South Carolina's Aliyah Boston, projected No. 1 WNBA Draft pick, says she hasn't decided on 5th year
Aliyah Boston's senior season at South Carolina didn't end the way she wanted, and it's now up to her if it will be her final season.
The Gamecocks star, who is widely projected to be the No. 1 pick of the 2023 WNBA Draft, told reporters she has not made a decision on whether to return for a fifth season after her team's stunning loss to Iowa in the Final Four on Friday:
"I haven't decided, as yet ... This decision is a big decision. I was going to have really write down the pros and the cons of everything, whether we won or not, it would still be something I would have to consider."
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said she would encourage Boston to enter the draft, partially due to the extra attention she was seeing on defense:
"I’m going to tell her to go. There are defenses that are played against her that won’t allow her to play her game and it’s hard to officiate that. So I would tell her to go. She's great. She’s ready. She's ready to see single coverage. She’s ready to make the next step to the league."
Boston entered this season as the reigning Wooden Award winner and a reigning national champion with a clear track to another championship and the WNBA. Her stats took a step backward from last season, mostly because of the extra defensive pressure she faced throughout the season, but still reflected a formidable player: 13.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2 blocks per game with 56.8% shooting entering Friday.
The Final Four game on Friday was a different story, though. Boston picked up two fouls in the first quarter and had to sit out the entire second quarter, eventually finishing with 8 points on 2-of-9 shooting with 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 turnovers.
Those struggles were just one of the reasons South Carolina's undefeated season ended sooner than anyone expected, with the biggest reason being the 41-point performance of Caitlin Clark.