DeShields to visit USC?

dcloninger@thestate.comMay 10, 2014 

NCAA N Carolina S Carolina Basketball

South Carolina guard Tiffany Mitchell, right, is guarded by North Carolina guard Diamond DeShields (23) during the second half of a regional semifinal at the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, March 30, 2014. North Carolina won 65-58.


South Carolina put an exclamation point on a 29-win SEC regular-season championship when it signed top national prospect A’ja Wilson, who made an already great recruiting class the No. 2 class in the country. Most figured the Gamecocks can’t get much better than they’ll look over the next few seasons.

But they could.

A source close to the program confirmed on Saturday night that USC is under consideration to receive a visit from one of the top players in the country. National Freshman of the Year Diamond DeShields, who surprisingly requested to transfer from North Carolina after leading the Tar Heels to the Elite Eight, is thinking of taking a visit to Columbia.

DeShields, a Georgia native, was the centerpiece of UNC’s recruiting class a year ago and spearheaded the Tar Heels’ rise back into one of the nation’s best teams. She averaged 18 points and scored 648 for the season, more than any freshman in ACC history. DeShields scored 17 and 19 points, respectively, in two wins over the Gamecocks this past season, the last which eliminated USC from the NCAA tournament.

DeShields, according to other sources close to the program, was leaning toward Tennessee when she first announced her transfer. The move would make sense, as DeShields is friends with Te’a Cooper, a rising senior in her native Georgia that is also considering Tennessee. Following her mandated transfer year, DeShields could hit the court with Cooper in Knoxville.

DeShields just finished a visit to Tennessee. Georgia is also a consideration. The Gamecocks do have a scholarship to give this year, as they are one under the NCAA-mandated limit of 15. DeShields can’t play the 2014-15 season, but she can be on scholarship.

A decision on if or when DeShields could visit USC could be announced this week.

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