COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina freshman A'ja Wilson got to see many sides of her new coach Dawn Staley at the FIBA U18 Americas championship last week, not all of them pleasant.
Now that's it's over, the 6-foot-5 Wilson, the country's top high school prospect last winter, is ready to handle Staley's direction however intensely it's delivered. Wilson won the tournament's MVP as she averaged more than 19 points and eight rebounds a game for Team USA, which was coached by Staley.
Wilson expected some fire from Staley and saw the coach "get furious" at times at repeated mistakes. Wilson called it a different Staley than during recruiting when the Gamecocks beat out national champion Connecticut, North Carolina and Tennessee for her.
Staley was glad to get an early look at Wilson's ability.