation in Lindy’s Preseason Poll earlier this fall.
- The Gamecocks were picked to finish seventh in the SEC by the league’s media. South Carolina has been undervalued in the preseason each of the last two seasons, both of which the Gamecocks finished tied for fourth in the league.
- South Carolina is coming off back-to-back 25-win seasons that included NCAA Tournament appearances. The program’s last consecutive 25-win efforts came in the 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons. The last back-to-back 20-win seasons were in 2001-02 and 2002-03.
- The Gamecocks have amassed 38 of their all-time 102 SEC wins in the last five seasons under Staley. Two of South Carolina’s three top-four finishes in the league have come under Staley as well.
- South Carolina returns two starters from last season – leading scorer and Second-Team All-SEC selection Welch, and SEC All-Freshman honoree Tiffany Mitchell.
- All four of the other returning letterwinners played in at least 29 of South Carolina’s 33 games last season with two of those averaging at least 15 minutes.
- Despite losing three starters from last season, the Gamecocks return 60.1 percent of their scoring and 61.7 percent of their rebounding.
- South Carolina welcomes the return of guards Tiffany Davis and Tina Roy, who both missed last season due to knee injuries. Prior to her injury, Davis played in three games last season, during which she averaged 4.0 points and handed out four assists. Roy was injured over the summer and looks to improve on her freshman season that included 4.4 points per game. Her 3-point shooting seemed to be on track in the 3-point contest against Brenton Williams of the men’s team at the Tipoff Tailgate Party last week as she sank seven in a row at one point and drained the last shot to claim the title.
- All four of the Gamecocks’ newcomers hail from the state of South Carolina, although two took a detour into North Carolina before joining their homestate’s flagship program – freshmen Alaina Coates (Irmo, S.C.) and India Farmer (North Myrtle Beach, S.C.), redshirt-sophomore LeAnna Morrison (Monck’s Corner, S.C. – transferred from Charlotte), and junior Olivia Gaines (Chester, S.C. – transfer from Louisburg College).
- As the state has become a hotbed of women’s basketball recruiting, Staley has locked down her home borders. This season’s team features three South Carolina player of the year selections – Alaina Coates (2013), Asia Dozier (2012) and Aleighsa Welch (2011).
- The Gamecocks will play 13 games on television this season, including four on the ESPN family of networks.
- South Carolina officially opens the 2013-14 season next Friday against Charleston Southern at 7 p.m. The game kicks off a four-game home stand at Colonial Life Arena that includes matchups with Louisiana Tech, College of Charleston and Seton Hall.