WBB: 'It’s the gift that keeps on giving'

The South Carolina women’s basketball team has hit the top for the first time in the program history. The Associated Press released its poll on Monday and named the Gamecocks No. 1 in the nation.

“I feel really good about what our team has been able to accomplish. This is not a goal that we had set, but it is a part of our journey,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said.

South Carolina started off the season with a program best preseason ranking at No. 2. Now, the Gamecocks are 3-p0 to start off the season and for the fourth-straight time under Staley. Each game have brought in over 10,000 fans to Colonial Life Arena and won by an average of 39.3 points.

Staley joins Baylor’s Kim Mulkey as the second person ever to play for and coach the nation’s top-raned team.

“Basketball has been extremely good to me. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I try to repay my debt to basketball, but it keeps giving more in big ways," Staley added. "I want to be amongst the ones that have won a national championship somewhere in their career."

Four USC players average double-figure points:
-Tiffany Mitchell: 17.7 points per game, shooting at 61.5 percent from the field, 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from the 3-point range.
-Alaina Coates: averages 13.3 points and 9.3 rebounds
-Freshman A’ja Wilson and senior Aleighsa Welch round out the quartet with 12.3 and 11.0 points per game, respectively.

The team left for the Junkaroo Jam on Monday morning and will take on Wisconsin Thursday, Nov. 27 at 4:15 p.m. (ET) to face either East Carolina or nationally-ranked Syracuse on Friday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. (ET).

“We will see if being away from home cuts down on distractions of being ranked No. 1. This week was already going to be a test since we have a big group of young players who haven’t played a Division I basketball game on the road,” Staley said of the trip to the Junkanoo Jam.

Take a look at what Staley had to say following Sunday’s win over the San Diego State Aztecs here and her thoughts on being No. 1.

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