Arkansas transfer Maryam Dauda commits to South Carolina WBB

Former Arkansas women’s basketball player Maryam Dauda has committed to play for coach Dawn Staley in South Carolina next season, Dauda announced Wednesday via X (formerly Twitter). It’s USC’s first Transfer Portal pickup of the offseason.

Dauda played two seasons at Arkansas for coach Mike Neighbors after redshirting due to injury in 2021-22. The 6-foot-1 forward averaged 10.1 points (45% shooting), 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game last year. Dauda was Arkansas’ leading scorer, with 19 points, as the Gamecocks defeated the Razborbacks 98-61 on Feb. 29.

“She’s good,” Staley said of Dauda after the game. “A big one with great footwork. A big who can shoot the 3. A big one that keeps you off balance. I mean, she can put the ball on the floor. She’s really good. I was very, very impressed. I found myself just complimenting her on what she could do there on the floor.

She confirmed on Instagram live on Sunday that she was visiting South Carolina this weekend after visiting Baylor earlier this month.

The addition of Dauda could be big for USC as it looks to complete its “repeat tour” after winning a third national championship on April 7. She brings more post experience and skills to a team already overflowing with elite front-court talent. The Gamecocks lost just one player this season: senior center Kamilla Cardoso, who was selected by the Chicago Sky with the third overall pick in the WNBA Draft.

South Carolina also returns all of its 2023-24 starters (guards Te-Hina Paopao, Raven Johnson, Bree Hall and forward Chloe Kitts), as well as SEC Tournament MVP MiLaysia Fulwiley and All-Final Four team member Tessa Johnson. Upperclassman Sania Feagin also returns, as does Ashlyn Watkins (whose defensive rating of 68.2 led the nation last season, according to Basketball Reference). And it’s believed Sakima Walker (a senior who hasn’t officially announced her return or departure) is either.

Adhel Tac, USC’s 6-foot-2, 2024 signee who enrolled early in January to rehabilitate a knee injury, will make her college debut next season, as will Camden’s Joyce Edwards (a 6-foot-1 forward and the No. 3 overall pick recruit in the class of 2024) and Maddy McDaniel (a 6-foot-1 point guard and the No. 14 recruit in the class of 2024). Together, they make up the third-ranked recruiting class in the country behind Southern Cal (No. 1) and UConn (No. 2).

With the addition of Dauda, ​​USC now features the No. 2 (Raven Johnson), No. 4 (Feagin), No. 13 (Dauda) and No. 14 (Hall) recruits from ESPN’s 2021 HoopGurlz rankings.

Ten of South Carolina’s 13 players are former McDonald’s All-Americans: Paopao, Watkins, Tessa Johnson, Raven Johnson, Fulwiley, Feagin, Hall, Edwards, McDaniel and Dauda. The maximum number of roster spots in college basketball is 15.

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