Loaded #1 in South Carolina, he’s chasing his second consecutive NCAA title

Suspension

Columbia, South Carolina – No. 1 South Carolina has a sweeter, more satisfying drive to go after the NCAA Championship after winning the title a season ago.

Gamecocks wants you to feel the falling confetti again Against a veteran team that includes consensus Player of the Year High Bostondynamic Zia Cooke and defensive stopper Brea Beal finishes her stay on campus.

“Our goal was to win four of them,” Cook said of the NCAA title. “The fact that we only won one, I think makes us feel a little bit more hungry.”

Cooke and Gamecocks’ top-ranked recruiting class for 2019 came close to meeting their Championship of the Year goals. They finished first, the SEC Championship Champions, and in 26 consecutive games when the 2020 tournament was called off due to the pandemic.

The following season, South Carolina reached the Final Four before losing two chances in the last second to advance in a 66-65 loss to eventual winner Stanford.

Don Staley, the coach, said Cook, Boston and Bale had a tough advantage, finally finishing in the cup, which they did in Minneapolis last April with wins in the Final Four over Louisville and Ocon.

“They put the work behind it,” she said. “And we’re the only team that can say we’re going back and that’s our goal.”

Staley said her players came back with a similar focus And the confidence that comes from reaching the top of the mountain.

“It’s all pressure, it’s a different kind of pressure,” Staley said. “When you are one of the best teams in the country, it is a pressure. When you are one of the best teams in the country and you lose in the fourth final, it motivates you every day.”

South Carolina coaches have a lot of help With seven seniors or juniors who have spent years learning the Staley Method. The Boston team said they will face younger players who need to improve their training pace or just can’t get a defensive set.

“We all have to be prepared for what lies ahead and what we want to achieve,” Boston said.

high boston, named AP All-American pre-season again this fall, She had a busy and festive holiday, including a day of her own (June 4) in her native US Virgin Islands. There was a show in the capital of Charlotte Amalie and a party afterwards. “It’s fun,” she said. “But it’s time to get back to work.”

Several players from the National Championship team decided to leave shortly after the show in downtown Columbia. Freshman Inya Russell has moved to Maryland and freshman Sania Rivers, part of the Gamecocks’ top-ranked enlistment class for 2021, has left for North Carolina. Two-year bouncer Destiny Littleton moved to Southern Cal. It was Destiny Henderson, who earned 26 points in the title match and defeated the Yukon, from the first round of the WNBA Draft.

With so much experience back in the day, Staley and Gamecocks didn’t have much room to add. South Carolina State has signed five-star recruits into 6-foot-3 frontman Ashlyn Watkins and 6-foot Talaysia Cooper, both of whom are ranked in the top 18 potential college prospects by ESPN.com. Staley also added Georgia Tech transfer guard Kyra Fletcher, a key player for four years with the Yellow Vests who suffered a foot injury.

South Carolina’s post-season road won’t leave the state until Final Four. It starts in Greenville, about two hours from campus, for the SEC Championship. The Gamecocks are likely to be among the top four, which means they will play the first two NCAA games at home. Sweet 16 has been reduced to two locations instead of four with eight teams from two regions playing there. The East Coast location is in Greenville, where the SEC Championship is held.

Opens South Carolina at home with East Tennessee on November 7 before going to No. 17 Maryland on November 11 and a second in Stanford on November 20. There are matches with UCLA and a rematch with #6 UConn on February 5 The SEC play with Texas A&M begins on December 29. The Gamecocks have their biggest contenders in the convention at LSU #16 on February 12 and #5 TN on February 23.

More AP Women’s College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball, https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll, https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll : // twitter.com/AP_Top25

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