USC's Japan Trip Will Benefit Staley's New Players

The South Carolina women's basketball team is Japan bound and head coach Dawn Staley talks about the opportunity that her team has to get better before the title defense gets in full swing.

COLUMBIA, SC - The Gamecocks will play Japan's national team for a series of exhibition games during their week long visit to Tokyo, Japan. They leave on Tuesday.

USC is getting a jump start on their season with 10 practices and playing some tough comp on an international stage. Staley will also see where her 2020 Olympic team will be playing as well. 

This will be the first time under Staley that the Gamecocks will compete overseas. Staley believes this trip will help her younger players the most.
"I think it helps in that you get to see who you're working with a lot sooner than later. Obviously the three players that left our program they leave big shoes to fill but the freshmen they don't know the contributions those players that left made. They're only worried about what they can make which is good," Staley said.
The freshmen will have some guidance from their new teammates as well. Rising senior A'ja Wilson competed in Russia in high school, Alexis Jennings was on Team USA's 3 on 3 team for the FIBA World Championships in 2016 and sophomore guard Tyasha Harris has also competed internationally for Team USA's U18 team in the FIBA world championships last year.
Staley also pointed out that her freshmen will need to grow up quickly which is why this trip could pay off for the young players once the season gets in full swing in the fall.
"They're going to have to play. At different spots and times of the season we're going to probably lean on them more heavily than normal so we're prepping to get them right."  


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