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Five things to watch as Benedict faces Dawn Staley and no. 1 South Carolina

Dawn Staley and South Carolina are a tall task for any program, but the SIAC champs won’t back down.

Monday night’s exhibition game between the Benedict College Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks is a battle of reigning champions. Both schools, Benedict College coached by James Rice and USC coached by Dawn Staley, will be seeing their first action of the year. Here are five things to look for Monday night from the two-time defending SIAC champion BC squad:

  • New Faces – The Tigers saw a mass influx of talent this off-season as three transfers and seven freshmen joined the team. Head coach James Rice said on the school’s athletic page that he and his staff are very excited for the team they’ve put together. 

 “This is one of the largest recruiting classes we’ve had in a very long time. All of our recruits understand the program’s goals and objectives on and off the court,” he said. “Our program’s standards have always been set high. With our skillful returnees along with the addition of this year’s talented recruiting class, we all are looking forward to the many challenges and obstacles in our path ahead.”

Benedict College
  • Post Play – Of those 10 newcomers, five of them are post players over six feet. The unit is still really young as a whole and they’ll have their first trial by fire as they take on the reigning Naismith College Player of the Year Aliyah Boston. 
  • Leadership – The veterans Benedict has are incredibly seasoned and should help steady the ship as the new additions start to mesh. Senior Jazmin Grayson and fifth-year seniors  Jasmine Gholson, Madison Golden are among the leaders as well as graduate guard Mahogany Randall, who was out last season due to injury but should ready to help the Tigers contend.
  • Offensive Pace – Both the Gamecocks and the Tigers have shown they can get out and run. With as many new players as they have, will the Tigers come out running and gunning or will they try to grind out an ugly win? 
  • Defensive cohesion – Dawn Staley and South Carolina returned their core and have a good rhythm on offense which will pose a challenge for the Tigers defensively as they establish their identity on both sides of the ball.  
Five things to watch as Benedict faces Dawn Staley and no. 1 South Carolina
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