USC women's basketball practice against surprising opponent

By Mandy Mitchell - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The USC women's basketball team will have to wait until next week to see if they will get a bid to the NCAA tournament.

Until then, they will continue to practice, and you may be surprised who they practice against.

Logan Powell is a South Carolina junior. He's also 6'5". While he's not a woman, he plays a big part in helping the Gamecock women's basketball team get ready for each game. "If you don't play 100% you will look stupid, and you don't want to look stupid," said Powell.

He is one of about a dozen men who are part of the practice squad. "It makes it so much easier to play against the girls," said USC guard Markeshia Grant, "These guys will hit you harder."

It isn't easy work for the guys. They spend time each week in the film room just like a regular player. Their job is to be ready to simulate the upcoming opponent. They were getting ready for Kentucky the afternoon WIS stopped by. "Today I was a post player for Kentucky," said Powell, "We almost have to become actors. We do their tendencies. Like if they drive right, we would drive with our right hand."

"They are a part of the team," said Coach Dawn Staley, "We always tell them to stay in character. They are competitive, but they have to stay in the character of our opponents."

The women get to practice against bigger and stronger opponents, but what's in it for the guys? They said it's a great workout, they get some free gear and they get to feel like part of the team. "We can't win the games," said Powell, "We cant lose the games, but we can help them do the best they can."

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