South Carolina women's basketball has dominated in SEC play with three wins and new talent stepping up throughout this season's progression.
Junior forward Mikiah "Kiki" Herbert Harrigan has stepped into a pivotal starting role after challenging her emotions and maturing with the ball.
With the help of A’ja Wilson’s leadership, the 6-foot-2 offensive player has developed her shooting skills and faced offensive lapses with her team.
“That's been something we've been trying to work on: being consistent with our offense,” Herbert Harrigan said. “I think we're getting a little better executing our offense and stuff. It comes with time. We'll be fine.”
After three years, Herbert Harrigan stepped into the role that head coach Dawn Staley has watched grow over time at South Carolina. Herbert Harrigan has started the first five games this season averaging 8.4 points.
“I think with Kiki, it is she has to be a focal point to hold her interest,” Staley said. “And I think this year presents itself, although we had A’ja and Alexis in front of her, that when you have that luxury, you give a player like Kiki an opportunity to grow in that area ... it's not to say she'll step in, she'll just transition very well; it takes time to take on the role of being someone that we can give the ball to.”
Staley said that it is not an easy task to take on, what Herbert Harrigan has started doing for the Gamecocks.
“Her biggest thing is preparation,” Staley said. “Being able to prep for a game, and then she has really good results when that happens.”
Even with the inconsistent playing time that Herbert Harrigan has experienced this season, she has an average of 21.2 minutes per game.
One of Herbert Harrigan’s sweet spots for shooting is the right corner. This is where she feels the most comfortable on the court.
Being able to get off the bench and contribute to the game is what Staley believes is helping Herbert Harrigan continue to advance her skills.
The inconsistent playing time for Herbert Harrigan is only fueling her drive when coming off of the bench and shooting the ball accurately.
“Just being confident like coach says and just keeping my emotions in check, so not letting people affect my play,” Herbert Harrigan said.
This is just one of the things that she has worked on the past two seasons and she has seen an improvement in her shooting, rebounding and blocking as a Gamecock.