Though South Carolina has stood in their way, Mississippi State may just have what it takes to get past the Gamecocks and stand atop the SEC next season.
It is no mistake that Vic Schaefer is one of the game’s best defensive minds, as the Bulldogs continue to excel under his stewardship. Although the loss of Jordan Danberry is significant, Schaefer has a multitude of weapons at his disposal, most notably guards Myah Taylor and Xaria Wiggins along with center Jessika Carter.
Though her primary role is running the offense, Taylor has shined on the defensive end, particularly late in games. Like prior Bulldogs Morgan William and Jazzmun Holmes, Taylor is emerging into a defensive savant, as she accumulated 63 steals, this past season.
While she did not start, Wiggins was a spark plug off the bench. As Danberry stood at 5-foot-8, Wiggins stands at 6-foot-1. That said, Wiggins will likely take Danberry’s place. Her ability to create mismatches gives the Bulldogs a lethal advantage in the backcourt.
A force on the boards, Carter is most formidable on defense. Though a risk taker at times, Carter should develop into a reliable paint presence. Further, she will be an integral part of the Bulldogs overall success.
South Carolina will be dangerous next year. With names like Aliyah Boston, Zia Cooke, Brea Beal, and more are sure to impose their will on the game, next year’s edition of Bulldogs will have a counterpunch. But can Schaefer get the best of Dawn Staley? Expect Schaefer and the Bulldogs to dethrone the Gamecocks and win the SEC next season.