COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 11: Head coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts following a foul call against her team during the game against the UConn Huskies at Colonial Life Arena on February 11, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. SC won 83-65.
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Dawn Staley Gives Her Take on Paige Bueckers

Dawn Staley's University of South Carolina Gamecocks basketball squad improved their record to 23-0 on Sunday when they routed the UConn Huskies by a score of 83-65. 

While the Gamecocks' defense clamped down on the Huskies all game, UConn's Paige Bueckers still managed to score 20 points on 8-20 shooting — which clearly impressed South Carolina's legendary coach.

After the win, Staley was asked during a press conference if she sees a difference between Bueckers now and before she was forced to miss all of last season due to a torn ACL.

"Paige [Bueckers] was good when she was injured," Staley responded. "She was good in the national championship game ... I love Paige's game."

Staley is alluding to the 2022 national championship game, when her Gamecocks defeated the Huskies 64-49 — despite Bueckers scoring 14 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.

Staley then said what she'd like to see more of from Bueckers, if Staley were her head coach.

"For me, I would like for her to take more shots if I'm Geno [Auriemma], because she doesn't take bad shots. She's got great court vision, she's got great court awareness. Paige is going to be an Olympian at some point soon." 

Staley certainly knows what it takes to be an Olympian, given that she was Team USA's head coach when the women won gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Prior to Sunday's game, Staley offered some additional praise for Bueckers, via the YouTube channel. 

"She's good. I mean, there's there's no fat to Paige's game. Like, it's all lean," Staley said. "Everything that she does has a purpose. There's no wasted movements out there on the floor.

"So, if you have some slippage defensively," Staley continued, "she's going to make you pay with her shots, she's going to make you pay with her ability and her vision, she's going to make you pay with rebounding the basketball. She's that kind of player, just super well-put-together."

Clearly, Staley thinks highly of UConn's best player — although there was nothing Bueckers could have done to stop Staley's Gamecocks from dominating both ends of the court on Sunday.

In fact, nobody has been able to stop the still-undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks this season. 

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