South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks make list for nation’s top recruit

South Carolina basketball target Aaliyah Chavez. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
South Carolina basketball target Aaliyah Chavez. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal /

Dawn Staley’s South Carolina basketball program is among the best in the country and has been for about a decade. The Gamecock coach is elite both as an on-court coach and as a team-builder through recruiting.

Every recruiting cycle, South Carolina basketball finishes with among the best classes in the nation, routinely pulling in multiple 5-star talents to keep the winning going in Columbia.

Carolina brought in three 5-stars in the class of 2023. MiLaysia Fulwiley, Tessa Johnson, and Sahnya Jah all could contribute in year 1, and Fulwiley is expected to develop into one of the top offensive performers in all of women’s college basketball.

In the 2024 class, the Gamecocks have just one commitment so far. 5-star Madisen McDaniel made her commitment to Dawn Staley’s program in August.

Staley and her South Carolina basketball coaching staff are looking even further ahead to the ’25 cycle, as well, and their future-facing efforts are paying off in big ways.

Late Sunday night, 5-star Aaliyah Chavez, the nation’s #1 player according to ESPN’s HoopGurlz rankings, announced her top-10 schools. The Gamecocks made the cut for the big-time point guard.

South Carolina basketball was joined by Texas, UCLA, Tennessee, LSU, Southern Cal, Arizona, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Texas Tech in Chavez’s top-10. The Lubbock, Texas native included her hometown Texas Tech Red Raiders and nine of the “who’s who” of women’s college basketball, with the notable exclusion of UConn.

As a player, Chavez is a scoring machine, able to put the ball in the basket from seemingly anywhere on the court. She can play either guard spot as she can shoot, drive, and finish at the rim while also keeping one eye open to create for her teammates.

She plays similarly to Gamecock great Zia Cooke, but as a high school junior, she looks more like Cooke at the end of her career when she became a more efficient and well-balanced scorer.

You can watch some of her film here.

Related Story. South Carolina Basketball alum dominates international tournament. light