April 7, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Dawn Staley, South Carolina and Caitlin Clark

Host Howard Megdal recaps South Carolina's championship game defeat of Iowa, Dawn Staley's legacy, and all things Caitlin Clark

On an extra special Locked On Women’s Basketball episode, host Howard Megdal calls in from Cleveland to talk listeners through the details of this historic national championship game that caped off such a historic season. Howard describes the details of South Carolina’s 87-75 defeat over Iowa and the cementing of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley‘s legacy. He also dives deep into the mark Caitlin Clark is leaving on the NCAA, and the sports of women’s basketball overall. Lastly, ten-year old Juliet Megdal makes an appearance to share the youth perspective.

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Howard opens the show by describing both Caitlin Clark’s and Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder‘s reactions to South Carolina’s victory. “They both basically threw their arms up in the air and said, ‘what more can you do?'” Bottom line, Howard continues, “South Carolina was unbeatable. Everyone contributed.” Howard also elaborates specifically on Bluder’s reactions to Staley’s accomplishments. “Dawn Staley is the leader of women’s basketball right now,” Bluder told Howard. “She is the person we are all looking up to.” In most years, as Howard explains, the undefeated South Carolina would be the big story emerging out of women’s basketball. This, however, was not the case in the 2023-24 season – one can easily guess why – but Staley didn’t get frustrated. Rather, she helped allow the story to be the “incredible depth of talent we are seeing in women’s basketball,” as Howard puts it.

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Howard moves onto discussing Caitlin Clark’s accomplishments from Sunday’s final, and from her career overall. Immediately, Howard debunks the myth that not winning a championship will be used against Clark. “South Carolina proved today that championships are won by teams,” Howard states. “Clark had some talent on her; she was not alone.” And though she didn’t always have the deepest talent surrounding her, Clark “elevated her teams to back-to-back national tournaments.” Other players like Hannah Stuelke and Kate Martin also stepped up and made huge differences on the court.

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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

The viewership that this team, this tournament, and this season drew made it clear that people want to watch women’s sports. “It resonated in ways we have not seen before,” Howard asserts. And the ten-year old agreed. Hearing people talk about Caitlin Clark with awe and admiration at school, Juliet said, “felt like lightning.” And she believes Caitlin Clark can bring many of these fans and admirers her from the NCAA to the WNBA.

Make sure to subscribe to the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast to keep learning about the WNBA, women’s college basketball, basketball history and much more!

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