Gamecocks Taken Back-to-Back in WNBA Draft

Gamecocks Taken Back-to-Back in WNBA Draft
(Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA) (Source: Sideline Carolina)

COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina women's basketball seniors Mikiah Herbert Harrigan and Tyasha Harris were taken in back-to-back picks in the 2020 WNBA Draft tonight, giving the Gamecocks seven first-round picks in the last six seasons. Herbert Harrigan was taken sixth overall by the Minnesota Lynx, while Harris was chosen seventh by the Dallas Wings.

Herbert Harrigan was part of three SEC Tournament titles, two SEC regular-season championships and the 2017 National Champion as well with her game and contributions growing year after year. Her steady improvement culminated in a team-high 13.1 points per game this season on career-best 50.6 percent shooting that included 43.5 percent from 3-point range. Herbert Harrigan earned her first All-SEC recognition this season and went on to be the SEC Tournament MVP after averaging 14.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over three games at the event. Herbert Harrigan stands second in program history in career blocked shots (tied with Alaina Coates) and is one of just three Gamecocks all-time to combine 200 blocks with 1,000 career points.

In her four seasons as the Gamecocks' point guard, Harris set program records for career assists (702) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.55) and tied the record for games played (139). She earned All-SEC honors three times, including first-team selection this season, which also saw her add All-America recognition and the Dawn Staley Award to her trophy case. Harris was a finalist for every national player of the year award as well. As a freshman in 2016-17, she organized and facilitated a team that featured four future WNBA draftees, helping the Gamecocks to SEC regular-season and tournament titles and their first National Championship. Harris' scoring increased each season of her career, which ended with a 12.0 scoring average on 42.6 percent field goal shooting, including 38.4 percent from 3-point range. Her senior leadership and command of a young team guided South Carolina to another sweep of the SEC - 16-0 for the regular-season championship and another tournament title - and the first No. 1 ranking in both final national polls in program history. She recorded 11 double-doubles in her career and handed out five or more assists in 79 of her career 139 games (56.8 percent) and led the team in assists in 102 career games.

In all, South Carolina women's basketball now has 12 WNBA draftees, including nine taken in the first round. The first Gamecock of the Staley Era to be drafted was Aleighsa Welch, chosen in the second round by the Chicago Sky with 22nd overall pick in 2015. A year later, Tiffany Mitchell became Staley's first Gamecock to go in the first round, matching the program's highest selection at the time with the ninth pick overall (Indiana Fever). After a trio of Gamecocks were among the first 10 selections on the 2017 draft, A'ja Wilson became the program's first overall No. 1 pick in 2018, going to the Las Vegas Aces.

Of Staley’s first six draftees, four went on to be selected to the WNBA All-Rookie Team, including WNBA Rookie of the Year selections Gray (2017) and Wilson (2018). Wilson was named a WNBA All-Star in each of her first two seasons as well.