2018-19 Season Highlights
Watch Coach Staley’s Press Conference
• South Carolina advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the eighth-straight season, making the Gamecocks one of five programs to hold that current streak (Baylor, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Stanford). They are one of eight teams in the nation – and the only one in the SEC – to win at least one NCAA Tournament game in each of the last eight seasons.
• The Gamecocks were ranked No. 16 in the final Associated Press Poll and No. 13 in the final USA Today Coaches’ Poll. South Carolina has appeared in 131 consecutive AP Polls, including 91 entries in the top 10 after opening the season in that spot. The 131 entries is the fifth-longest active streak in the nation.
• Even as experts discounted it as an SEC-title contender as conference play began, South Carolina had a chance to share the regular-season championship heading into the final conference game. The Gamecocks finished second in the SEC, making it the sixth-straight season finishing among the top two spots in the league standings.
• South Carolina finished the season with an RPI of 17 and the 10th-toughest schedule in the country. The Gamecocks played 12 games against top-25 RPI teams, including five against top-10 RPI opponents. Seven of the 12 games were against non-conference foes.
• The Carolina offense was a diverse as any in the country with 10 of the 13 Gamecocks on the active roster leading the team in scoring at least once during the season. All but one Gamecock scored in double figures at least once during the season and four finished the season averaging in double figures. In 16 SEC regular-season games, five different Gamecocks scored 15 or more points at least once.
• The Gamecock offense was in high gear all season, averaging 75.3 points per game – the third highest mark in the Staley era, trailing just the 2016-17 (76.3) and 2014-15 (75.5) teams, which both won conference titles and advanced to the NCAA Final Four. The team’s 73.5 points per SEC game ranked second in the conference and the third-highest league scoring average in program history.
• South Carolina led the nation in attendance for the fifth-straight season, averaging 10,403 fans per game over 17 home dates, including the two NCAA Tournament games played in Charlotte. In 15 games at Colonial Life Arena, the Gamecocks drew 11,541 fans per game.
• Once again, the SEC coaches showered the Gamecocks with postseason awards. Te’a Cooper, Tyasha Harris and Alexis Jennings were all named to the All-SEC Second Team. Destanni Henderson and Victaria Saxton picked up SEC All-Freshman Team honors.
• Tyasha Harris went on to be named a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which recognizes the top point guard in the nation, and was a WBCA Honorable Mention All-American –marking the sixth-straight season that at least one Gamecock has earned All-America status.
• Two Gamecocks reached the 1,000-point mark in 2018-19. Senior Bianca Cuevas-Moore capped her five seasons at South Carolina with exactly 1,000 points after scoring 13 points in the NCAA Sweet 16 game against Baylor. Graduate transfer Nelly Perry hit the mark in the regular-season finale and closed her career with 1,008.
• Harris ranked 30th in the nation with 5.3 assists per game, and her 3.2 assist-to-turnover ratio ranked eighth in the nation.
• Harris became the first Gamecock to reach 500 career assists in her junior year, and her 513 rank fourth in program history with Cristina Ciocan’s school-record 615 in sight. She has handed out 253 assists in SEC action during her career, which is the school record.
• Junior Mikiah Herbert Harrigan became just the 13th Gamecock all-time to register 100 career blocked shots. Her 152 are the fifth-most in program history.
2019 Signing Class
• Rated the top recruiting class in the nation for 2019, the Gamecocks’ five-member signing class, which includes four of the top-13 recruits in the nation, has been touted to be among the top groups of all-time.
• Laeticia Amihere – 6-3 – Forward – Milton, Ontario – Ranked #10 overall and the #2 forward in the class … Chose to enroll early at South Carolina to recovery from season-ending injury suffered early in 2018-19 high school season … WBCA All-America Honorable Mention … named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup average averaging 11.7 points and 7.4 rebounds to help Canada to bronze medal … first Canadian woman to dunk in a game.
• Brea Beal – 6-0 – Guard – Rock Island, Ill. – Ranked #13 overall and the #3 wing player in the class … WBCA and Naismith All-America Third Team … McDonald’s All-American … three-time Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year … three-time Illinois Ms. Basketball … three-time Illinois AP Class 4A All-State First Team … four-time Quad City Times All-Metro First Team … all-time leading scorer in Western Big Six history.
• Aliyah Boston – 6-4 – Forward – Worcester, Mass – Raned #3 overall and #1 post player in the class … WBCA and Naismith All-America Second Team … McDonald’s All-American … three-time Gatorade Massachusetts Player of the Year … two-time NEPSAC Class A Player of the Year … helped Worcester Academy to two New England Prep School Athletic Council Class A championships … led U.S. to gold at 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup with 11.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game to earn All-Tournament honors … won the 2018 USA Basketball 3×3 National Championship … named MVP of the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas Cup after 11.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game led U.S. to gold medal.
• Zia Cooke – 5-9 – Guard – Toledo, Ohio – Ranked #7 overall and #2 point guard in the class … Naismith National Player of the Year finalist … WBCA and Naismith All-America First Team … USA Today All-USA Third Team … Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Div. II Ohio Player of the Year … two-time OHSAA Div. II All-Ohio First Team … two-time Toledo Blade Player of the Year … helped U.S. to gold medals in the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup and the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas Cup.
• Olivia Thompson – 5-8 – Guard – Lexington, S.C. – SCBCA Class 5A Player of the Year … SC High School Sports Report co-Statewide Player of the Year … three-time SCBCA Class 5A All-State … highest scorer in Lexington High School history … 105 made 3s as a junior ranked second in state history.