If the rabid fans of South Carolina women's basketball are called the G-Hive, does that make Dawn Staley Queen G? Seems like a pretty good nickname to us!
When a coach takes over a program that is in a big conference, but has been struggling, often he or she talks about changing the culture around the program to that of a winning program.
Dawn Staley left a successful run as Temple's head coach to go into the heart of SEC football country. She took a program that had its moments, but never achieved sustained success and did just that.
In her time with the Gamecocks, her teams won 71 percent of their games, and earned five consecutive NCAA tournament bids. Only once did those teams not make it to at least the Sweet Sixteen.
Staley converted the fans with a blend of winning, exciting basketball, and local talent like National Player of the Year Candidate A'ja Wilson, and before her, Aleighsa Welch. Their home court advantage is unlike almost any other place in the country, and her team played before at least 10,000 people at every home game last year.
All-American Tiffany Mitchell is gone, a member of the Indiana Fever now, but Wilson and senior center Alaina Coates are joined by two eligible transfers with big resumes, Kaela Davis (ex-Georgia Tech) and Allisha Gray (ex-North Carolina).
Point guard will need to be addressed, but it appears for now that Bianca Cuevas-Moore is the incumbent. She needs to cut down on turnovers and play in control though, or Staley will need other options.
It is always a pleasure catching up with coach Staley, this time at ESPN Media Day. In an expansive conversation topics covered include:
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