Oct. 21, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A panel of both SEC and national media members picked South Carolina to win the 2015 SEC women’s basketball championship, the league office announced today. The Gamecocks claimed their first SEC title last season and, if the prediction holds, would become just the fourth team to defend its title. Junior guard Tiffany Mitchell and senior Aleighsa Welch were tabbed with individual honors as well.
“It’s an honor to see it on paper, but we also know that the real work is done on the floor,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “We know we still have to defend our title. We respect every team and coach in this conference, and we know we will be tested every time we step on the court. So, whether we were picked first, second or eighth, it doesn’t matter. The true test starts in January.”
The Gamecocks return all five starters among the 10 letterwinners back from last season’s squad. That group accounted for 97.6 percent of the scoring, 96.0 percent of the rebounding and 98.4 percent of the assists that built a 29-5 record. South Carolina ended the season ranked No. 8 in the country, the second top-10 final rank in school history.
The media also picked Mitchell to repeat as SEC Player of the Year by an overwhelming margin with 11 votes. Only two other players received votes. In earning the award last season, the Charlotte, N.C., native became just the second sophomore in league history to hold the title. She went on to earn All-America honors from the Associated Press and the WBCA. She was also a finalist for the Wade Trophy and the Dawn Staley Award.
Welch, who also received votes for player of the year, joined Mitchell in capturing Preseason All-SEC honors from the media voters. The WBCA All-Region selection from last season will look to complete her career by earning a spot on an All-SEC team for the third time. The versatile forward was a second-team choice as a sophomore and a first-team member as a junior.
Season tickets are available for $50 each for a reserved seat or a Family Four-Pack of four general admission tickets for $100. Visit www.GameocksOnline.com/tickets or call 1-800-4SC-FANS to purchase season tickets.
SEC Preseason Media Poll
1. South Carolina
3. Texas A&M
8. Mississippi State
14. Ole Miss
Preseason Player of the Year
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
Preseason All-SEC First Team