Originally Posted by Gamecocks1137
Or maybe this year. Just because your a giant of a sport, doesn't mean you cannot be knocked on your ass.
I was talking about depth of talent, not beating them on the court. Of course, player development is another factor: you can stack 5*s on top of 5*s, and eventually some of them will develop on their own into great players, making you look like a great coach. The ones that don't will fall by the wayside and won't be missed too much because there will always be other 5*s coming in to take their place.
Coach Staley has been doing a stellar job finding and developing our talent: from Sutton and Grant who were 3* at best but developed into great players, from Bruner who wasn't even a 3*. Ibiam was a high 3* who is playing like a high 4* now, and Welch, Mitchell, and Coates all play as well as most 5* rated players out there do, save for the very few monsters.
Coates is almost there now, though: Kelsey Bone was the overall #2-rated prospect by Hoopgurlz in the 2009-'10 class - 2nd only to Baylor's Brittney Griner. She was on the All-SEC 2nd team and probably would've won Freshman of the Year over UK's A'dia Mathies had USC won more games. She won SEC Freshman of the Week 3 times, and averaged 13.6 pts, 8.7 rpg, and 0.8 bpg over 17 SEC games (16 reg. season gms plus 1 SECT gm). Hoopgulrz didn't utilize the star rating system back then, but no doubt if they had Bone would've been a 98-grade 5*.
Coates now already has 4 SEC FOTW honors, and is currently averaging 13.3 pts, 9.0 rebs, and 2.8 blocks per gm. with 7 more reg. season gms to go...
Jackson with Arkansas seems to be Alaina's only true threat for SEC Freshman honors, but she mostly is just a scorer and she has started every game for the Hogs, while Alaina comes off the bench to produce her numbers. Coates has the better all-around game by far with her rebounding (2nd overall in SEC play) and shot-blocking (1st overall in SEC play), and her FG% also leads the conference in conference play by a substantial amount...
In other words: remember how excited we felt about getting Bone into the program? Coates is just as good as her, and performing even better thus far, comparing both of their freshman seasons...