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WBB: Final Preseason Notebook

SOUTH CAROLINA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

With the season fast approaching, Gamecock Central updates news and notes from the Gamecocks, plus a recruiting note.

- Poll position

The first preseason poll, by ESPNW, was released Monday. Oregon was ranked number one, while the SEC placed three teams in the top ten: South Carolina at 8, Texas A&M at 9, and Mississippi State at 10. Also in the top ten are Baylor at 2, Connecticut at 3, and Maryland at 5, all of whom are part of South Carolina’s non-conference schedule.

- More watch lists

First it was senior Tyasha Harris who was named to the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List. Now the Gamecocks can add an honor for freshman Aliyah Boston, who was named to the Lisa Leslie Award Watch list. The award goes to the nation’s top center, and was previously won by A’ja Wilson.

Being named to the watch list is no small feat for Boston, who has yet to play a collegiate game. However, she has a great deal of experience with USA Basketball, including playing on the gold medal-winning U19 team over the summer.

Fan voting for each of the five position awards can be found HERE

- Oh, Canada

Also last week, freshman Laetecia Amihere was named to the Team Canada Pre-Qualifying Tournament team. Amihere is one of 16 players named to the team and one of three NCAA players, including former Gamecock Shay Colley. Colley, now at Michigan State, played 11 games for South Carolina in 2015, but transferred (initially to Pitt and then Michigan State) after her first semester to be closer to home.

Like Boston, Amihere has extensive experience with the national team. She participated with Team Canada in 2015, 2016, and 2017, with a gold medal, a bronze medal, and all-tournament team to her credit. The Pre-Qualifying Tournament is November 14-17 in Edmonton, Canada, which presumably precludes Amihere from participating.

- Halloween and Mardi Gras

In a questionable mingling of holidays, the Gamecocks are hosting a Halloween Mardi Gras party on October 31st. Allow me to explain. The Final Four is in New Orleans this season, hence the Mardi Gras part of theme. And the event is being held the day before the exhibition, thus the Halloween side.

The event is for students, faculty, and staff, and is from 12:30-3:30 pm on Park Street, behind the Coliseum. Costumes are encouraged, and the Gamecocks will be handing out beads. There will also be free food from food trucks.

- Whose pumpkin is it?

Late Saturday, Dawn Staley posted a series of pictures on social media. They were four pumpkins, carved and painted by the Gamecocks and a “top recruit.” NCAA rules obviously prohibit identifying a recruit, so who was that top recruit?

The pumpkin belongs to Kamilla Cardoso, the fifth-ranked recruit overall and top-ranked center. Cardoso also took official visits to West Virginia, Ohio State, Syracuse, and Mississippi State. A native of Brazil, Cardoso is part of the same AAU team as wing Treasure Hunt, a Gamecock target, and guard Madison Hayes, a target who committed to Mississippi State.