GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA - MARCH 27: Aliyah Boston #4 of the South Carolina Gamecocks watches the Maryland Terrapins during the second quarter of play in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 27 March 2023 in Greenville, South Carolina.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Aliyah Boston’s potential final season in South Carolina didn’t end the way she wanted it to. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Aliyah Boston’s senior season in South Carolina didn’t end the way she wanted, and now it’s up to her whether it will be her final season.

The Gamecocks star, who is widely projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, told reporters that she has not made a decision on whether or not she will return for a fifth season after his team’s shock loss to Iowa in the Final Four on Friday:

“I haven’t decided yet… This decision is a big decision. I was really going to have to write out the pros and cons of everything, whether we won or not, it would still be something I would have to make.” consider.”

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said she would encourage Boston to enter the draft, in part because of the extra attention she was seeing on defense:

“I’m going to tell her to go away. There are defenses that are stacked against her that don’t allow her to play her game and it’s hard to officiate that. So I would tell her to go away. She’s great. She’s ready. She’s ready to see coverage individual. She’s ready to take the next step in the league.”

Boston entered this season as the reigning Wooden Award winner and reigning national champion with a clear path to another championship and the WNBA. Her stats took a step back from last season, mainly due to the added 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 on 56.8% shooting going into Friday.

However, Friday’s Final Four game was a different story. Boston fouled twice in the first quarter and had to sit out the entire second quarter, eventually finishing with 8 points on 2-for-9 shooting with 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 turnovers.

Those struggles were just one reason South Carolina’s undefeated season ended sooner than expected, the main reason being Caitlin Clark’s 41-point performance.

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