COLUMBIA — Dawn Staley said at her season wrapup press conference that she was looking to add a player or two to her 2019-20 roster, preferably a guard who could play right away for the South Carolina women's basketball team.
She got the guard on Monday. Can she play right away?
To be determined.
Former McDonald’s All-American Destiny Littleton committed to South Carolina on Monday. A five-star guard from California who was the state’s player of the year in 2016-17, Littleton is transferring to USC after two years at Texas.
It appears that Littleton will have to sit out the upcoming season as she is not a graduate transfer, but the NCAA is fluid with its transfer waivers. Littleton won’t lose anything by applying for immediate eligibility, so the chance of her playing next year is there.
For Monday, though, Staley addressed a need. If nothing else, the Gamecocks will have Littleton eligible in 2020-21, the season after senior point guard Ty Harris graduates.
Littleton started 12 of 33 games last year and played the third-most minutes on the team. She averaged 8.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists, scoring in double figures 12 times.
She didn’t get much action as a freshman despite scoring well over 4,000 points in high school, ending her career at The Bishop’s School averaging 33.3 points per game. She averaged over 42 points per game as a senior.
Littleton signed with Southern Cal but was released from her commitment when the Trojans changed coaches. She picked Texas, stayed two years and announced in mid-April that she was transferring.
Staley lost three players to transfer last month (a fourth, rising senior Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, changed her mind and will return) but knew that the door to the NCAA transfer portal is never closed. The Gamecocks can add up to four more players if they so choose, although Staley has never liked carrying her full 15 scholarships.
Littleton will be the eighth high-major transfer Staley has accepted in the past five seasons. She has had transfers from Clemson, Tennessee, Kentucky, Penn State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Virginia along with Texas.