South Carolina Basketball: Two Gamecock stars make another award list

South Carolina basketball's Kamilla Cardoso and Te-Hina Paopao were included on the watch list for the USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year.

South Carolina basketball guard Te-Hina Paopao
South Carolina basketball guard Te-Hina Paopao / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

As Dawn Staley's South Carolina basketball team is the far-and-away best team in the entire country this season, it comes as no surprise that the Gamecocks are well-represented on award watch lists. Between preseason watch lists, midseason watch lists, and now, late season watch lists, Gamecocks like Kamilla Cardoso, Raven Johnson, Te-Hina Paopao, Bree Hall, Ashlyn Watkins, MiLaysia Fulwiley, and Sania Feagin have all found themselves on award lists.

The latest award watch list inclusions have come in for Cardoso and Paopao as the Gamecock starters were put on the USBWA's watch list for the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year Award.

It's easy to see why Cardoso and Paopao were selected for consideration as All-Americans and for National Player of the Year.

Cardoso is leading the Gamecocks in scoring (14.1 points per game), rebounding (10.1 rebounds per game), and blocked shots (2.9 blocks per game). She also leads the entire SEC in field goal percentage and blocks. She is the only player in the conference averaging at least 10 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 assists per game. She is also the anchor of the defense, filling in admirably in the role Aliyah Boston dominated last season.

Paopao is the most accurate 3-point shooter in the entire country (49%), she is 2nd in the SEC in made 3-point jumpers, and she is one of just 3 players in the conference to average at least 3.5 assists and 10 points per game. He biggest impact goes beyond the numbers, however, as her shooting ability spaces the floor in a way the Gamecocks did not have last year, correcting the team's biggest weakness from the 2022-2023 season.

The watch list will be the official ballot distributed to USBWA voters for National Player of the Year and All-American team consideration. Voters will have until March 10th to submit their ballots. Other honors like the Tamika Catchings National Freshman of the Year Award and the USBWA National Coach of the Year Award will also be voted on at that time. MiLaysia Fulwiley (Freshman of the Year) and Coach Dawn Staley (Coach of the Year) will be on those ballots.

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