Sports

Gamecock Hoops: Let’s Hear It For The Girls!

DAWN STALEY LEADS HER TEAM ON HISTORY-MAKING RUN … || By FITSNEWS || The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team came up just short in the national semifinal game against Notre Dame this weekend. A put-back bucket by guard Madison Cable – her only points of the night and…

DAWN STALEY LEADS HER TEAM ON HISTORY-MAKING RUN …

|| By FITSNEWS || The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team came up just short in the national semifinal game against Notre Dame this weekend.

A put-back bucket by guard Madison Cable – her only points of the night and her team’s only points over the final eight minutes of the game – gave the Fightin’ Irish a 66-65 victory over head coach Dawn Staley‘s resilient squad, which trailed by as many as a dozen points in the second half.

Staley’s Gamecocks – led by All-Americans Tiffany Mitchell, A’ja Wilson and Aleighsa Welch – still have plenty to celebrate, though.  They won a school-record 34 games (including a school-record 22 games in a row).  They were No. 1 in the nation for nearly three months.  They repeated as SEC regular season champions and won the SEC tournament.  And they made their first Final Four (in their fourth straight trip to the NCAA tournament).

Not bad for a program which – prior to Staley’s arrival seven years ago – had never won an SEC title (regular season or tournament).  And had appeared in the NCAA tournament just eight times.

But Staley has done more than win games … she’s electrified a program, generating a tremendous groundswell of fan support.

Seriously … who’d have ever thought women’s hoops would consistently outdraw men’s hoops in terms of “butts in seats,” television ratings and media coverage?

That’s exactly what has happened in Columbia, S.C., though …

In fact Staley’s success is putting the pressure on men’s head basketball coach Frank Martin – whose program finally posted its first winning season in four years in 2014-15 (barely).  It’s also putting pressure on athletics director Ray Tanner, the former baseball coach who took over the reins of the program in July 2012.

South Carolina’s baseball team won back-to-back College World Series championships in 2010 and 2011 under Tanner – and appeared in a third College World Series in 2012 (losing to Arizona).  The Gamecocks haven’t been back to Omaha since – and didn’t even make it out of their own regional last spring.

Meanwhile, after four years of unprecedented success under Steve Spurrier, the Gamecocks were college football’s most disappointing team in 2014 – and have had a difficult offseason.

Obviously we’re not pushing the panic button yet … especially with regard to the football program … but the bottom line is Staley’s record run with the women’s basketball team hasn’t just galvanized the Gamecock faithful, it’s reminded them how little else they’ve had occasion to cheer for of late.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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44 comments

GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 10:25 am

As much as I hate to say it, this team got outcoached, severely. Staley has assembled some of the BEST talent in the country…but better coaching, with good players beat them.

SC, because of the current political movement in the NCAA, also got some of the breaks we usually complain about going against us. It seemed in each post-season game, the Gamecock opponent’s best players got into foul trouble early, and some fouled out.

Some of the calls for SC late Sunday (the trip, “the charge”) were atrocious.

While the hype is uncontrollable for Staley, I’m not sure if it’s warranted. I hope Coach Dawn can do it….But she better learn more, and not depend on the favor of the NCAA.

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shifty henry April 6, 2015 at 11:25 am

—– and another cheery, upbeat message to lift our spirits from the GrandTomato’s hidey-hole lair deep in the shadowy woodlands somewhere along Bub Schumpert Road in Pelion.

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GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 12:01 pm

You – like most – will always run w/ how the pack tells you. FITS, too…

A lot of people don’t KNOW because they would rather sip the juice that all of you slurp. Nothing wrong with that, other than chronic stupidity…

I’m just giving you the dope. If you resist that, that’s your prerogative.

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shifty henry April 6, 2015 at 12:21 pm

“You……prerogative”

TRANSLATION:

When the breeze from the blue-bottle’s blustering blim twirls the toads in a tooroomaloo, and the whiskery whine of wheedlesome whim drowns the roll of the rattatattoo.

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GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 12:25 pm

A lot of people react to intellectual intimidation as you do.

shifty henry April 6, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Here’s a” react” for ya’ —-
Give the rigmarole to the clangery-whang if they care for such fiddlededee; but the thingumbob kiss of whangeery-bang keeps
the higglede-piggle for thee.

TontoBubbaGoldstein April 6, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang Walla walla, bing bang…

haha April 6, 2015 at 1:15 pm

if some people do react to intellectual intimidation as you say, I am sure that they normally do it from someone that is intelligent, and that sir wouldn’t be you

GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 1:21 pm

@$$-Backward much?

Krazy Kat April 6, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Don’t fee the trolls!

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GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 12:26 pm

So if you charge a “fee” …are you NOT a troll??…….LMAO…

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shifty henry April 6, 2015 at 12:44 pm

oooops — TOO LATE..!!

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ThreePalms April 6, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Yeah. Tango sucks out the ass. That bloviating jackass making those kind of statements in the face of all that success is revealing.

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Crooner April 6, 2015 at 12:09 pm

When your coaching strategy is to get the ball inside to your “bigs” getting the other team’s players into foul trouble is a by product. And since we have more bigs than most that’s a good strategy.

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GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 12:30 pm

The other teams had plenty of BIGS, too…but the pattern was only for one set of BIGS to get into serious foul trouble.

In the ND game…ND had the lead the WHOLE game, but had more fouls called on them…that’s a bit unusual…as was all of the foul trouble for SIGNIFICANT players on the opponents’ players…

I CANNOT stand it when they tip a game against SC…and I’m going to acknowledge it when I see it in the Gamecocks’ favor.

There seemed to be a plan in place to get Coach Staley as far as she got. NC or FSU may have beaten the Women GCs w/ a little more fair officiating. But I don’t think that fit the template of what the NCAA wants.

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tigerfan April 6, 2015 at 6:03 pm

NCAA = NAACP?

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it goes without saying but April 6, 2015 at 1:10 pm

I would like to point out at this time that the thoughts expressed by GrandTango do not in anyway reflect the same thoughts or feelings from any other Gamecock fan in the world. In other words he is an idiot and that is all! (I am sure he will reply with a lot of %$%#*^%# this and *^%##%&^# that, then claim to have bitch slapped me, and then finally give one of those LMAO’s)

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GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 1:19 pm

How Stalin/Obama of you. No thought but your Lockstep thought is allowed…it seems in your world of ignorance…

At any rate: I see – as usual- you react toward me…w/ no response to the CONTENT of my post…

Do you counter the contention that I made about THE GAME and the circumstances…or are you just too F*#king stupid for that?

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you are idiot #1 April 6, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Why would anyone try to reason with a turd? It can come in many shapes and/or sizes but its still nothing but a piece of shit. (I am sure you don’t get that, but just so we are clear you are the turd here, and by definition a piece of shit). It never seems to amaze me (or anyone on here) just how dumb you really are, but to even with a straight face claim political correctness got USC to the final 4 by the NCAA fixing games with bad calls almost amazed me with your ignorance. You truly have nothing better to do than spray your BS on this site, all the while saying how dumb tis site is yet you keep coming back. You have no one to talk to do you? I doesn’t matter. I just slapped the F*#k out of you and don’t need to wait around on a reply. When you slap someone as hard as I slapped you, you will see that person might try to come back, but all it will be is something we can all laugh at, and wont mean anything, so there will be no reply again from me. I will just hold my hands up victorious and walk away unbeaten and untied. LMAO!!!! Do you get what I did there? It doesn’t matter I don’t need to come back.

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GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 1:35 pm

Typical liberal. You have to LIE to even gain a point to argue.

I did not say the games were fixed, Dumb@$$…I said SC’s opponents’ BEST players got into foul trouble….and I alluded to TWO very absurd calls on ND late in the game…

Can you defend that…or do you just bash stupidly w/ NO substance to your claims???…no need to answer…

Daniel Boome April 6, 2015 at 2:38 pm

If “there seemed to be a plan in place to get Coach Staley as far as she got”, which you stated below, then there had to be some sort of fix. You can argue what form that “fix” takes, but there would have to be some sort of back-channel maneuvering going on with the referees as the pawns.
As for the two late calls, I thought the charge call was legit. Coates (?) was in legal guarding position and the ND player was out of control and just backed into her. You might could say that was a play on, but there was so much contact that I think any ref would have ruled that a charge. The tripping call looked suspect on replay for sure, but live I thought it was a foul and I assume the referee blew the whistle for the same reason. Like I said, on replay you could definitely tell it was simply a foot-tangling, but watching it take place live there is no way you can say it was some sort of atrocious call. If anything, it took away our chance to get a quick bucket in transition.

GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 2:47 pm

I went back and looked at the numbers. FSU and ND had TWO players FOUL OUT. TWO…That’s amazing…SC NEVER had a player foul out that I could see. One game, they had a player w/ four fouls, but it was a bench player…

In both cases with the two foul-outs, one of the players fouling out was a TOP Scorer. And UNC had their big girl foul out…and she was a top scorer…

And in ALL 3 games, SC shot more FTs than the opponent. In the Sweet 16 games considerable more FTs. And if SC would have hit the FTs vs ND, they could have easily won.

Again: I see things like that happen against SC’s other teams and it p!$$#$ me off. I’m not going to celebrate what I see to be bias just because I want the team getting the calls to win…

It’s a bit sickening no matter who is doing it…

Just a question April 7, 2015 at 9:01 am

Does this guy even read what he writes? “SC, because of the current political movement in the NCAA…got some of the breaks…”, Then in the same reply he says Staley should “not depend on the favor of the NCAA. It may not be paved for her any more than it was in 2015.” There is no way to interpret what was actually said other than you are claiming it was fixed since you say it was “paved” for her. You then he say in another post “I did not say the games were fixed”. Um, yes you did by what I just pointed out to you in the post before that one. While the other guy might not have pointed it out to you, I just did for him. Also why did you call him a liberal? There was nothing to suggest any political side. You assumed it after you got caught in a lie.

The Colonel April 6, 2015 at 10:41 am

Great run ladies, great run!

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Rathersoc April 6, 2015 at 4:59 pm

The running was fine but the throwing. They need someone on a white board listing why WBB crashes…

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mamatiger92 April 6, 2015 at 10:44 am

Congrats to the Lady Cocks (ahem). Well done.

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Buroti April 6, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Somehow anything but the term lady comes to mind.

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Krazy Kat April 6, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Great Season! I enjoyed every minute of it.

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Pam April 6, 2015 at 5:01 pm

I enjoyed the last minute…

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GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Anybody else notice how FITS is avoiding the Mens NCAA Championship like it was a pledge to protect Christians from ISIS…

Racial slurs against Wisc. who ain’t the ‘Gentlemen Gems’…that FITS and pop culture usually so easily give it up for…So typical…So predictable…

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Nappy Headed Ho's April 6, 2015 at 12:54 pm

I guess all the carpet that got munched in Tampa last night was conciliatory rather than congratulatory in nature.

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Purgery April 6, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Now there is an N- word as a handle…

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G.O.B. April 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

2 words: free throws!

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Squishy123 April 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Meh, it’s still women’s basketball played by a bunch of ghetto girls.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein April 6, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Paging Don Imus. Paging Mr. Imus….

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How bout this April 7, 2015 at 11:09 am

Better than the sorry-assed mens team. And that garbage-assed baseball team EWWW

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Squishy123 April 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Wait until you see this year’s football team.

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E Norma Scok April 6, 2015 at 2:18 pm

I remember when Clemson mens basketball went to the final 8 in 1990 and got beat by Uconn. You know who else does?

Nobody.

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Gamecockone April 6, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Success kakkalina style – we were in the foyer but didn’t get into the show.
Maybe Pastides can get back to running a University before baseball and football consume him – that old plane is putting on a lot of miles.,,

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GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 4:48 pm

I STILL remember that game and LMAO…Didn’t you get beaten on a last-second shot???

When you LOSE…it’s ALL GOOD…and it’s NEVER forgotten…

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TontoBubbaGoldstein April 6, 2015 at 6:11 pm

TBG remembers.

UCONN completed a full court inbounds pass and turnaround jump shot with 1.0 seconds on the clock.

TBG had just poured a celebratory glass of wine during the preceding timeout…

Was the Sweet 16, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suG5MRdHmSI

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Squishy123 April 7, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Back when college basketball was basketball and not showboating street ball. I watched my first college game in over 10 years last night, what the fuck is up with all the shit these players are wearing on their legs? I didn’t know if I was watching a basketball game or the half-time ballet program.

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GrandTango April 6, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Why is this not considered HATE speech?…courtesy of MoRon (The State)…

Dawn Staley sees minorities, women and children everywhere, providing a stark contrast to the mostly white male crowds that normally attend USC football, men’s basketball and baseball games.

“It’s some of everybody,” Staley said, “and that’s the beautiful thing about it.”

Staley spoke recently to the Columbia Urban League about advancing communities.

Remember, FITS vehemently defended MoRon when he compared Steve Spurrier to Homosexual pedophile and Gay Community Icon: Jerry Sandusky….

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Elfego April 6, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Great job Ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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