South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock commitment now a finalist for Naismith National Player of the Year

Joyce Edwards, a class of 2024 South Carolina basketball signee, is one of ten finalists for the Naismith High School National Player of the Year honor.

South Carolina basketball commitment Joyce Edwards
South Carolina basketball commitment Joyce Edwards / MCKENZIE LANGE/ Staff / USA TODAY
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South Carolina basketball signee Joyce Edwards is one of the best high school players in the country. The 5-star forward is ranked as the #2 prospect in America, and she recently had a video game-like performance in which she scored 52 points, pulled down 18 rebounds, dished out 9 assists, had 9 steals, and blocked 5 shots.

The McDonald's All-American was nominated for the girls' Wooden Award this season, meaning she was one of 25 players selected to the watchlist for the National Player of the Year honor. She joined fellow South Carolina basketball commitment Maddy McDaniel on the list. Another Gamecock (and early enrollee) Adhel Tac was on the list when it was 50 players.

This week, the list was trimmed to just 10 players, and Edwards was still on it. The semifinal list is made up of three juniors and seven seniors, and Edwards is one of the favorites to bring home the trophy. If her Camden Bulldogs win another state title, that will only help her case.

South Carolina basketball target Sarah Strong is also on the list of semifinalists, though the Gamecocks seem like a longshot to land her services.

Edwards will arrive on campus as a member of Dawn Staley's team with early playing time available. Kamilla Cardoso is out of eligibility, and Sakima Walker will have to decide if she wants to continue her college career after four seasons.

As the best defensive forward in the class (and a versatile defender, at that), Edwards will fit in nicely to Coach Staley's scheme. She can play next to another defensive-minded player like Ashlyn Watkins, she can play next to offensive players like Chloe Kitts and Sania Feagin, and she can even play the small forward in certain sets if that is what is needed of her.

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