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Six Gamecocks Collect SEC Awards
Women's Basketball  . 

Six Gamecocks Collect SEC Awards

COLUMBIA, S.C. – SEC Champion South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley and five Gamecocks were recognized by SEC coaches with postseason awards, including four entries on the All-SEC First and Second Teams – matching the program record originally set in 2015. Senior Kamilla Cardoso was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-SEC First Team. Guards Raven Johnson and Te-Hina Paopao along with forward Ashlyn Watkins earned spots on the All-SEC Second Team. MiLaysia Fulwiley made the SEC All-Freshman Team, and Dawn Staley was named the league’s Coach of the Year.

Cardoso becomes the fourth Gamecock all-time to be named SEC Defensive Player of the Year, making it the fifth-straight season a Gamecock has collected that title and the seventh time in the last nine seasons. She moved up to All-SEC First Team after grabbing second-team honors in 2023. Cardoso is 13th in the nation with an SEC-best 2.7 per game and comes in 21st in the country in field goal percentage at an SEC-best .581. She is 31st in the country in double-doubles (13) and 33rd in rebounds per game. In advanced metrics, she is sixth in the country in player defensive rating (68.4).

Raven Johnson is third in the SEC with 5.0 assists per game, and her 2.8 assist-to-turnover ratio is ninth in the country. She has led the Gamecocks in assists 17 times and has handed out five or more assists in 15 games. Johnson’s 8.1 points per game are nearly double her scoring average from last season and have come on career-best shooting percentages overall and from 3-point range. She is seventh in the SEC in steals with 2.1 per game.

Paopao is the nation’s top 3-point percentage shooter, hitting a career-high 48.6 percent from beyond the arc as part of her 11.5 points per game, and is second in the SEC with 2.4 made 3s per game. She is 10th in the SEC with 3.8 assists per outing and 24th in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.5. In SEC action, her 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio leads the league. Paopao is the team’s top scorer against ranked opponents, pouring in 15.0 points per game.

Watkins has been dominant off the bench in her sophomore season, ranking 11th in the SEC in rebounds per game at 7.2. Her 2.4 blocks per game are second in the SEC and 17th in the nation. Her rebounding average includes 7.5 boards per SEC game and 2.7 offensive rebounds per game, which ranks ninth in the SEC. Watkins is fourth on the team in scoring at 10.0 points per game, double her freshman year average, and she is shooting 58.9 percent from the field.

Fulwiley’s 11.6 points per game are second on the team and rank third among SEC freshmen this season while playing 10 minutes per game fewer than the two scorers ahead of her. She has led the team in scoring in eight games, including 19 double-digit scoring games among her 29 outings. The young guard ramped up her defensive effort over the course of the season and ranks 12th in the SEC with 1.8 steals per game, including 1.9 per league game, which ranks ninth. The stat stuffer is second among SEC freshmen with 2.3 assists per game.

Staley picked up her third-straight SEC Coach of the Year honors from her colleagues after becoming the first coach to lead a program into the SEC Tournament with an undefeated record in multiple seasons. It is her seventh season winning the award, which puts her just one behind legendary head coach Pat Summitt for the SEC record. Staley’s team is ranked third in the nation in scoring offense (87.0 ppg) and 11th in scoring defense (54.8 ppg) and is the only team ranked among the nation’s top 30 in both categories. The Gamecocks’ six wins against ranked opponents are the second-most in the nation, and their 13 wins against NET top-50 opponents are more than any other team in the country. Five Gamecocks average double-figure points, and the six-woman bench is second in the nation with 33.2 points per game.

SEC Champion and No. 1/1 South Carolina closed out its second-straight undefeated regular season on Sunday and takes the top seed into the 2024 SEC Tournament in Greenville, S.C. The Gamecock’s two byes mean they open play at the event on Fri., Mar. 8, facing the winner of Thursday’s game between No. 9 seed Texas A&M and eighth-seeded Mississippi State, at noon.

Continue to check and the team’s social media accounts (@GamecockWBB) for the most up-to-date information on the women’s basketball season.

2024 SEC Awards
Player of the Year: Angel Reese, LSU
Coach of the Year: Dawn Staley, South Carolina
Defensive Player of the Year: Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina
Freshman of the Year: Mikaylah Williams, LSU
Sixth Woman of the Year: Leilani Correa, Florida
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Mama Dembele, Missouri


All-SEC First Team
Sarah Ashlee Barker, Alabama
Honesty Scott-Grayson, Auburn
Aneesah Morrow, LSU
Angel Reese, LSU
Marquesha Davis, Ole Miss
Madison Scott, Ole Miss
Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina
Rickea Jackson, Tennessee

All-SEC Second Team
Aaliyah Nye, Alabama
Leilani Correa, Florida
Javyn Nicholson, Georgia
Flau’jae Johnson, LSU
Jessika Carter, Mississippi State
Jerkaila Jordan, Mississippi State
Raven Johnson, South Carolina
Te-Hina Paopao, South Carolina
Ashlyn Watkins, South Carolina

Iyana Moore. Vanderbilt

All-Freshman Team
Essence Cody, Alabama
Taliah Scott, Arkansas
Laila Reynolds, Florida
Aalyah Del Rosario, LSU
Mikaylah Williams, LSU
Grace Slaughter, Missouri
MiLaysia Fulwiley, South Carolina
Khamil Pierre, Vanderbilt

All-Defensive Team
Angel Reese, LSU
Madison Scott, Ole Miss
Mama Dembele, Missouri
Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina
Jordyn Cambridge, Vanderbilt