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CAROLINA WOMEN: Media pick Gamecocks to win SEC title

CAROLINA WOMEN: Media pick Gamecocks to win SEC title

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COLUMBIA -- A panel of both SEC and national media members picked South Carolina to win the 2021 Southeastern Conference women's basketball title.

It marks the fifth time in the last seven seasons the group has predicted the Gamecocks as regular-season champion. The media named Aliyah Boston to its six-member Preseason All-SEC team, and the sophomore picked up a few votes for preseason player of the year as well.

South Carolina has won five SEC regular-season championships since claiming its first in 2013-14. The Gamecocks won the 2019-20 SEC Regular-Season crown after posting their second 16-0 league record, ending a two-year stretch of second-place finishes. Head coach Dawn Staley's team has not finished lower than second since the 2012-13 campaign.

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For 2020-21, Staley returns three of five starters who led the Gamecocks to their first final No. 1 national ranking in program history. The trio of then-freshmen - Boston, Zia Cooke and Brea Beal - started all 33 games of the season and made their mark on the college women's basketball landscape immediately. This season, another member of that 2019 No. 1 recruiting class is ready to break out as Laeticia Amihere is fully recovered from a knee injury that slowed her early development. Senior LeLe Grissett is back as a veteran guard after transitioning to that spot last season, and juniors Destanni Henderson and Victaria Saxton are anxious to show their value with extended playing time.

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The Gamecocks are slated to open the 2020-21 season on Nov. 25 at Colonial Life Arena against College Charleston. With COVID-19 regulations limiting capacity at Colonial Life Arena to 3,500, South Carolina has already sold out of tickets for the season, but plenty of opportunities for fans to engage with the team and participate in game day remain.

2021 SEC Preseason Media Poll

1. South Carolina

2. Mississippi State

3. Kentucky

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4. Texas A&M

5. Arkansas

6. Tennessee

7. LSU

8. Georgia

9. Alabama

10. Florida

11. Missouri

12. Vanderbilt

13. Auburn

14. Ole Miss

Preseason Player of the Year

Rhyne Howard, Kentucky

Preseason All-SEC

Unique Thompson, Auburn

Rhyne Howard, Kentucky

Rickea Jackson, Mississippi State

Aliyah Boston, South Carolina

Rennia Davis, Tennessee

N'dea Jones, Texas A&M


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