South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock guard wins SEC honor

South Carolina basketball guard Te-Hina Paopao was named the SEC's Player of the Week.

South Carolina basketball guard Te-Hina Paopao
South Carolina basketball guard Te-Hina Paopao / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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There are a lot of new faces on the 2023-2024 South Carolina basketball team. Arguably the most impactful of the newbies, though, has been Oregon transfer Te-Hina Paopao. The former All-Pac 12 performer has slid in seamlessly to Dawn Staley’s dual-point guard system.

Raven Johnson has taken on the majority of the facilitation duties, allowing Paopao to play more off-ball than she has played in her career, and she has taken advantage.

So far this season, she is shooting career-high numbers in terms of efficiency as her field goal percentage and 3-point percentage are both above 50%. She has gotten more catch-and-shoot opportunities than she’s ever had, but she can also reach back into her old bag of tricks and operate with the ball in her hands, as well. She is also playing good defense in Dawn Staley's defense-emphasizing program.

Her high-level of play on both ends of the court earned her a major honor this week.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Te-Hina Paopao was the SEC's Player of the Week.

In three games against Duke, Morgan State, and Utah, Paopao scored 12, 12, and 15 points, respectively, and shot 13-24 from the field and 7-15 from behind the arc. She also dished out 8 assists and snagged 4 steals in those games. Her defense was excellent in all three contests, as well. The Gamecocks won those games by 16 points, 66 points, and 9 points, respectively.

In addition to her SEC Player of the Week award, she also was named the MVP of the Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase when she led the Gamecocks in a win over 11th-ranked Utah in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The Gamecocks’ 3-0 week moved them to 9-0 on the year and kept them at the top spot in the AP rankings. They will take on Presbyterian at home on Saturday at Colonial Life Arena.

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