South Carolina women’s basketball will get what it hopes is a long NCAA Tournament run started Friday night.
But it will do so without one of its key players. Senior center Alaina Coates will miss the tournament with an ankle injury she suffered against Missouri, coach Dawn Staley announced Tuesday.
Coates was a four-time All-SEC selection, the first player in program history to accomplish the feat. She was a first-team honoree in her final two seasons as a Gamecock, including this season when she averaged 12.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Coates completes her South Carolina career as the program’s second-leading rebounder with 1,230 and second in double-doubles with 57.
The Gamecocks start NCAA Tournament play against UNC-Asheville at 5 p.m. Friday at Colonial Life Arena. USC earned a No. 1 seed for the fourth straight season, landing in the Stockton region.