South Carolina women's basketball practice

Dawn Staley

Women's basketball coaches of the Southeastern Conference picked South Carolina to finish second in the league this season, the conference office announced Tuesday. Gamecock junior Ty Harris earned preseason First-Team All-SEC honors, while senior Mikiah Herbert Harrigan earned a spot on the second team.

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley returns six letterwinners from last season's NCAA Sweet 16 teams, including starters Harris and Herbert Harrigan, who both factored into the Gamecocks' 2017 National Championship run as freshmen. The staff then added the nation's No. 1 recruiting class, led by four of the top 11 signees, and transfer Destiny Littleton.

The Gamecocks have won the SEC regular-season crown in four of the last six seasons and the SEC Tournament title four of the last five events.

Harris is a two-time All-SEC and honorable mention All-America selection who finished the 2018-19 season as a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which recognizes the nation's top point guard. She has been part of two SEC championship teams and played a key role in the Gamecocks' historic fourth-straight SEC Tournament title in 2018. Harris is on track to become just the second person in program history to amass at least 1,000 points and 600 assists. Already the program record holder for single-season assists, she is within 102 assists of the program's career record.

Herbert Harrigan is among the league's stars after a breakout 2018-19 campaign. She finished the season ranked 35th in the nation and third in the SEC in blocked shots per game, including 16 games of three or more blocks. She averaged double-figure points for the first time in her career and posted higher scoring and rebounding averages against ranked opponents than other opponents during the season. Herbert Harrigan is fifth in program history with 152, becoming just the 13th Gamecock all-time to cross the 100-block threshold.

SEC Preseason Media Poll

1. Texas A&M

2. South Carolina

3. Mississippi State

4. Kentucky

5. Arkansas

6. LSU

7. Tennessee

8. Auburn

9. Missouri

10. Georgia

11. Alabama

12. Vanderbilt

13. Ole Miss

14. Florida

Preseason Player of the Year Voting

Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M

Preseason All-SEC First Team

Chelsea Dungee, Arkansas

Rhyne Howard, Kentucky

Ayana Mitchell, LSU

Jordan Danberry, Mississippi State

Amber Smith, Missouri

Tyasha Harris, South Carolina

Rennia Davis, Tennessee

Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M

Preseason All-SEC Second Team

Cierra Johnson, Alabama

Daisa Alexander, Auburn

Unique Thompson, Auburn

Gabby Connally, Georgia

Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, South Carolina

Ciera Johnson, Texas A&M

Kayla Wells, Texas A&M

Mariella Fasoula, Vanderbilt