By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina coach Dawn Staley is glad to be back at practice and hopes her championship summer with USA Basketball will lead to similar success with the Gamecocks.
Staley was part of two U.S. gold-medal winning squads this offseason. She was coach of the Americans who won the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in August before serving as assistant for the national team that captured the FIBA World Cup last weekend in Turkey.
Staley said her defending Southeastern Conference regular-season champions are seeking to finish on top this winter, too. She said her international experiences helped enhance her ability to rotate top players, all who expect lots of playing time.
Staley figures to face the same challenge with the Gamecocks, who added three McDonald's All-Americans to a deep roster of returnees.