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Oct. 20, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. ââ’¬” A panel of both SEC and national media members picked South Carolina to win the 2016 SEC women’s basketball championship, the league office announced today. After claiming the SEC title each of the last two seasons, if the prediction holds, the Gamecocks would become just the third team to win three straight regular-season championships in league history. The media also tapped senior guard Tiffany Mitchell for player of the year honors and placed junior Alaina Coates and sophomore A’ja Wilson on the Preseason All-SEC team with her as well, giving South Carolina three of the six team members.

South Carolina is coming off its most successful season in program history, winning a school-record 34 games and advancing to the NCAA Final Four for the first time. The Gamecocks also won their first SEC Tournament title in their first appearance in the championship game. Scoring 75.9 points per game, South Carolina ranked 18th in the nation in scoring while maintaining its defensive presence at 12th in the nation allowing just 54.1 points per game. The Gamecocks’ .484 field goal percentage was fourth-best in the nation, and they also ranked among the nation’s top 10 in scoring margin (+21.7, 3rd), field goal percentage defense (.349, 10th), rebound margin (+9.6, 10th) and blocked shots (6.3, 7th).

Mitchell lifted her game another level after capturing SEC Player of the Year honors as a sophomore, repeating the honor and becoming the first Gamecock to be named a finalist for all three national player of the year awards ââ’¬” The Naismith Trophy, The Wade Trophy and The Wooden Award. Averaging 14.4 points per game on 50.0 percent shooting, including 41.6 percent from 3-point range, while leading the team in assists at 2.9 per game, she won The Dawn Staley Award as the nation’s best guard and was a consensus first-team All-American.

Coates closed her sophomore season with a dominant postseason performance that earned her NCAA Greensboro Regional Most Outstanding Player honors. The 6-foot-4 center averaged 14.0 points on 68.4 percent shooting in the Gamecocks’ five NCAA Tournament games. A member of the SEC All-Defensive Team, she was an All-SEC Second Team selection as well. This summer she earned a silver medal with USA Basketball at the Pan Am Games in Canada.

Wilson also earned USA Basketball honors this summer, bringing home a gold medal and MVP honors at the FIBA U19 World Championships. She capped her freshman year at South Carolina becoming the first freshman in program history to earn All-America status, capturing a spot on the Associated Press’ Third Team. Behind 13.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game that ranked her 12th in the league in both categories, she was the SEC Freshman of the Year and a first-team All-SEC selection by the league’s coaches.

General admission season tickets are still available for 2015-16 for $30 each. Reserved and Corner Reserved sections are sold out. Season tickets are available via the website,, or by calling the South Carolina Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-4SC-FANS.

SEC Preseason Media Poll
1. South Carolina (265)

2. Tennessee (248)
3. Mississippi State (215)
4. Texas A&M (207)
5. Kentucky (205)
6. Ole Miss (169)
7. Missouri (165)
8. Arkansas (138)
9. Georgia (128)
9. LSU (128)
11. Vanderbilt (80)
12. Florida (78)
13. Auburn (65)
14. Alabama (34)

Preseason Player of the Year
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina

Preseason All-SEC First Team
Mykala Epps, Kentucky
Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina

Diamond DeShields, Tennessee