ESPN’s way-too-early college basketball poll for next season is out, and the South Carolina Gamecocks are making their presence felt. Coming in at No. 7, the Gamecocks are projected to be a dominant force for the 2023-24 season. ESPN pundit Charlie Creme highlighted the return of key players such as Raven Johnson, Kamilla Cardoso, and Bree Hall as well as three incoming recruits in Milaysia Fulwiley, Tessa Johnson, and Sahnya Jah.
These rankings come despite the fact that the South Carolina women’s roster will be seeing a significant turnover due to the departures of star forward Aliyah Boston, Zia Cooke, Brea Beal, and Olivia Thompson. Fifth-year seniors Kierra Fletcher and Victaria Saxton will also be leaving the team with expiring eligibility.
Creme gives UConn the top spot with the potential of Paige Bueckers and Azzi Fudd full seasons together. Following UConn are Utah, LSU, Iowa, Indiana, and UCLA respectively.
Led by head coach Dawn Staley, the South Carolina Gamecocks have had great success in recent years, winning the SEC Tournament six out of the last nine years, reaching the Final Four in 2020, and having a perfect record during the regular season in 2021. With their strong upcoming season looking likely, the South Carolina team will be one to watch.
Dawn Staley, the head coach of the South Carolina women’s basketball team, has been a college basketball talent since the early 1990s. Throughout her career, she has won several accolades, including the Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award, the Wade Trophy, and the NCAA Player of the Year honor in 1991. Staley was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, and has been the head coach of the Gamecocks since 2008. Her impressive record of over 560 wins at the collegiate level is a testament to her success.
Charlie Creme is an ESPN analyst for women’s college basketball, and is the author of the prestigious way-too-early Top 25 poll. He has over 20 years of experience in college basketball, both as a writer and an analyst, and has held the position of television broadcast analyst for the San Antonio Stars of the WNBA, one of the premier women’s basketball leagues in the world. Creme’s poll is respected among the college basketball community, and his predictions often provide insight into the top teams and potential national championship contenders.