South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball
|South Carolina Gamecocks|
|University||University of South Carolina|
|Head coach||Dawn Staley (8th year)|
|Arena||Colonial Life Arena
|Colors||Garnet and Black
|NCAA/AIAW Tournament Final Four|
|NCAA/AIAW Tournament Elite Eight|
|1980, 2002, 2015|
|NCAA/AIAW Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1980, 1982, 1990, 2002, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016|
|NCAA/AIAW Tournament second round|
|1980, 1982, 1988, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016|
|NCAA/AIAW Tournament appearances|
|1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016|
|Conference tournament champions|
|Metro Conference: 1986, 1988, 1989
SEC: 2015, 2016
|Conference regular season champions|
|Metro Conference: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
SEC: 2014, 2015, 2016
The South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team represents the University of South Carolina and competes in the Southeastern Conference. The program enjoyed success under head coach Nancy Wilson during the 1980s in the Metro Conference when it won five regular season conference championships and three conference tournament championships. Under current Head Coach Dawn Staley, the Gamecocks have improved their win totals every year, culminating in winning the SEC Championship in 2014, 2015 and 2016. They gained number 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and 2015. Following the 2014 season, Staley signed the 2nd ranked recruiting class in the country, highlighted by the overall top-rated recruit, A'ja Wilson.
The first Gamecocks women's basketball team to compete at an intercollegiate level was in 1923 when they were called the Pullets.
The first varsity team, known as the Carolina Chicks, took to the court in January 1974 under the guidance of Pam Backhaus. The inaugural team compiled a record of 15-7 and were the South Carolina AIAW Champions. In 1977, with Pam Parsons as the head coach the women's basketball team, they changed their nickname to the Lady Gamecocks and made post-season trips every year with her at the helm.
During its eight seasons in the Metro Conference, the Lady Gamecocks won the regular season championship five times and the conference tournament three times.
When South Carolina joined the SEC, success was hard to come by during the first decade. The program struggled to compete in the premier Women's Basketball League under head coaches Wilson and Susan Walvius. Walvius' teams in 2001-02 and 2002-03 broke through to finish 25-7 and 23-8, respectively, earning trips to the NCAA tournament and reaching the Elite Eight in 2002.
Walvius resigned after the 2007-08 season and Dawn Staley was named the new head coach of the team now known as simply, "Gamecocks" on May 7, 2008.
Under Coach Staley, the Gamecocks have improved or equaled their win total every year. They finished with a record of 10-18 in 2008-09 and with continued progress each season, they won the SEC Regular Season Championship, the SEC Tournament Championship and the NCAA East Region Championship in 2014-15 with a 34-3 record. The season ended in the NCAA Final Four with a last second one-point loss to Notre Dame in the national semi-finals.
|2015–16 South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball team|
Conference tournament winners noted with # Source
|Season||Team||Overall||Conference||Standing||Postseason||Coaches' poll||AP poll|
|Pam Backhaus (Independent) (1974–1975)|
|1974-75||Pam Backhaus||18–12||–||AIAW Region II|
|Frankie Porter (Independent) (1975–1976)|
|Pam Backhaus (Independent) (1976–1977)|
|Pam Parsons (Independent) (1977–1982)|
|1977-78||Pam Parsons||24–10||–||AIAW Region II|
|1978-79||Pam Parsons||27–10||–||AIAW Region II, NWIT Champions||15|
|1979-80||Pam Parsons||30–6||–||AIAW Third Place||4|
|1980-81||Pam Parsons||21–11||–||AIAW Region II|
|Terry Kelly (Independent, Metro) (1982–1985)|
|1982||Terry Kelly||16–8||–||NCAA Sixteen|
|Nancy Wilson (Metro, SEC) (1984–1997)|
|1985-86||Nancy Wilson||19–11||9–1||1st||NCAA First Round|
|1987-88||Nancy Wilson||23–11||10–2||1st||NCAA Second Round (Play-In)||24|
|1988-89||Nancy Wilson||23–7||10–2||1st||NCAA First Round||22||17|
|1989-90||Nancy Wilson||24–9||13–1||NCAA Sweet Sixteen||16||19|
|1990-91||Nancy Wilson||22–9||12–2||NCAA First Round|
|1991-92||Nancy Wilson||13–15||2–9||12th (SEC)|
|Susan Walvius (SEC) (1997–2008)|
|2001-02||Susan Walvius||25–7||10–4||T-2nd||NCAA Elite Eight||6||13|
|2002-03||Susan Walvius||23–8||9–5||T-5th||NCAA Second Round||18||16|
|2005-06||Susan Walvius||17–12||7–7||7th||WNIT First Round (Bye)|
|2006-07||Susan Walvius||18–15||6–8||T-7th||WNIT Sixteen|
|2007-08||Susan Walvius||16–16||4–10||T-9th||WNIT First Round (Play-In)|
|Dawn Staley (SEC) (2008–present)|
|2010-11||Dawn Staley||18–15||8–8||T-5th||WNIT Second Round|
|2011-12||Dawn Staley||25–10||10–6||T-4th||NCAA Sweet Sixteen||21||25|
|2012-13||Dawn Staley||25–8||11–5||T-4th||NCAA Second Round||14||17|
|2013-14||Dawn Staley||29–5||14–2||1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen||8||9|
|2014-15||Dawn Staley||34–3||15–1||1st||NCAA Final Four||3||4|
|2015-16||Dawn Staley||33–2||16–0||1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
Gamecocks in the WNBA
- Shannon Johnson – 1999 - 2009 - Last with the Seattle Storm
- Shaunzinski Gortman – (2002–2006) Last with the Seattle Storm
- Jocelyn Penn – (2003–2004) – Last with the San Antonio Stars
Over the years, the Gamecocks have played in three different venues. At first games were played at the Blatt P.E. Center. Later games moved to the Carolina Coliseum, which saw the first sell out for a women's basketball game on January 17, 2002. That day, 12,168 fans turned out to see the South Carolina Gamecocks take on the Tennessee Lady Vols.
On November 22, 2002, the Lady Gamecocks opened the newly constructed Colonial Center (later renamed the Colonial Life Arena). A near sell out crowd of 17,712 saw the Lady Gamecocks defeat the Clemson Lady Tigers. The first sell out with 18,000 in attendance occurred on February 8, 2016 against the University of Connecticut Huskies in a match up of the two top ranked teams in the country.
Top 10 crowds at Colonial Life Arena for Women's Basketball games:
|11-13-2015||16,815||Ohio State||W 88–80|
|01-17-2016||15,406||Texas A&M||W 59–58|
Starting with the 2013-14 season, the South Carolina Gamecocks became one of the national leaders in attendance for Women's Basketball. In 2014-15, the Gamecocks led the Nation in attendance with 12,540 fans per game. They followed this up with an average attendance of 14,364 in 2015-16, a season where every home game had at least 10,000 fans in attendance.
Between losses to Texas A&M on February 10, 2013 and Connecticut on February 8th 2016, the Gamecocks won 45 consecutive games at home.
- Coach of the Year
- Dawn Staley - 2014 - Basketball Times
- Dawn Staley Award
- Tiffany Mitchell - 2015
- Susan Walvius - 2002
- Dawn Staley - 2014, 2015*
- Defensive Player of the Year
- Ieasia Walker - 2013
- Freshman of the Year
- 6th Player of the Year
- Alaina Coates - 2014*
- SEC Tournament MVP
- Aleighsa Welch - 2015
- Tiffany Mitchell - 2016
- WBB Scholar Athlete of the Year
- Aleighsa Welch - 2015
- Denotes Co-Player / Co-Coach
- Coach of the Year
- Nancy Wilson - 1985, 1991
- Player of the Year
- Brantley Southers - 1986
- Martha Parker - 1988, 1989
- Beth Hunt - 1990
- Newcomer of the Year
- Martha Parker - 1986
- Schonna Banner - 1987
- Tournament MVP
- Brantley Southers - 1986
- Martha Parker - 1988
- Beth Hunt - 1989
- "Colors | Communications and Public Affairs | University of South Carolina". Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- "South Carolina Women's Basketball History".
- "History" (PDF). University of South Carolina. Retrieved 10 Aug 2013.
- "Carolina History".