Gulf Coast Showcase to feature No. 2 South Carolina & No. 5 Notre Dame
ESTERO, Fla. – Three teams in this year’s Gulf Coast Showcase women’s field were among the Top-25 in the preseason USA TODAY Coaches poll that was released on Thursday afternoon. Defending National Champion South Carolina leads the pack with a No. 2 ranking followed closely by No. 5 Notre Dame. South Florida will enter the season ranked 22nd in the nation.
Previous Gulf Coast Showcase participants in the Top-25 include No. 1 Connecticut (2014 champions), No. 3 Baylor (2016 champions), No. 4 Mississippi State (2013 runner-up), No. 7 UCLA (2013), No. 8 Ohio State (2016 runner-up), No. 9 Stanford (2015 champion), No. 10 Louisville (2015) and No. 20 DePaul (2016).
The 2017 Gulf Coast Showcase women’s tournament tips on Nov. 24 with South Carolina facing Hall of Fame coach Vivian Stringer and her Rutgers squad in the second game of the afternoon session at 1:30 p.m. Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks will be led by A’ja Wilson, the Most Outstanding Player of last season’s NCAA Tournament and the favorite for the national player of the year award this season. St. John’s (22-12 last season) will face Western Michigan (19-13) in the 11 a.m. opening game.
The evening session will feature South Florida (24-9 last season with an NCAA Tournament berth) making the two-hour trek south to face Washington State, as well as Notre Dame against ETSU. The Irish, coming off its seventh-straight 30-plus win season, hopes All-American Brianna Turner can return to action after tearing an ACL in March.
The schedule for the opening round of the women’s tournament is as follows:
- 11 a.m. ET – St. John’s vs. Western Michigan
- 1:30 p.m. ET – South Carolina vs. Rutgers
- 5 p.m. ET – South Florida vs. Washington State
- 7:30 p.m. ET – Notre Dame vs. ETSU