Player of the Week: South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso

With Impressive Kamilla Cardoso Stats At the Final Four, South Carolina Star is the Player of the Week

Brazil Native Helped South Carolina Win A Pair of Women’s Division I National Titles

Kamilla Cardoso finished her college career in style as she led South Carolina past Caitlin Clark and Iowa as the Gamecocks ended the 2023-24 season as the 10th NCAA Division I women’s basketball team to finish a season undefeated. Kamilla Cardoso’s stats showed that she led the national champions in both scoring and rebounding.

South Carolina won five of its six games in the NCAA tournament by double digits. In the national title game, South Carolina topped Iowa 87-75 to cover as the 6.5-point favorite as South Carolina came through in the best NCAAB bets.

South Carolina entered the Final Four as the favorite at -200 to win the national title compared to +300 odds for Iowa. When taking a peek at the free NCAAB bets, South Carolina was priced at -275 to win the game outright.

With double-doubles in both games in the Final Four, Cardoso was named the Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four. She is the first player from outside the United States to be named the MOP in the women’s Division I Final Four since Baylor‘s Sophia Young in 2005.

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Quite The Three-Year Run

Kamilla Cardoso was a top-10 rated recruit who opted to begin her collegiate career at Syracuse.

As a freshman, the 6-foot-7 Cardoso started 22 of 24 games at Syracuse. She averaged 13.6 points, eight rebounds, and 2.7 blocked shots per game while shooting 57.6 points per game.

Syracuse went 15-9 in games that Cardoso played in during the 2020-21 season.

It was a different deal when she made the decision to transfer to South Carolina.

Cardoso played in 101 games at South Carolina, with the Gamecocks posting a 98-3 record in those games, with two national titles and three Final Four appearances.

South Carolina finished the 2023-24 season with a 38-0 record to join the 1985-86 Texas Longhorns, the 1997-98 Tennessee Volunteers, the 2011-12 Baylor Bears, and the UConn Huskies teams during the 1994-95, 2001-02, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2013-14, and 2014-15 seasons as the undefeated NCAA Division I women’s basketball teams.

Taking Advantage of Her Opportunities

In Cardoso’s first two seasons at South Carolina, she didn’t start a game since the Gamecocks had All-American Aliyah Boston on the post.

After averaging 13.3 and 18.9 minutes in those two seasons, Kamilla Cardoso’s stats saw her minutes per game average jump to 25.4.

Cardoso had 16 double-doubles as a senior. She averaged career highs with 14.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 59.4% shooting.

Her most memorable moment was a desperation 3-pointer late in the SEC semifinals against Tennessee when it looked like South Carolina would suffer its first loss of the season.

Cardoso’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer was her first 3-point attempt since she missed her only attempt as a freshman at Syracuse.

Saving Her Best For Last

When looking at Kamilla Cardoso’s stats, in her first three collegiate seasons, Cardoso averaged 6.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocked shots per game in the NCAA tournament.

With South Carolina losing all five of its starters from the 2022-23 team that lost to Iowa in the national semifinals,

Cardoso was among the returning players expected to play a more significant role.

Due to her role in an altercation in the SEC tournament final against LSU, Cardoso was suspended for South Carolina’s NCAA tournament opener.

Cardoso had three double-doubles in five games during the 2024 NCAA tournament. She averaged 16.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocked shots in the tournament.

When looking at the over/under betting options in the national title game, her  17 rebounds allowed her to come through as a top player prop bet even though she fell one point short of the -130 odds to have at least 16 points.

In wins over North Carolina State and Iowa at the Final Four, Cardoso averaged 18.5 points, 15 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots to be named the Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four.

Next Stop: WNBA

Cardoso is considered to be one of the top prospects for the April 15 WNBA Draft.

She could have returned for a fifth season due to the NCAA adding a year of eligibility due to COVID-19 but she declared for the draft before the start of the Final Four.

She has been showing up in mock drafts around picks No. 5 and 6 but has come in as high as No. 3 after Iowa‘s Clark, and Stanford’s Cameron Brink.

As a native of Brazil, there are some potential national team conflicts for the team that drafts Cardoso.

Assuming that Clark lands in Indiana and Brink is selected by Los Angeles with the second overall pick, perhaps Cardoso goes to Chicago with the third pick, Los Angeles with pick No. 4, or Washington with the sixth selection.
Dallas picks fifth but adding another post player seems unlikely for the Wings.

For NCAAB betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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