South Carolina women’s basketball once again has one of the most prolific recruiting classes in the country.
The Gamecocks’ three 2024 signees make up the nation’s No. 2 class in ESPN’s updated rankings: Forward Joyce Edwards (No. 2 overall recruit), point guard Maddy McDaniel (No. 12) and post player Adhel Tac (No. 26). Edwards, reigning South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year out of Camden High, is the highest ranked prospect to have signed with a college thus far in the recruiting cycle.
Southern Cal (No. 1) and UCLA (No. 3) round out the top three in team rankings. Those West Coast schools and USC signed three five-star prospects, which all tie for most in the country. South Carolina is one of three SEC teams in the top 25, with Florida coming in at No. 10 and Georgia at No. 12.
It’s unclear whether coach Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks will continue actively pursuing 2024 prospects for the next signing period in April. Top USC prospects Sarah Strong (No. 1), Jaloni Cambridge (No. 3) and Mackenly Randolph (No. 22) have yet to announce their college decisions.
The Gamecocks have 11 players on this year’s roster, three of which are seniors (Te-Hina Paopao, Kamilla Cardoso and Sakima Walker) with one additional year of eligibility because of the NCAA’s COVID-19 waiver. Division I college basketball teams are limited to 15 scholarship spots per year.
The ESPN story says Staley “landed the most coveted player in the state and bolstered that with a speedy point guard from the DMV and a major post presence out of Texas.”
ESPN went on to describe Edwards as a “stat stuffing forward,” “a force on the glass” and “a poised and intelligent player.” She is versatile as well, showing dominance in the paint as well as an ability to shoot and guard along the perimeter.
McDaniel is “quick” and has a “shiftiness” about her, ESPN wrote, and plays without fear of physicality. Staley has said McDaniel has the ability to run the floor and play on pace with South Carolina’s current style.
Tac is “one of the most coveted players in the country despite missing the majority of the last year with a foot injury,” the ESPN article said. Staley has raved about Tac’s upside and compared her style of basketball to Gamecocks great Aliyah Boston. ESPN went on to describe 6-foot-2 Tac as a player who “can move well laterally and run the floor” and “has shown flashes of being a strong passer.”