Kamilla Cardoso will not make her regular season WNBA debut with the Chicago Sky for some time, with the Chicago Sun-Times reporting Monday that she's expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks with a shoulder injury. 

The No. 3 overall pick in last month’s WNBA Draft suffered the knock in the team’s preseason game this past Friday. She hasn’t fully participated in practice since, and will await reevaluation while undergoing recovery measures. 

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That timeline means that she won't be suiting up for the team’s May 15th season opener, with her potential return estimated around June 17th. Depending on her status, Cardoso might miss up to 13 games total, an absence that could have a serious impact on team development.

Fellow Sky rookie Bryanna Maxwell — drafted by Chicago No. 13 overall this year — will also be out three to four weeks with a knee injury.

"They’re working their butts off to get better and get themselves back into it," Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon told Sun-Times reporter Annie Costabile. "This is a long season. We want to make sure we take care of each player."

Cardoso is coming off of an undefeated NCAA national championship run with South Carolina, where she was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player. A two-time national champion, the 6-foot-7 center racked up six points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of Friday's 92-81 loss to the Lynx before exiting the game due to injury.

A WNBA League Pass error left fans scrambling to watch Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso make their preseason debuts for the Chicago Sky in Minneapolis on Friday. 

Despite indicating streaming availability via YouTube before tip-off, the evening’s game was later removed from the league’s platform. With no streaming options — along with no live TV broadcast — WNBA fan Alli Schneider began livestreaming the game on X from her seat inside Target Center. As many as 400,000 people logged on to watch the game live, and by Saturday, the resulting two-hour video had amassed over 2 million total views. 

In the lead-up to the preseason showdown, fans on both sides voiced frustrations over the WNBA's error. The league apologized in response, saying their app was "incorrectly showing that every preseason game (including CHI vs MIN) is available on League Pass."

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"The growth is happening so fast, it’s so accelerated. Business as usual isn’t going to work anymore, you’re going to get left behind," Reeve said of the blunder. "This is an example... We have to capitalize on those things."

Sky coach Teresa Weatherspoon echoed Reeve's sentiments, calling it "awesome" that so many fans followed along via Schneider's DIY livestream.

"We would love for us to be on and for everyone to take a look, especially for this team, you have a great group of young women who are exciting to watch play," said Weatherspoon. "Tonight we had an opportunity to kind of get a feel for where we are and what we need to do. It’s awesome to know that a lot of people really tuned in."

On the court, Reese had a near double-double in her first professional outing, notching 13 points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes. A viral pass inside to set up fellow rookie Cardoso's bucket served as the icing on the cake. The Sky ultimately lost to the Lynx 92-81, despite Minnesota newcomer Alissa Pili netting just two points and one rebound in 13 minutes of playing time.

Due to overwhelming fan demand, the WNBA confirmed today that it will indeed stream the Sky's next preseason game against the New York Liberty on League Pass. The two teams square off on Tuesday, May 7th at 8 PM ET.

Top-ranked South Carolina was up by three points against No. 11 Utah with just under five minutes left in the game. Te-Hina Paopao dribbled up the court to the elbow and released a jump shot. 

Her shot dropped into the hoop. Three minutes later, Paopao had the ball in the key again. She dribbled closer and closer to the basket and was approaching traffic. She lifted her arms to shoot as she ran, and her shot fell into the hoop again as her arm hung in the air. 

Paopao’s last-minute points kept her team afloat in a difficult matchup. The game remained close until the final buzzer, but Dawn Staley’s squad secured the victory against Utah, 78-69, to remain undefeated this season. 

The Gamecocks faced their toughest challenge of the year against Alissa Pili and the Utes. Pili dropped 21 points in the first half, and she only played 13 of the 20 minutes after getting into foul trouble. 

Kamilla Cardoso got into foul trouble herself after being called for three charges on Jenna Johnson, who put on a foul-drawing clinic against the defensive powerhouse. 

When Pili returned to the court in the second half, she did so in her usual form. Pili rained buckets on South Carolina, finishing the game with 37 points, a career-high. No other Utes came close to her offensive contributions, and the only other Utah player to reach double-digits was Dasia Young with 10 points. 

The Gamecocks spread the love on the scoreboard with four players in double-digits and 26 bench points. 

South Carolina was plagued by turnovers in its closest game of the season. Utah forced 23 turnovers and collected 11 points in transition, but they weren’t enough for the Utes to earn their first win against a first-ranked squad.

South Carolina dominated Morgan State on Wednesday night, but did so with a different starting lineup than previous games.

Both Kamilla Cardoso and Raven Johnson started from the bench in favor of Sakima Walker (in place of Cardoso) and freshman guard Tessa Johnson (in place of Raven Johnson).

Following the game, head coach Dawn Staley gave insight into the decision, noting that both had broken a team rule.

“They broke a team rule. They took it on the chin, we kept it moving, we’re good,” she said. “Nothing long-lasting.”

Ultimately, Staley said she “liked” putting out a different starting lineup, as it allowed for some different looks. Tessa Johnson finished with 16 points, while both Johnson and Cardoso finished in double-digits off the bench.

“I think we gained some valuable minutes, valuable instances for, like a Tessa,” Staley said. “Tessa is right there. She just needs more opportunities to play, and it gave her an opportunity to play. [Te-Hina Paopao] playing the point just solely, I thought she did a great job running the team, keeping it simple. And they were able to just bank some threes and open the floor up for us.”

No. 1 South Carolina only allowed 19 points in its rout of Mississippi Valley State on Friday, setting a program record for the fewest points allowed in a game. 

The Devils actually opened the game with a lead. They sank the first basket, and then the Gamecocks came to life. They went on to win, 101-19 — an 82-point margin. 

Seven South Carolina players registered double-digit numbers on the scoresheet, including Kamilla Cardoso, who put up a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Cardoso has four double-doubles in the Gamecocks’ five games. MiLaysia Fulwiley led her squad in the score column with 17 points. 

Cardoso’s stifling defense no doubt played a part in South Carolina’s victory. The six-foot-seven senior batted down five blocks, a third of her team’s total. The Gamecocks forced 19 turnovers and collected 20 points off the takeaways.

Te-Hina PaoPao returned to South Carolina’s lineup against Mississippi Valley and she contributed significantly to her team’s success. She is one of the seven players that reached double-digit scoring numbers with 10 points on the night and she grabbed 8 rebounds. 

“It makes a big difference to have someone like Pao who’s always cool, calm and collected,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said to Greenville News. “You have to guard her, and she doesn’t take bad shots. It was great to have her back on the floor.”

Sh’Diamond McKnight led the Devils in scoring with eight points. Her squad shot just 12% from the field and they scored just seven points in the second half.

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese headline the watchlists for end-of-season Player of the Year awards.

The Iowa guard and LSU forward are coming off career seasons, as Clark swept the national awards but Reese and the Tigers beat the Hawkeyes in the national championship game. Both are among the front-runners for the Naismith Trophy and the Wade Trophy, two of the most prestigious individual honors in women’s college basketball.

The watchlist for the Naismith Women’s Player of the Year award includes 50 names. While Clark is the lone representative for Iowa, LSU leads all schools with four players: Reese, Flau’jae Johnson, Aneesah Morrow and Hailey Van Lith.

UConn has three players on the list in Paige Bueckers, Aaliyah Edwards and Azzi Fudd. Other notable names include Stanford’s Cameron Brink, South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso, Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes and Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson.

The watchlist for the Wade Trophy, presented by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, includes just 16 players, listed below. LSU leads with three, and UConn and Virginia Tech have two each.

Wade Trophy: 2023-24 preseason watchlist

  • Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech
  • Cameron Brink, Stanford
  • Paige Bueckers, UConn
  • Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina
  • Caitlin Clark, Iowa
  • Aaliyah Edwards, UConn
  • Rori Harmon, Texas
  • Mackenzie Holmes, Indiana
  • Rickea Jackson, Tennessee
  • Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech
  • Ta’Niya Latson, Florida State
  • Olivia Miles, Notre Dame
  • Aneesah Morrow, LSU
  • Alissa Pili, Utah
  • Angel Reese, LSU
  • Hailey Van Lith, LSU

South Carolina basketball has a new look for the 2023-24 season.

The Gamecocks graduated all five of their starters, including the quartet often dubbed “The Freshies.” WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston, alongside Zia Cooke and Brea Beal, started in nearly every game since their freshman seasons, and they leave big holes to fill in their absence.

Still, head coach Dawn Staley is excited for the next group to step into the starting roles.

“It’s a totally new starting five starting from scratch, so I’m excited,” she said. “I’m excited to see how they come out and play, and what they can do when they’re put under that pressure.”

Leading the new starting five are senior center Kamilla Cardoso and junior Raven Johnson. The Gamecocks also added two key transfers in the offseason in Te-Hina Paopao and Sakima Walker.

Young talent, including Chloe Kitts and Ashlyn Watkins, also could factor in, as both have shown promise during preseason. Either way, Cardoso has been tasked with becoming a bigger leader on the team.

“Kamilla has to step into the role of being our dominant post on the inside,” Staley said. “She’s very very unselfish, and at times, much like Aliyah, she’ll pass out to people who shoot half her field goal percentage, and you can’t do that. You have to bet on yourself sometimes … We want Kamilla to be a leader.”

Team USA took home silver at the FIBA AmeriCup, falling to Brazil in the championship game, 69-58.

Rickea Jackson led the United States in that game with 17 first-half points. She finished with a game-high 22 points, adding eight rebounds, one steal and a block. LSU star Angel Reese had four points and six rebounds for the squad, which featured a roster full of college stars.

Reese finished the tournament with three double-doubles and 78 rebounds through seven games. Jackson, meanwhile, led Team USA in scoring during the tournament and earned a spot on the All-Star Five.

“All the credit to Brazil, they have a ton of experience,” Jackson said. “They’ve been together for many years and for this USA team to come down here, only being together for two weeks and still making it to the championship game, just says a lot about our toughness and our grit. We’re a very young team, but I feel like we showed we can hang with anybody.”

South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso starred for Brazil, scoring 20 points and 11 rebounds in the championship game to help clinch the gold medal for her team.

It was the USA’s second loss to Brazil during the tournament, following a loss during group play. Other than those two games, the U.S. went undefeated in the tournament. Head coach Kamie Ethridge praised her players Sunday, noting that they were part of a “young team.”

“I hope they take away that they shouldn’t back down to anybody. USA Basketball shouldn’t be satisfied with gold, that’s just in us. We need to win gold,” she said. “But we put this team in a position that was almost an impossible thing that we were asking them to do, and they almost did it anyway.”

Reese called it a “blessing & honor” to play for Team USA during the offseason before she gears up for a title defense with LSU.

“Such a blessing & honor to play with this team!” she wrote. “Even though we fell short, I loved every moment of being able to represent my country! BACK TO WORK!”

During the 2023 WNBA Draft on Monday night, the Washington Mystics selected Stephanie Soares with the fourth pick before promptly trading her to the Dallas Wings. In return, the Mystics received picks in the 2024 and 2025 drafts.

Soares was a sought-after prospect in this year’s draft — 6-foot-6 forward who can shoot 3-pointers is hard to come by. But the Mystics were willing to deal her because of the strength of the next two WNBA draft classes.

With a fifth year of NCAA eligibility still on the table for players as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, several of the top upcoming prospects could declare for next year’s draft or the 2025 draft. Between the two, WNBA teams will have a deep group of prospects to choose from. Here are the top 10 in those classes.

1. Caitlin Clark, G, Iowa

The Iowa guard is one of the most well-rounded prospects we’ve seen in a long time. Her scoring, passing and rebounding skills make her a triple-double threat every game and could set her up to be the No. 1 draft pick in 2024 or 2025 (depending on when she declares). Clark is known for her scoring ability — she can shoot from almost anywhere — but it’s her passing ability, both in the halfcourt and on the fastbreak, that makes the Iowa star a potential No. 1 pick.

2. Cameron Brink, F, Stanford

Brink is the kind of player that will have WNBA coaches and executives salivating. A big with guard skills is one of the most coveted player types as the WNBA continues to evolve into a positionless league. Brink is already a top shot-blocker and scorer on the inside. If she continues to develop her 3-point shot, the Stanford forward will become even more sought after at the next level.

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Angel Reese was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading LSU to the NCAA title. (C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

3. Angel Reese, F, LSU

The reigning Final Four Most Outstanding Player arrived at Maryland in 2020 as the top-ranked wing in the country. Over the next two years, she played mostly as a post for the Terrapins. Now at LSU, she does a bit of both. Reese’s versatility makes her a player who can fit on any roster, and she’s polished enough to make an immediate impact. Add in her elite rebounding skills, and Reese can expect to hear her name called early on draft night.

4. Olivia Miles, G, Notre Dame

Notre Dame’s point guard is known for her creativity on the court. From facilitating to manufacturing opportunities for herself, it’s hard to predict what Miles will do next. And when it comes to setting up her teammates, there is no one better at understanding tendencies and putting players in positions to score. An injury stopped her from playing in the NCAA Tournament, but I’ve seen enough of Miles to know she’s a future WNBA star.

5. Rickea Jackson, F, Tennessee

Jackson was slated to be a top draft pick this year before deciding to come back to Tennessee for a fifth season. She played her first three years at Mississippi State under three different coaches, so the stability of having coach Kellie Harper for two seasons at Tennessee will be great for Jackson’s development. But even without that, she’s a promising prospect. Jackson is a proven scorer who is strong around the basket and can attack off the bounce. Her 6-2 frame is ideal for the WNBA and will be an asset on defense as well.

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Paige Bueckers missed the entire 2022-23 season for UConn after tearing her ACL. (G Fiume/Getty Images)

6. Paige Bueckers, G, UConn

While a healthy Bueckers could be a No. 1 draft pick, her injuries over the last two seasons are cause for concern. Still, Bueckers was named Player of the Year as a freshman for a reason. She’s been pro-ready since she set foot on UConn’s campus. If she can put together a full season without an injury, the guard will be a top pick. And even if she doesn’t, Bueckers is so skilled that WNBA executives will likely take the risk anyway.

7. Aaliyah Edwards, F, UConn

As injuries plagued UConn this season, Edwards proved she can be the centerpiece of a team. No matter who else was on the court, Edwards performed. Like Reese, she was tabbed as a wing coming into college, so she is able to attack off the bounce and defend on the perimeter. Another versatile prospect, Edwards will be a good get for any team.

8. Elizabeth Kitley, C, Virginia Tech

Kitley could have been a first-round draft pick this season if she didn’t elect to come back to Virginia Tech for a fifth year. Kitley has improved every season, winning ACC Player of the Year in both 2022 and 2023. Her body control on both ends of the floor makes her difficult to guard and difficult to score over. At 6-6, she has the ability to extend to the free-throw line, and her shooting stroke can likely be developed beyond the arc.

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Kamilla Cardoso has all the tools to thrive in the WNBA. (Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

9. Kamilla Cardoso, C, South Carolina

Cardoso has spent the last two seasons coming off the bench behind this year’s No. 1 pick, Aliyah Boston, but make no mistake, she would be starting on any other team. On several occasions this year, it was Cardoso who made the difference for the Gamecocks when teams tried different defenses to slow them down. She’s 6-7 with good hands, making post-entry passes easy for her teammates. And on the other end of the floor, Cardoso is a skilled shot blocker.

10. Jacy Sheldon, G, Ohio State

Ohio State’s point guard missed most of the year due to injury, but an impressive March Madness improved her draft stock so much that Sheldon could have been a 2023 top-five pick if she hadn’t opted to return for a fifth year. She has the ability to be the best offensive and defensive player on the court in any given game. Sheldon also possesses a toughness that WNBA teams will like.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

South Carolina needed a spark. The No. 1 Gamecocks were struggling with No. 15 UCLA, a team rife with crafty guards and hungry for an upset.

Enter Kamilla Cardoso.

The 6-7 center joined the Gamecocks last season after a successful freshman year at Syracuse, where she averaged 13.6 points and 8 rebounds per game. Playing at South Carolina was different, especially with Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Aliyah Boston ahead of her in the rotation.

But Cardoso had clear talent, and on Tuesday, when South Carolina needed her most, the junior stepped up. She contributed 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks off the bench to help lift the Gamecocks to a 73-64 win, their 17th straight against ranked opponents.

In tandem with Boston, who was hounded by the UCLA defense, Cardoso owned the paint. Boston finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks, and the post duo impressed head coach Dawn Staley. 

UCLA opted to put a defender on Boston at all times and played a zone around her, helping down anytime she caught the ball. It was a successful strategy for much of the first half, but when Cardoso got going, it proved impossible for the Bruins to guard her and to stop Boston at the same time.

Having Cardoso as another scoring option inside made the difference for the Gamecocks. 

“If they can play together and play like they did tonight, it gives us another layer of people having to scout us in a different way,” Staley said.

The bulk of Cardoso’s contributions came late in the game, as she put up 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks in the fourth quarter.

Offensively, her size and strength in the low post was too much for UCLA. The Gamecocks were able to loft the ball up into her outstretched arms, and she finished with ease around the rim. She also grabbed key offensive boards for putbacks that halted any defensive momentum for the Bruins.

And when UCLA’s guards attacked the rim, Cardoso blocked or altered their shots. She helped South Carolina hold UCLA to just 20% shooting in the final period as the Gamecocks pulled away for the victory.

“This is the kind of performance we want to see from Kamilla on a consistent basis, and I think we will,” Staley said.