LSU snubbed by five-star women's basketball phenom in massive recruiting decision

In a crucial signing for head coach Dawn Staley, five-star women's basketball recruit Joyce Edwards chose South Carolina over LSU and Clemson this week.

ESPN ranks the 6-foot-2 forward second in 2024. Since 2014, Staley has recruited every top-35 local high school player, contributing to its NCAA success.

Edwards' choice might put LSU behind other collegiate basketball powerhouses in 2024 top-end recruiting. reported that Edwards visited head coach Kim Mulkey's program in September and watched a football game. 

The daughter of Shaquille O'Neal, No. 33 prospect Me'Arah O'Neal, has also been passed over by LSU. Me'Arah O'Neal picked Florida over Tigers.

LSU allegedly wants No. 1 recruit Sarah Strong and No. 3 recruit Jaloni Cambridge. Mulkey wants at least three additional recruits by next year.

The defending national champions, LSU, have seen how talented freshman can change a game. Mikaylah Williams, the No. 2 2023 recruit, scored 42 points in its triumph over Kent State. 

Williams has taken over as Angel Reese and Hailey Van Lith struggle to adapt to the new approach. Mulkey benched Reese in the second half against Kent State.

South Carolina could return three double-digit scorers in Sania Feagin, Chloe Kitts, and Ashlyn Watkins with Edwards in 2024. The Gamecocks defeated Maryland 114-76 to top the nation, surpassing LSU, which lost to Colorado last week.

Edwards said former South Carolina college standout A'Ja Wilson reinforced her decision to stay home. After defeating Maryland, they spoke at halftime.