Signing update: Saniya Rivers to South Carolina

Saniya Rivers adds to South Carolina’s wealth of talent. | Photo courtesy of South Carolina Athletics

The South Carolina Gamecocks have a stellar recruiting class for 2021 that features No. 2 Raven Johnson, No. 3 Saniya Rivers, No. 4 Sania Feagin and No. 14 Bree Hall. Rivers officially joined Johnson, Feagin and Hall as a member of the program by signing on Wednesday.

The South Carolina Gamecocks announced Wednesday the official signing of Saniya Rivers, the No. 3 recruit in the Hoop Gurlz Class of 2021.

Rivers, a 6-foot guard from Wilmington, N.C., won Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of North Carolina in 2019 and 2020. She averaged 25 points, 11.7 rebounds, 6.3 steals and 4.2 assists per game as a junior in high school.

Here’s what South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley had to say about the final recruit to sign to her 2021 class:

From the first time I saw Saniya play, I was hooked. I’ve seen her play so many positions, so her versatility is the thing that jumps off the page. She has a jump shot; she can get to the basket; she can shoot Stephen Curry 3s; she has tremendous court vision and is very unselfish, almost to a fault. It doesn’t stop there. Her ability to defend, to compete – she wants to win her battle on both sides of the ball, and we love that about her.

Rivers’ signing comes six days after South Carolina officially announced the signing of Atlanta’s Raven Johnson, who is the No. 2 recruit in 2021 behind only Azzi Fudd (UConn).

Johnson is a 5-foot-8 point guard who won three state championships at Westlake High School and was named Georgia Miss Basketball in 2020.

Here’s Staley on the top-ranked player in her 2021 signing class:

Raven is the ultimate point guard. She’s a two-way player in her presence on both sides of the floor as the lead guard, understanding where everybody needs to be and unafraid and unapologetic about telling people where they need to be. We couldn’t ask for a better point guard, and she’s really just scratching the surface. Her work ethic will definitely set her apart from everybody else. When I watched her play, she made her mark on defense. She takes no prisoners and is unafraid to take on a challenge.

In addition to Rivers and Johnson, No. 14 recruit Bree Hall (a 5-foot-11 guard from Ohio) signed with South Carolina on Nov. 11 and No. 4 recruit Sania Feagin (a 6-foot-3 forward from Georgia) singed with the program on Nov. 12.

Other news from Nov. 11 (National Signing Day)

No. 1 Hoop Gurlz recruit Azzi Fudd of Washington, D.C., committed to the UConn Huskies on ESPN Instagram Live on Nov. 11.

Fudd was one of the few 2021 recruits who remained undecided until National Signing Day.

Not only does UConn now have the No. 1 recruit from 2020 in Paige Bueckers and 2021 in Fudd, the Huskies also added 2021’s No. 5 recruit Caroline Ducharme, a 5-foot-10 guard. Combined with 5-foot-11 guards Bueckers and Fudd, the Huskies have a pretty solid future backcourt.

To round out its 2021 signing class, UConn also signed No. 15 recruit Amari DeBerry, a 6-foot-5 forward, and No. 30 recruit Saylor Poffenbarger, a 6-foot-2 guard.

The North Carolina Tar Heels brought in highly-ranked recruit Deja Kelly for the 2020-21 season and on Nov. 11 signed four of the Top 20 prospects from the Class of 2021: 6-foot-3 wing Teonni Key (No. 9), 5-foot-7 point guard Kayla McPherson (No. 17), 6-foot-0 guard Morasha Wiggins (No. 18) and 6-foot-3 wing Destiny Adams (No. 20).

Key remains in her home state of North Carolina but the Heels did a great job of drawing players from around the nation: McPherson from Georgia, Wiggins from Michigan and Adams from New Jersey.

The USC Trojans, who have the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation, were happy to announce the signings of No. 21 and No. 27 recruits Clarice Akunwafo and Rayah Marshall, respectively. Akunwafo is a 6-foot-5 post and the second-best in her class. Marshall is a 6-foot-3 guard and both she and Akunwafo are from California.

Maryland was one of the final four teams that Fudd considered, demonstrating that the Terrapins are still on the radar of the top players in the nation. While Fudd ultimately chose UConn, the Terps still welcome No. 22 recruit Shyanne Sellers, a 6-foot guard from Ohio. On Nov. 11 they also signed Emma Chardon, a 6-foot-3 wing from Switzerland who has quite a bit of professional basketball experience.

Another perennial power, the NC State Wolfpack, welcome No. 36 recruit Aziaha James, a 5-foot-9 guard from Virginia. They also signed Sophie Hart of Minnesota, the No. 5 post player in the class.

Joining a rising Arizona Wildcats program are No. 71 recruit and home-state star Madison Conner and No. 100 recruit Aaronette Vonleh from Oregon.

Elsewhere, head coach Kim Mulkey has been working her magic in Waco. New Lady Bear Maryam Dauda will be following a long line of successful posts at Baylor. The 6-foot-4 Dauda is the No. 13 overall recruit and the No. 1 post player in the nation.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs, meanwhile, welcome a pair of guards to their program as they look to build in the recently-started Nikki McCray-Penson era. KN’isha Godfrey, the No. 40 prospect and No. 8 point guard, is heading to “StarkVegas” from Florida, while guard Jasmine Shavers, the No. 55 recruit, will be arriving from Texas. Mississippi State also signed guard Mia Moore on Nov. 11.

The Iowa Hawkeyes snagged Caitlin Clark, the No. 4 recruit for 2020, and on Nov. 11 signed 2021’s No. 39 recruit AJ Ediger, a 6-foot-2 forward from Michigan, and No. 92 recruit Addison O’Grady, a 6-foot-3 post from Colorado. The Hawkeyes also added Sydney Affolter, a 5-foot-11 guard from Chicago.

The Tennessee Lady Volunteers are hoping to make a huge jump in head coach Kellie Harper’s second year. Prospect No. 43 Sara Puckett and No. 62 Kaiya Wynn were signed today, as was Brooklynn Miles.