COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Dawn Staley likes the direction her team is going, even if others in the women's college basketball world want more evidence of success.

The Gameoccks (12-2, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) won their SEC opener last Sunday for the first time in nine years, are second nationally to powerful Connecticut in points allowed and took apart then-No. 18 North Carolina, 79-48, last month.

There are four SEC teams in the latest Top 25 rankings, but not South Carolina.

The fourth-year coach doesn't mind at all. Staley enjoys playing away from the spotlight that typically follows league powers like No. 6 Tennessee and No. 11 Kentucky because it keeps her players focused on improving.

If the Gamecocks keep playing like they have, they won't be a secret much longer.