Since some of us have not had the opportunity to see the Lady Gamecocks play, how about giving us your player-by-player rundown on individual player matchups, defensive and offensive strategies, and means by which the LG might win. Don't worry, you won't be giving away any secrets; Geno already knows anything you might post.
So this is the post to which a fellow rooster was referring earlier today. I do declare, I can't give away any of the trade secrets!
I know you guys disagree, but I think we will have the edge in the last 5 - 8 minutes in each half, due to our superior depth. We can also bring waves of size at you - Alaina Coates, Aleighsa Welch, Elem Ibiam, A'ja Wilson and even Jatarie White. Alaina - very smooth and deceptively strong. Alaina is our best center, but Dawn seems to reward upperclassmen with starting positions if it's close. Lisa is very, very athletic and poised - she has range to about 15 feet and is also very strong. Algiers is also a pretty good ball handler for a center. She's our emotional leader. El is intelligent, experienced and poised. Also a good shot blocker. She doesn't make a lot of dumb mistakes, but her athletic ability is not as good as the other inside players. A'ja is a joy to watch. She has a good outside shot in the rare occasions she has used it, but she likes to drive to the basket and also get putbacks. A'ja has good ability to block shots and seems to play well in big games. Jatarie missed a lot of games due to a stress fracture in her foot and she missed the A&M game due to flu-like symptoms. Depending on how quickly she recovers, she may not play against you guys.
I'll include Asia Dozier with the guards, as she plays more on the perimeter as a small forward/occasional 2 guard. Asia was a 4 time South Carolina POTY in high school. Her dad and uncle (fraternal twins) both played basketball at USC in the 80's and her little brother, PJ, is our top MBB recruit coming in next season. Asia is a role player on this team, but she plays solid defense and is a good 3 point shooter. She doesn't take a lot of shots, but that doesn't mean she can't score. Khadijah Sessions has started at PG for 2 seasons; she's solid, but not spectacular. She isn't the best outside shooter, but she is a good distributor and a good, on-ball defender. Bianca Cuevas backs Sessions up and she is one of the quickest WBB players I've ever seen. She will be one of our all-time greats before it's all said and done. Bianca turns the ball over too much, but she can push the ball up the court like no other and rifle passes to our inside players. Against A&M I thought she gave us a big spark - not from scoring, but from getting others involved. When she's on defense and you see her pony tail bouncing up and down, it means she's about to get a steal.
Tiffany Mitchell is a tough player. You wouldn't know it from seeing her off the court, but she doesn't get intimidated and isn't afraid to drive to the hoop or take the three. Tina Roy is a good outside shooter and Olivia Gaines is an excellent defender.
In a nutshell, if we don't have any 5 minute lapses like we've had in many games, I think the Gamecocks will win. If there is a lapse then you guys will win.
As far as matchups with your players, I'm not going to speculate. I've seen you play, but I'm usually multi-tasking and not paying close enough attention to offer my opinion.
Dawn's defense is better than you think; our offense is still a work in progress. I think it will be a great game, but I hope we don't look past Georgia next Thursday, as we play them on the road. We won't have many fans up in Storrs - we have a large alumni base in NYC, but on a weeknight I doubt we will have many fans there.
One last note: We dropped "Lady" from the nickname around 20 or so years ago - they're just "Gamecocks". A lot of our older fans still use "Lady Gamecocks", though.