In case you’ve been living under a rock, Dawn Staley’s South Carolina basketball team is off to one of the best-ever 3-game starts in the history of college basketball.
The Gamecocks have blown out three Power-6 opponents, with two of them having been ranked inside the top-15 of the AP poll. They have also scored over 100 points in each game.
With several other top teams losing in the opening two weeks of the season, Carolina climbed from the #6 spot in the preseason rankings all the way to #1, but some around the sport believe the Gamecocks would have moved up to the top spot even if no one else had lost ahead of them. That’s how dominant the Gamecocks have been.
Naturally, with a start this hot, the 2023-2024 version of South Carolina basketball is being compared to the other great teams in USC history. The Gamecocks won the national championship after the 2016-2017 season and after the 2021-2022 season, and in the early goings of this season, Coach Staley’s squad compares favorably to those legendary squads led by A’ja Wilson and Aliyah Boston.
Certainly, everything in this fast start has to be taken with a grain of salt as the Gamecocks have only played three games. However, those three games have been so special that the comparisons to Staley’s ring-winning teams don’t feel forced or out of place.
The rest of the season will show just how legitimate South Carolina basketball’s title hopes are this season, but for now, it’s fun to compare this year’s team to the 2016-2017 and 2021-2022 teams.
To compare the teams as fairly as possible, let’s look at each team’s numbers for the season, through their first three games, against ranked opponents, and against Clemson.
***Stats compiled from the South Carolina basketball page at sportsreference.com.