South Carolina basketball star Kamilla Cardoso has found herself on the offseason lists for several awards this preseason.
Cardoso was named to the preseason first-team All-SEC squad, she is on the watch list for the Lisa Leslie Award (given to the best center in the country), and she has been named to another major preseason watch list.
On Thursday, it was announced that Kamilla Cardoso made the preseason watch list for the Wade Trophy. The Gamecock post player is 1 of 16 players on the watch list.
South Carolina basketball is set to play at least eight of the players on the watch list this season (LSU’s Angel Reese, LSU’s Hailey Van Lith, LSU’s Aneesah Morrow, UConn’s Paige Bueckers, UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards, Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson, Notre Dame’s Olivia Miles, and Utah’s Alissa Pili).
Cardoso won the SEC’s Sixth Woman of the Year award after the 2022-2023 season but is expected to start this season. She played starter minutes in a lot of games last year and played in lineups in which she was the only big and in lineups in which she played next to another post player (usually Aliyah Boston).
This season, Cardoso will have a slew of power forwards who could play next to her. Players like Chloe Kitts and Sania Feagin are offensive weapons who could play the 3 or the 4 for Dawn Staley’s team, and Ashlyn Watkins is a true 4. Junior college transfer Sakima Walker is a center like Cardoso, but she has enough skills to play the 4 next to Cardoso in certain situations.
Though Coach Dawn Staley was a guard during her playing days, and some of her earliest teams in Columbia were led by guards, in recent years, a post player has been the most important player on Staley’s South Carolina basketball squads. Can Kamilla Cardoso continue the dominant play of Gamecock post players like A’ja Wilson and Aliyah Boston?