Staley: Injured Gamecocks center Cardoso set for SEC tourney

March 2, 2022 GMT
South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso (10) blocks a shot by Alabama guard Taylor Sutton (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso (10) blocks a shot by Alabama guard Taylor Sutton (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso (10) blocks a shot by Alabama guard Taylor Sutton (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
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South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso (10) blocks a shot by Alabama guard Taylor Sutton (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
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South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso (10) blocks a shot by Alabama guard Taylor Sutton (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina coach Dawn Staley will have injured center Kamilla Cardoso as part of her rotation for the Southeastern Conference women’s basketball tournament this week.

Staley said Wednesday the 6-foot-7 Cardoso had practiced with the team this week and is expected to play when the No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Gamecocks open against either Arkansas or Missouri on Friday.

Cardoso, who is tied for second on South Carolina averaging 5.4 rebounds a game, missed Sunday’s regular-season finale at Mississippi with what Staley described as an “upper-body injury.”

Cardoso played just six minutes at Texas A&M on Feb. 24, coming out in the second quarter and not returning the rest of the game.

The Syracuse transfer is one of South Carolina’s top reserves and is third on the team in blocked shots.

Cardoso had missed two games in February when she was excused to join the Brazilian national team for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament.

The Gamecocks are seeking their seventh SEC Tournament title in the past eight years.

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