Dawn Staley Has A Gameplan For The Vols If A'ja Wilson Sits

COLUMBIA, SC - Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks have a huge top 10 matchup with Tennessee on Sunday.
If your remember USC lost to the Vols in a wild game at the CLA last year.

A'ja Wilson may not be available for this game. Friday night she wasn't putting weight on her ankle as her Heathwood Hall jersey was retired. She is still day to day.

It'll be a tough task for the Gamecocks to defeat Tennessee without their All-American but we've seen stretches where USC has played without her and Dawn has the gameplan.

"I think what we do, if she's not able to play is,keep the game simple for our young post players. Just give them things in which they can remember and execute," Staley saind.

Dawn isn't worried about how her team will perform defensively she is more concerned with the other side of the floor if A'ja is out.

"Offensively it's being able to hit with a substitute for 24 points. That's, that's the hardest part so maybe we need to make sure we know where those shots are coming from to give us an opportunity to rebound the basketball and slow them down in transition."

We know Alexis Jennings, Donyiah Cliney and Lindesy Spann will need have big games for USC but here are a few players to watch if A'ja is sidelined are Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan and Lele Grissett.

Mikiah has shown the ability to step when her number is called. She provided big minutes in last year's SEC tournament and led USC in the first half against Mizzou when A'ja was saddled with fouls. Lele is a freshman still learning her way but she is a big ball of energy and should be able to provide a spark on defense and help with rebounding.

Tyasha Harris has been stellar at the point guard position finding her teammates in prime spots to score. With the possibility of A'ja not playing Harris may be in position for A 20 point 10 assist game. The assists will be there but Dawn will need her scoring.

The big thing is how well USC can defend. Mercedes Russell will be a handful inside but the Vols do play a lot of freshman so it'll come down to ball control and defending well without fouling.

There's still a lot of basketball left but if USC an beat Tennessee without their best player and avenge last year's loss then it'll be hard for Gamecock fans not to pencil in USC in the Final Four, again.

© 2018 WLTX-TV


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