Layshia Clarendon says Roe v. Wade decision is only the beginning
Clarendon is the first openly trans player in the WNBA.
The transfer portal is heating up and already is shaking up the NCAA women’s basketball landscape.
With the new transfer rules in place, players can opt to switch teams without sitting out a year, which raises the stakes for the 2022-23 season.
Just Women’s Sports will be keeping track of all of the players who have entered the portal and those who have chosen their new teams.
Saniya Rivers is headed back to North Carolina, with the former South Carolina guard announcing her commitment to NC State.
It’s a big pickup for the Wolfpack, who are replacing four starters from last season’s Elite Eight team. Rivers is originally from Wilmington, N.C., and is the third addition this offseason for NC State. The team has also added center River Baldwin (Florida State) and forward Mimi Collins (Maryland).
Coming out of high school, Rivers was a three-time North Carolina Player of the Year, a two-time USA Today Player of the Year for North Carolina, the USA Today National Player of the Year (2021), Gatorade National Player of the Year (2021) and a McDonald’s All-American (2021).
As a freshman, she played in 27 games for the national champions, averaging 2.3 points per game.
Georgia announced that it has signed Audrey Warren, who will be a fifth-year senior in the upcoming season.
Warren was a key player in Texas’ back-to-back NCAA Elite Eight runs, averaging 10.3 points per game in 2020-21 and 8.2 ppg during 2021-22. She also helped Texas to the Big 12 Championship in 2022.
“Audrey has a tremendous skill set on offense as a three-tier scorer,” coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said in a statement. “Her basketball IQ is unmatched. She is a relentless defender who takes pride in getting stops, and inspires her teammates to have that same mentality. Audrey is a winner and knows what it takes to compete at a high level after reaching back-to-back Elite Eights in her college career. She will make an immediate impact on our program here at Georgia.”
Former Maryland star Angel Reese is transferring to LSU, the Tigers announced.
The 6-foot-3 forward led the Terps with 17.8 points per game and 10.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore during the 2021-22 season. She was named to the All-Big Ten first team.
She joins storied coach Kim Mulkey, who is entering her second year in Baton Rouge. She won three national titles in 21 years at Baylor before moving to LSU last offseason.
“Angel is coming to Baton Rouge as one of the most dynamic players in the country,” Mulkey said in a statement. “She’s an outstanding scorer with a knack for rebounding that will make an immediate impact in our frontcourt.”
Esmery Martinez, a first-team All-Big 12 selection for West Virginia in 2020-21, is joining Arizona, she announced via social media.
The move comes after LSU announced on April 24 that it had signed Martinez, which makes her commitment to Arizona a surprise.
“Esmery is a tenacious rebounder and defender and will fit right into our system in Baton Rouge,” LSU coach Kim Mulkey said at the time.
The Wildcats have lost seven players to the transfer portal, but they have added Martinez and former Oklahoma State guard Lauren Fields to their roster.
Maryland is adding Brinae Alexander as a graduate transfer, the school announced Sunday. The forward was the top scorer for Vanderbilt last season, averaging 15.2 points per game behind 36 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Aijha Blackwell of Missouri is also on the move, transferring to Baylor. The 6-foot guard averaged 15.4 points and 13 rebounds per game during her junior season, earning Blackwell a second-team All-SEC selection.
Iowa State’s Aubrey Joens is transferring to Oklahoma, she announced Friday on social media. Joens notched 63 three-pointers last season, shooting 42.5 percent from deep.
The Arizona Wildcats have added Lauren Fields of Oklahoma State to their roster. The guard averaged 15.4 points per game in her junior year to lead the team.
Maryland’s Ashley Owusu announced Saturday that she is transferring to Virginia Tech.
The star guard averaged 14.3 points and 3.7 assists per game during her junior season at Maryland, helping her team to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament.
Virginia Tech finished with a 23-10 record last season, exiting the NCAA tournament in the first round.
Dre’una Edwards is heading to Texas, as the redshirt junior leaves Kentucky for Baylor.
In her 2021-2022 season with the Wildcats, Edwards led the team in rebounds with 8.2 per game while notching 16.9 points per game. Edwards ended her tenure at Kentucky on a high, sinking the game-winner to clinch the SEC tournament championship for the Wildcats.
The 6-foot-2 forward started her collegiate career at Utah before transferring to Kentucky in 2019.
Haley and Hanna Cavinder are transferring to Miami, the identical twins announced Thursday night.
The Cavinder sisters join the Hurricanes after three seasons at Fresno State, in which they averaged a combined 34.2 points per game.
Haley recorded 19.8 points and 9.4 rebounds in the 2021-2022 season, notching three triple-doubles and 12 double-doubles. Hanna led Fresno State in steals, posting 51 during the regular season, scoring 14.6 points per game and registering 107 assists.
“Coming into the offseason losing four impactful players, we felt like we had specific needs and Haley and Hanna absolutely helped us meet several of them,” Miami coach Katie Meier said in a statement. “They are huge pieces for our program.”
The twin guards also boast an impressive social media following, including more than 4 million TikTok followers, which has translated to lucrative NIL deals that some estimate have exceeded $1 million.
Haley and Hanna join a Miami team that finished last season with a 21-13 record and went on a postseason run that included an Atlantic Coast Conference championship game appearance, concluding their season with a second-round loss in the NCAA tournament.
Guard Chrislyn Carr, who spent last season at Syracuse and averaged 14.2 points per game, is transferring to Louisville.
The Cardinals also announced last Friday that they are adding Morgan Jones out of Florida State in addition to four freshmen.
After advancing to the Final Four last season, the Cardinals lost three starters, including two to the WNBA draft: Emily Engstler, another Syracuse transfer, and Kianna Smith.
Carr spent two and a half seasons at Texas Tech, where she was Big 12 freshman of the year in 2019, before transferring to Baylor for a semester. She then left for Syracuse.
“She fills a big need at our point guard spot, and is a talented distributor, scorer and defender,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “We believe she is a great fit for our team and are excited to have her join us.”
Princeton standout and AP All-American Honorable Mention Abby Meyers is headed to College Park.
Maryland announced Friday that it would be adding the Ivy League player of the year to its roster. Last season. she averaged 18.2 points and 5.9 rebounds en route to the Ivy League title and the NCAA round of 32.
“I chose to play my final year of college basketball at Maryland because not only am I from Maryland, but I grew up going to the women’s basketball games at the amazing Xfinity Center!” said Meyers. “I have tremendous respect for the program and all it has accomplished under Coach Frese’s leadership, and I want to help continue to build the winning legacy for the one and only Terp Nation.”
One day after participating in the championship parade for South Carolina’s national title win, guard Saniya Rivers announced via her social media accounts that she would enter the transfer portal.
Rivers was the Gatorade national high school player of the year in 2021. She averaged 2.3 points in 27 games for the Gamecocks this season.
“Thanks to coach Staley and the rest of the coaching staff and program for affording me with the opportunity to win a national championship in my freshman year with this team,” Rivers wrote. “It has truly been an experience of a lifetime.”
Also on Thursday, Tulane graduate Mia Heide announced that she would be taking her fifth year at Duke to pursue a business degree.
“I am so grateful for my time and experiences at Tulane University,” she wrote. “I will always be a proud Tulane alum.
“I am very excited to join coach Kara Lawson and the Duke women’s basketball program.”
Heide is one of the more decorated shot blockers in Tulane history, having averaged 1.4 blocks per game. She also averaged 4.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists during her career.
As of Tuesday, 1,143 Division I players are in the women’s basketball transfer portal, according to The Athletic’s Chantel Jennings. Last year, 1,197 players entered the portal.
Those numbers are nearly double that the two previous seasons. In 2019-20, 609 players entered in the portal, and in 2018-19, 641 players entered the portal.
The NCAA changed the portal rule in April 2021, allowing athletes to transfer to a different school once and play immediately. Some of the increase also could be attributed to the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also on Tuesday, University of South Florida point guard Elisa Pinzan announced that she would be transferring to Maryland for her fifth year of eligibility.
The addition of Pinzan is big for Maryland, which has lost players to both the portal and graduation. Through four seasons with the Bulls, Pinzan scored 917 points and dished out 544 assists. Last season, she knocked down 31.9 percent from 3-point range and helped the Bulls to a 24-9 record and a NCAA Tournament berth.
“While I am excited to finish my career at Maryland, I will always remember where it started,” she wrote.
The Indiana Hoosiers announced Monday the additions of Alyssa Geary and Sara Scalia to its 2022-23 roster, as well as Sydney Parish, which had been reported Saturday.
Geary is a graduate transfer from Providence, having played in 118 games there. As a senior, she averaged 9.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 blocks per game.
“We are really looking forward to getting Alyssa to Bloomington. When we called, we could tell immediately that this was going to be a good fit,” coach Teri Moren said. “She is going to give us some versatility inside. She has great length, is very skilled and can knock down the perimeter shot, along with being a phenomenal passer. She also has the ability to guard multiple positions.”
Scalia will join the Hoosiers after three seasons at Minnesota, where she recorded 1,158 total points and set a program-record in free throw percentage at 88.8 percent. A 2021-22 All-Big Ten second team selection, she led the Gophers with 17.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game en route to a second-round WNIT appearance. She also shot 41.3 percent from 3-point range.
“Sara is a phenomenal pickup for us. She is one of the very best 3-point shooters in the country,” Moren said. “It is important for us that we find players that fit our culture and mesh with our team. I think we found a perfect fit with Sara. Along with her shooting, Sara can play both on and off the ball. We have had to game plan against Sara, and she was one of the toughest players to prepare for. She has unbelievable shooting range and the ability to get to the rim.”
Former Notre Dame forward Sam Brunelle, a Virginia native, announced her commitment to the University of Virginia on Saturday.
“The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and feels even better to come back,” she wrote. “I’m coming HOME.”
Brunelle played 32 games for the Fighting Irish last season, averaging 6.8 points per game on 45 percent shooting from the field.
Also returning home is Indiana native Sydney Parrish. The former Oregon standout, with three years of eligibility remaining, announced her commitment to Indiana on Saturday.
“What up Hoosier nation, decided it was time to come home,” the guard wrote on social media.
Parrish started all 32 games for the Ducks last season, averaging 8.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and one assist per game. She was also second on the team in 3-point shooting, averaging 35 percent from deep.
Parrish’s addition helps lessen the blow for Indiana, who lose Ali Patberg, Aleksa Gulbe and Nicole Cardaño-Hillary to graduation. Parrish will join returners Grace Berger Mackenzie Holmes and Chloe Moore-McNeil as the Hoosiers look to improve upon their Elite Eight berth in 2021 and Sweet 16 run in 2022.
Oregon State forward Taya Corosdale became the fourth Beavers player to enter the transfer portal in less than a week.
The three-year starter was Oregon State’s leading rebounder last season, averaging 7.4 rebounds and 7.3 points per game.
In addition to Corosdale, sophomores Kennedy Brown and Taylor Jones entered the portal this week. Brown started in 21 games, averaging 7.9 points and 6.3 rebounds, while Jones played just nine games due to injury. Freshman guard Greta Kampschroeder entered the portal last week after starting 25 games last season.
The Beavers join Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and Oregon in having at least three players enter the portal.
The exodus from the Maryland program continued, with graduate forward Mimi Collins expected to enter the portal. According to Kareem Copeland of the Washington Post, the decision is based on education, as Collins is looking for a graduate program in communications.
Also on Wednesday, former Georgia Tech guard Kierra Fletcher announced her commitment to South Carolina. A four-year starter with the Yellow Jackets, she missed last season with an injury. During the season before that, she averaged 13 points, 3.7 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Four players announced their plans to depart from the Terrapins and enter their names into the transfer portal. The first domino to fall was junior guard Ashley Owusu, a former AP All-American and Big Ten freshman of the year.
“I have never started anything that I haven’t finished, and finishing was the plan when I decided to come to College Park,” she wrote in a post on social media. “Unfortunately, events that have transpired on and off the court this year have led me to make the very difficult but necessary decision to continue my education and basketball career elsewhere.”
Hours after Owusu’s decision was announced, sophomore starter Angel Reese also entered the transfer portal. The top player for the Terrapins this season, she became the first Maryland player to average a double-double since 1975, with a team-best 17.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.
Additionally, sophomore guard Taisiya Kozlova and graduate student guard Channise Lewis both entered the portal.
Three of Kentucky’s starters, who all helped lift the Wildcats to their first SEC tournament title in 40 years, entered the transfer portal.
Dre’Una Edwards, who joined Kentucky from Utah, was the tournament hero for the Wildcats after hitting the game-winner against South Carolina. But after just two years with the program, she has entered her name into the portal.
Massengill will be a fifth-year senior while Hunt will be a junior next season.
Additionally, Aijha Blackwell – the leading scorer and rebounder for the University of Missouri and a three-year starter – entered the transfer portal.
Blackwell marks the fourth Tigers player this offseason to announce her intent to leave the program. Senior forward LaDazhia Williams, freshman guard Izzy Higginbottom and freshman forward Kiya Dorroh are also in the portal.
After entering the transfer portal in January, former Mississippi State leading scorer Rickea Jackson announced that she would be transferring to Tennessee.
A 2019 McDonald’s All-American, Jackson led the Bulldogs in scoring her freshman and sophomore years before deciding to transfer. According to her mother, Caryn Jackson, the decision was made “for mental health reasons.”
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