COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Around this time a year ago, South Carolina women's basketball declared its mission to win the national championship.
A historic run by the Gamecocks would ultimately come to an end in Tampa in the Final Four with a loss to Notre Dame in April. This year, USC is gearing up for another season and the quest to win the title remains the same.
"Our expectations are still high," USC sophomore forward A'ja Wilson said. "We're going to keep reaching for our goal, which is a national championship. That's something we're all aiming for. I'm pretty sure we all have individual goals we'd love to make. I think we're all on the same page and we want to go get that national championship."
The team returns three starters and 11 letterwinners from last year's team that went to the Final Four. However, the Gamecocks also add a few pieces that do not have experience. Still, the Gamecocks expect to make another run at a national title.
"If they're disciplined enough maybe we can make it back and take a step further," USC head women's basketball coach Dawn Staley said. "Getting to the national championship game and winning the national championship. That's our ultimate goal. This team is a little bit younger, a little less experienced in some ways, especially in the leadership department. We got players that are quite talented, but they really have to respect the journey."
Among those returning for the Gamecocks is two-time reigning SEC Player of the Year Tiffany Mitchell. The Gamecocks senior guard will be limited in practice over the next couple of weeks due to a foot injury. However, Staley has no concerns that Mitchell will be ready for opening night on November 13th when USC hosts Ohio State.