Dawn Staley on Final Four run: ‘Our job is to win a national championship’

Dawn Staley cuts down the net after South Carolina’s Elite Eight win against Creighton. (Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks are locked in heading into Final Four weekend, with the South Carolina coach ready for March Madness redemption.

“Now it’s just making sure that our season doesn’t end or repeat itself from last season,” Staley says on the latest NetLife podcast, providing insight into her team’s mindset.

South Carolina was bounced from the 2021 Final Four with a heartbreaking loss to Stanford, which went on to claim the NCAA title.

The Gamecocks are aiming for a better outcome this year. After recording convincing wins against North Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen and Creighton in the Elite Eight, Staley says she’s pleased with her squad’s performance.

“You got Deja Kelly, who absolutely lit us up,” Staley says of the UNC sophomore. “We’re not a team that usually gives someone as many looks of what they do best,” she added, but also noted that the Gamecocks did a good job of keeping the rest of the Tar Heels under their average.

Staley also gives credit to Creighton, saying, “their style is five out, run you around, be patient enough until your defense makes a mistake, and then they make you pay for it.”  The Gamecocks, however, were able to limit the number of three-point attempts by the Bluejays and cruised to an 80-50 victory.

With the Greensboro regional behind South Carolina, Staley says the Gamecocks are entering Final Four weekend with their eyes on the prize.

“We have a job to do, and our job is to win a national championship,” Staley says. “We have a team that from top to bottom on the roster, we have enough to win a national championship.”

While Staley is focused on her mission to cut down the nets, she is also at peace with the process, saying: “Whatever becomes of the Final Four weekend is what is supposed to happen.”

Hear more from Staley on South Carolina’s lead-up to the Final Four on the season finale of NetLife.