South Carolina Gamecocks news from extremely busy week in Columbia

The latest South Carolina Gamecocks news from a busy week in Columbia, including national championships, SEC titles, a fight, and even some football news.
South Carolina Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley
South Carolina Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

The latest South Carolina Gamecocks news from a busy week around Columbia, starting with updates around the South Carolina basketball programs.

Dawn Staley's Gamecocks have won the SEC Tournament for the 8th time in 10 years. They knocked off Texas A&M, Tennessee (on a wild Kamilla Cardoso buzzer-beater), and LSU on their way to hoisting the trophy.

Near the end of the poorly officiated LSU game, a melee broke out on the floor. LSU's Flau'jae Johnson intentionally fouled MiLaysia Fulwiley on a breakaway and then shoved Ashlyn Watkins. Kamilla Cardoso responded with a bigger shove, sending Johnson to the floor. Johnson's brother jumped onto the floor and got involved, as well. Lots of players were ejected from both teams, but only Cardoso was ejected with a "fighting disqualification" attached.

Cardoso is set to be suspended for USC's first round matchup in the NCAA Tournament.

A key piece announced her return for next year.

Sharpshooting guard Te-Hina Paopao is returning to the Gamecocks for the 2024-2025 season. Despite likely WNBA interest, the senior will use her final year of eligibility in garnet and black.

The Gamecocks were well-represented in the SEC season awards.

Kamilla Cardoso won the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award, made the 1st team All-SEC, and SEC All-Defensive team.

Te-Hina Paopao, Ashlyn Watkins, and Raven Johnson all found their way to the All-SEC 2nd team.

MiLaysia Fulwiley was chosen for the SEC All-Freshman squad.

Dawn Staley won the SEC Coach of the Year.

Lamont Paris and the Gamecocks finished up their season by setting an all-time South Carolina basketball program record.

After losing a close one to Tennessee, Carolina bounced back to beat Mississippi State in Starkville. The 25th win of the year set an all-time record for regular season wins.

Despite being tied for 2nd place in the conference, the Gamecocks will be the 5-seed in the SEC Tournament. With four teams tied in 2nd, USC drew the short end of the stick based on tie-breakers and will not receiver the double-bye in the tournament. They are still a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

A Carolina 2025 commitment teased out that he might be willing to reclassify and arrive in Columbia a year earlier.

Dynamic scoring guard Eli Ellis said a reclassification is "possible" in a social media exchange with a fan. The big-time scorer has been one of the most impressive offensive players in high school basketball, and if he adapts well to Lamont Paris' defensive system, he could grow into a legend in garnet and black.

Some minor football recruiting news likely is of interest to South Carolina Gamecocks fans, as well.

In a new update by 247Sports, Gamecock targets David Sanders, Elijah Griffin, and Zayden Walker all slotted in as top-10 recruits. All three are 5-stars and have put out lists of favorites recently that include South Carolina football.

4-star linebacker prospect Kamar Archie listed a top-6 that included the Gamecocks. Clemson, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Rutgers are also on his list.

Though they are all longshots, three Gamecocks found themselves on Heisman Trophy odds lists.

Quarterback LaNorris Sellers, wide receiver Nyck Harbor, and running back Rocket Sanders are all listed on multiple oddsmakers' lists for the Heisman Trophy.

South Carolina baseball needed their bats to wake up as SEC play begins next weekend. They did.

In a 3-game sweep against Longwood, Mark Kingston's team scored 42 runs on 36 hits. To be fair, Longwood's pitching is not good. However, three comfortable victories should give USC some confidence heading into one of the hardest schedules in the country. Cole Messina (3), Dylan Brewer (2), Ethan Petry, Gavin Casas, and Tyler Causey all homered.

South Carolina softball had a tough week.

After having their mid-week game rained out, the Gamecocks got swept by fellow ranked team Texas A&M, including two 1-run defeats.

South Carolina track and field picked up two national championships.

Freshman Jameesia Ford won the national title in the 200-meter sprint. Her 4x400-meter team also won the national championship. The Gamecock women finished 10th nationally in the team championship, and the men finished tied for 24th.

Ford's sprint times were clocked in as the fastest of all-time for a female runner under the age of 20 years old.

South Carolina hockey (yes, you read that correctly) had the best week in program history.

While not an NCAA sport (USC does not have NCAA hockey), the Gamecock hockey squad had an improbable run to an AAU Division-1 national championship. In the AAU's version of the Frozen Four, Carolina knocked off heavy favorites Tampa in the semifinal and Buffalo in the title game.

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