Whether coaches like it or not, the NCAA transfer portal has become a crucial part of roster-building in the offseason. In addition to high school recruiting, programs now have to worry about losing players to the portal and filling gaps with transfers. Some teams are thriving in the new landscape, while others are struggling.

Here are the winners and losers of the hyper-active 2023 transfer portal season.



The additions of Hailey Van Lith and Aneesah Morrow elevate LSU as the clear winners of the transfer portal. The defending champions needed a point guard after Alexis Morris departed for the WNBA, and they got the best available in Van Lith. Her midrange game and playmaking ability will complement Final Four Most Outstanding Player Angel Reese, and she also gives the Tigers another scoring option. Meanwhile, Morrow adds another offensive threat to the frontcourt and brings even more rebounding to the Tigers’ lineup. Reese and Morrow each averaged a double-double last year and should clean up on the glass once more.

North Carolina

The Tar Heels have managed to stay under the radar during the chaos of the transfer portal, but Courtney Banghart is building a contender in the ACC. The Tar Heels lost Kennedy Todd-Williams to Ole Miss and Destiny Adams to Rutgers, but still came out on the winning side of transfer season after securing Lexi Donarski (Iowa State), Indiya Nivar (Stanford) and Maria Gakdeng (Boston College). With Deja Kelly and Alyssa Ustby already on the roster, the Tar Heels now have capable scorers at every position. Donarski and Gakdeng also bolster the team’s defense, with Donarski as an on-ball defender and Gakdeng as a rim protector.


While teams like LSU and North Carolina added several new players, UCLA added one and made it count. They needed a post presence and they got one in the 6-foot-7 Lauren Betts from Stanford. Not to mention they retained the rest of their talented roster, a difficult feat in today’s transfer era. Betts, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2022, joins No. 2 player Kiki Rice and two other top rising sophomores in Gabriela Jaquez and Londynn Jones. Add in Charisma Osborne, who chose to skip the WNBA draft in favor of playing one more season with UCLA, and the Bruins are a team that can contend for a title.

UCLA added 2022 No. 1 recruit Lauren Betts this offseason. (John Todd/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Ohio State

The Buckeyes lost Taylor Mikesell to the WNBA but gained defensive stopper Celeste Taylor out of Duke and Taiyier Parks, who returns home to Ohio after four years at Michigan State. Taylor, in particular, is a player to get Ohio State fans excited. The Buckeyes’ identity is tied to their defensive prowess, particularly their press. Taylor, a 2023 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year finalist, fits perfectly into Ohio State’s system, joining former Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Jacy Sheldon to create a dynamic backcourt that will spearhead the press.


A big reason for Colorado winning the transfer portal is that they didn’t lose any major players. The Buffs are a Power 5 program without a storied basketball history, making them the kind of team players might transfer from after a strong season. But Colorado’s core, including four starters, is returning from last season’s Sweet 16 run. One thing that was missing for the Buffs in 2022-23? Aside from Frida Formann, Colorado didn’t have any reliable 3-point shooters. That changed thanks to the addition of Maddie Nolan in the portal. The former Michigan player also gives Colorado another ball-handler to play alongside Jaylyn Sherrod.

South Carolina

Iowa exposed a weakness in South Carolina in the Final Four, and Dawn Staley remedied it by bringing in Oregon point guard Te-Hina PaoPao. The Gamecocks lost Aliyah Boston, Brea Beal, Zia Cooke, Leticia Amihere and Victaria Saxon to graduation, but with Kamilla Cardoso, Raven Johnson and Ashlyn Watkins returning, and three top-25 recruits coming in, those players won’t be as hard to replace as you might think. The Gamecocks already had starter-caliber players coming off the bench, but they didn’t have enough shooting. PaoPao provides experience and an outside threat. She made 2.3 3-pointers a game last season on 42.4 percent shooting from deep.

Te-Hina Paopao helps South Carolina replace the talent they lost after their Final Four run. (Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard/USA TODAY Sports)


The Horned Frogs haven’t had much success in recent years, winning just eight games last season, but first-year coach Mark Campbell is guiding the program in the right direction. TCU signed former Oregon player Sedona Prince, who stepped away last season with an injury and a plan to turn pro before returning to college, and former 4-star recruit Madison Connor out of Arizona. The Horned Frogs also added former Stanford guard Agnes Emma-Nnopu, who showed potential in limited minutes over three years, and Una Jovanovi, who averaged 14.6 points and 3.8 assists at Cal State Fullerton last season.



Two seasons ago, Kara Lawson made waves by bringing in eight transfers, including Celeste Taylor. This time around, the portal wasn’t so kind to the Blue Devils, who lost five players including Taylor to Ohio State and Shayeann Day-Wilson to Miami. With Elizabeth Balogun graduating, Duke’s top three scorers are gone. They signed All-ACC Freshman guard Taina Mair out of Boston College, but overall the Blue Devils lost more than they gained.

Iowa State

Iowa State’s last few seasons have centered on 2023 WNBA draft pick Ashley Joens, so the Cyclones were bound for a rebuild of some kind this season no matter what. Now, they also have to deal with the loss of Donarski, a solid defender who contributed 12.1 points per game last season, and four other players. They will also feel the absence of Denae Fritz, who averaged 8.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game before transferring to Baylor.


Oregon has talented young players like Grace VanSlooten and Chance Gray to build around, but the departure of PaoPao marks the final piece of a worrying trend. Paopao was the last remaining player from Oregon’s 2020 recruiting class. The Ducks brought in five 5-star recruits that season, and all of them ended up transferring.


Losing Morrow to LSU is enough to put DePaul in the losers category, but the Blue Demons also parted with six other players. The departures of Morrow and guard Darrione Rogers — who averaged 16.8 points, 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game last season — marks the end of an era where the Blue Demons failed to capitalize on star power. In Morrow’s two seasons, they made the NCAA Tournament once and lost in the first four games.

All-American Aneesah Morrow was one of seven players DePaul lost this offseason. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)


Head coach Adia Barnes is a renowned recruiter, but the Wildcats roster took a major blow this portal season. Arizona lost Lauren Ware, a major contributor as a freshman during the team’s run to the 2021 national championship, and Paris Clark, the No. 5 guard in the Class of 2022. The Wildcats also lost three other players. Currently, there are just five players listed on Arizona’s official roster for next season.

NC State

Last year, NC State picked up former No. 3 recruit Saniya Rivers in the transfer portal. This year, things aren’t going as well for the Wolfpack, with five players on the way out. That includes three starters in Jakia Brown-Turner, Camille Hobby and leading scorer Diamond Johnson. Brown-Turner signed with Maryland, Hobby is heading to Illinois, and Johnson has yet to make a decision.


The Hawkeyes didn’t lose or gain anyone in the portal, and that’s the problem. Iowa retains Cailtin Clark, Gabbie Marshall and Kate Martin from its starting lineup, and Hannah Stuelke will be more experienced and ready to step into a major role in the paint. Outside of that, the NCAA runners-up don’t have obvious replacements for McKenna Warnock or Monika Czinano. Iowa would have benefitted from finding a post in the transfer portal who could complement Clark’s playmaking and add depth alongside the developing Stuelke.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

Sedona Prince has withdrawn her name from consideration for the 2023 WNBA Draft.

The Oregon standout withdrew from her redshirt senior season in October due to an elbow injury. At the time, she planned to exhaust her remaining NCAA eligibility and pursue a professional career, per a statement from the Ducks.

With their withdrawal from the draft, Prince could choose to remain at Oregon, or they could choose to continue their college career elsewhere. They have entered the transfer portal, The Next’s Em Adler reported.

While Prince attempted to play through her elbow injury, further evaluation revealed a ligament tear that required surgery “in order to ensure long-term health and a sustained professional career,” she said.

“I’m heartbroken,” Prince said at the time. “I truly felt that this was the year I could showcase my work ethic and skills on the court, but also my self-growth and leadership ability.”

Prince is one of several players to opt out after initially declaring for the draft, joining UCLA’s Charisma Osborne, Arizona’s Esmery Martinez and Oregon teammate Endyia Rogers. Still more players did not declare for the draft and decided instead to use their COVID-19 eligibility years, including Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson and Tamari Key.

Prince spent her freshman year at Texas, which she missed with a broken leg, before opting to transfer to Oregon. She missed another season once she arrived in Oregon due to transfer rules, but she averaged 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game across the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons with the Ducks.

Prince has two years of eligibility remaining.

Notre Dame leading scorer Olivia Miles left the final game of the regular season against Louisville with a knee injury, putting a damper on her team’s ACC regular-season championship.

The Irish’s Feb. 26 win secured the first conference title for Notre Dame since 2019. But Miles hurt her knee while diving for a loose ball in the second quarter and did not return to the game. And she will not return for the postseason, as Notre Dame announced Thursday.

The sophomore guard missed the conference tournament, and while the Irish had left open the possibility of her return for the NCAA Tournament, the team announced Thursday she would miss the rest of the season. While coach Niele Ivey said the exact nature of Miles’ injury is “undisclosed for her privacy,” she will have surgery late next week.

Other teams, including UConn and Ohio State, also have dealt with injuries throughout the 2022-23 campaign. Just Women’s Sports lays out the most notable injured players and, where possible, the timetables for their returns.

Out for season

Olivia Miles, Notre Dame

In another blow to the Irish, the team announced Thursday that their second-team All-American point guard will miss the remainder of the season. According to the school, it was decided that she would miss the NCAA Tournament, “after consulting with the medical staff and undergoing treatment and examinations by our physicians.”

No. 3 seed Notre Dame is set to face off against No. 14 seed Southern Utah in the tournament’s first round Friday.

Dara Mabrey, Notre Dame

The fifth-year guard exited her team’s Jan. 22 win over Virginia with a knee injury. She came up with a steal just two minutes into the contest, then went down holding her knee after being fouled.

Soon after, Mabrey announced that she had torn her ACL, bringing an end to her season and her college career.

“While it certainly is not the way that I wanted to go out, I’m confident that everything happens for a reason,” Mabrey wrote in a social media post. “I know I will find peace with my situation as I recover in the coming months.

“I’m ready to continue to lead my team from the sideline. This team is special, and I can’t wait to see what we can do.”

Stephanie Soares, Iowa State

The 6-foot-6 forward tore the ACL in her left knee during a Jan. 8 loss to Oklahoma.

Soares had transferred to Iowa State from The Master’s University, an NAIA school. She twice won the NAIA Player of the Year award but also tore the same ACL ahead of the 2020-21 season.

In her final year of eligibility with the Cyclones she made her case as a WNBA prospect. She averaged 14.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game through 13 games.

“This was not how I expected my season to end, but I am thankful for the opportunities I have gotten at Iowa State,” Soares said in a statement.

Paige Bueckers, UConn

The UConn star tore her ACL in a pick-up game before the season started, and an MRI confirmed that the junior would miss the entire 2022-23 season. Bueckers quickly announced that she would be returning for her senior year and not entering the WNBA draft.

This is the second injury Bueckers has sustained during her time at UConn. Last season, she missed several months with a tibial plateau fracture that required surgery. She returned to lead the Huskies to the 2022 national championship game, where they lost to South Carolina.

Bueckers, the No. 1 recruit in 2020, was named the AP Player of the Year and the Naismith Player of the Year during her freshman campaign. Last season, she averaged 14.6 points, four rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.

The 2020-21 National Player of the Year is out for the season with an ACL tear. (Khoi Ton/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Ice Brady, UConn

UConn’s bad injury luck also impacted the No. 5 recruit in the country. Brady is out for the year after suffering a non-contact injury in practice early in the season. She dislocated the patella in her right knee and underwent surgery in October.

Ayoka Lee, Kansas State

Like Bueckers, Lee watched her season end before it even began. The Kansas State center suffered a knee injury in August and underwent season-ending surgery. The senior said she will return to the Wildcats in 2023-24.

Lee has battled knee injuries for two seasons, and Kansas State initially thought they could do maintenance in the offseason to get their best player healthy enough to play.

The 6-foot-6 senior averaged 22 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest in 2021-22, setting the NCAA women’s single-game scoring record with 61 points against Oklahoma on Jan. 23.

Lauren Ware, Arizona

The junior forward, who helped Arizona to the national game as a freshman, is out for the season after injuring her knee in August.

Ware dislocated her patella in December 2021, but after missing four games she returned for the remainder of the 2021-22 calendar. She aggravated the injury during a practice in August, and while she tried to work her way back, she had season-ending surgery in November.

As a sophomore Ware started 24 of 25 games for Arizona, averaging 5.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per contest.

Madison Greene, Ohio State

Greene took over at point guard for Ohio State in place of injured Jacy Sheldon — until she went down with her own injury in a comeback win over USF on Dec. 20.

The redshirt junior fell to the floor holding her knee late in the fourth quarter. She left the court after several minutes and was unable to put weight on her left leg, and she will miss the rest of the season as a result of the injury.

Greene missed all of the 2021-22 season due to a knee injury that required surgery. This season, she appeared in 12 games, averaging 10.9 points and 5.0 assists per game.

Aaliyah Moore, Texas

The sophomore forward will miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear, the Longhorns announced on Dec. 13.

The 6-1 forward left early in the team’s 107-54 win over Alabama State. She went down on a drive to the basket and was unable to put any weight on her leg as she left the floor.

Moore started all nine of Texas’ games before her injury, averaging  11.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest.

Texas has had an up-and-down start to the season with Rori Harmon sidelined. (Chris Covatta/Getty Images)

Returned to the court

Azzi Fudd, UConn

The sophomore exited her team’s game against Notre Dame on Dec. 4 after colliding with a teammate. While she returned after five weeks, she reinjured her knee in her second game back against Georgetown on Jan. 15, but returned for the Big East tournament.

Fudd is no stranger to injuries, as the guard tore her ACL and MCL in high school, and then missed 11 games during her freshman season at UConn with a foot injury. Prior to her previous injury, Fudd led UConn with 20.6 points per game.

McKenna Warnock, Iowa

Iowa’s senior forward injured her rib cage early in her team’s win over Michigan State on Jan. 18. She missed the Hawkeyes’ next game, an upset win over previously unbeaten Ohio State, and coach Lisa Bluder said Warnock would be day-to-day.

The senior made her return on Feb. 2 as Iowa defeated Maryland 96-82.

Kayla McPherson, North Carolina

The redshirt freshman guard made her first appearance for the Tar Heels in a win over Clemson on Jan. 29, after suffering a lower body injury during practice in October. She spent last season rehabbing a knee injury sustained in high school, and the second injury was unrelated.

McPherson has played three games for the Tar Heels, and is averaging 9.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Ashley Owusu, Virginia Tech

The guard returned to action in a win over Pitt on Thursday, January 19 after missing a month of games.

She left the Hokies’ win over Nebraska on Dec. 1 due to an injury to her shooting hand. Owusu had broken her pinkie finger and underwent surgery, coach Kenny Brooks told ESPN on Dec. 15.

The Maryland transfer was averaging 10.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists through her first seven games with the Hokies.

Rori Harmon, Texas

The Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2021-22 missed the first five games of the year for Texas with a foot injury. She was seen wearing a boot during the Longhorns’ season opener, and was day-to-day until returning to the lineup in a 74-50 win over Princeton on Nov. 27.

Kayleigh Truong, Gonzaga

The Gonzaga guard suffered a foot injury during a Battle 4 Atlantis contest against Tennessee on Nov. 21.

The senior started five games for Gonzaga before her injury, averaging 9.4 points and 4.6 assists per game. She returned on Feb. 23.

Dorka Juhász, UConn

After breaking her thumb in an 83-76 win over Texas on Nov. 14, the UConn senior was expected to miss three games. She was sidelined for her team’s wins over NC State, Duke, Iowa and Providence as well as the loss to Notre Dame.

Juhász made her return in UConn’s win over Florida State on Dec. 18, finishing with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks and 4 assists.

Diamond Johnson, NC State

Johnson suffered an ankle injury on Dec. 11 as her team topped USF 65-57. The injury took place midway through the second quarter when she went up for a fast-break layup.

The junior guard returned on Jan. 5 from her four-game absence, contributing 18 points in a loss to Boston College.

Jacy Sheldon, Ohio State

Ohio State fans rejoiced on Feb. 5 as Sheldon returned to the court for the Buckeyes in her first appearance since Nov. 30. And though the celebration was short-lived thanks to a blowout loss at the hands of Maryland, Sheldon’s return bodes well for Ohio State.

The point guard had been out with a lower-leg injury since she logged 39 minutes against Louisville on Nov. 30. The program didn’t provide specifics on her injury, but she spent time on the sidelines in a walking boot.

Grace Berger, Indiana

The senior point guard injured her knee against Auburn on Nov. 25. She missed eight games before returning to the court in a dominant win against Northwestern on Jan. 8.

“It felt really great, almost like surreal because it feels like it’s been forever since I played a game,” Berger said. “Definitely a little nervous and really anxious at first. I feel really fortunate that I had a chance to get back out there with a good bit of the season left.”

Indiana star Grace Berger returned to the court on Jan. 8. (Rich Janzaruk/USA TODAY Sports)

No. 12 seed Belmont stunned No. 5 seed Oregon 73-70 in the first round on Saturday, handing the Ducks their earliest NCAA Tournament exit under coach Kelly Graves.

Oregon, making its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance with Graves at the helm, has advanced past the second round every time until Saturday. The Ducks dealt with multiple injuries to starting players this season, leading to an up-and-down season in the Pac-12.

“I think at times our players have acted and performed entitled,” Graves said after the game. “This group hasn’t won anything. We haven’t won a Pac-12 championship. We haven’t won in the NCAA Tournament, with great depth.”

Graves also took responsibility after a 20-12 season and disappointing postseason showing.

“If I had to kind of boil the whole season down into one word, it’s ‘inconsistencies.’ Daily effort, game production, leadership, coaching,” said Graves. “I didn’t do a great job. I was inconsistent, as well. Same with my staff.”

Oregon shot 37.8 percent from the floor on Saturday, led by Nyara Sabally’s 31 points and 12 rebounds. The Ducks, however, committed 17 turnovers, allowing Belmont an opening in the double-overtime battle.

The Bruins had three starters finish in double-figure scoring. Belmont freshman Tuti Jones had a team-high 22 points to go along with six rebounds.

No. 4 seed Tennessee awaits Belmont in the second round Monday in Knoxville.

Sedona Prince is returning to Oregon for a fifth season, the redshirt junior announced Saturday on social media.

“I’ll be back next season to pursue my masters degree and a national championship,” Prince wrote. “I love you Duck Family and I’m excited to be coming back. Here’s to another.”

Prince, who was eligible to enter the WNBA Draft, is averaging 9.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 24 appearances for the 18-8 Ducks this season. Last year, the forward averaged 10.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game and sparked a gender equity movement in the NCAA after posting a video of the inferior weight-room amenities at the DI Women’s Basketball Tournament.

With Nyara Sabally declaring for the draft, Prince will give Oregon a much-needed veteran presence in the frontcourt.