Former GCU guard Maisa Marcal is one of a number of WAC players in the transfer portal. Courtesy Western Athletic Conference.

WBB Transfer Portal as of 4-20-2023

Well, it’s that time of year again. Thousands of Division I athletes are entering the transfer portal and testing its uncertain waters. It’s only April and so far we’ve seen many WAC women’s basketball players enter the portal. And some teams are being hit much harder than others.

Let’s recap what the women’s basketball transfer portal looks like around the WAC as of April 20, 2023. 

Abilene Christian

  • Alexis Babineaux, Sophomore C from Houston, TX
  • Reagan Fox, Freshman G from Blanchard, Oklahoma 
  • Niyah Johnson, Freshman F from Houston, TX
  • Hampton Williams, Freshman G from Salina, Kansas

None of the four Wildcat portal entries averaged more than five minutes a game and Johnson was not on the 2022-23 roster. Wildcats coach Julie Goodenough did secure a commitment from 5-10 senior guard Clare Traeger who played at Binghamton a season ago averaging 8.0 points along with 8.8 rebounds. She shot less than 25% from 3-point range and averaged 29 minutes per game. 

California Baptist

  • Sarah Lange, Senior G from Munich, Germany
  • Mia Morel, Freshman G from Madison, Wisconsin
  • Tiena Neale Junior G from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Neale was a key part of the 2020-21 WAC regular season and tournament championship team which went 26-1 overall and reached a WNIT regional title game in Dallas. That year Neale averaged 6.1 points and shot just over 31% from 3-point range in 19.5 minutes a contest. Her playing time dropped down to 11.5 minutes per game in 2022-23. Lange entered seven games this season, averaging 5.7 minutes per game and 1.4 points while Morel did not enter a game. 

Grand Canyon

  • Ellie Buzzelle, Freshman G from Rogers, MN
  • Aaliyah Collins, Sophomore G from Snohomish, WA
  • Alaina Harper, Freshman F from Hartland, WI
  • Maisa Marcal, Sophomore G from Lencois Paulista, Brazil
  • Laila McLeod, Freshman G from Dallas, TX
  • Dom Phillips, Senior F from Goodyear, AZ

Ouch. The Lopes are losing most of their 2022-23 freshman class to the portal this summer, all of whom showed potential to be stars in the WAC. They lose massive guard depth in Marcal and Collins. Forward Dom Phillips also had arguably her best season in college this year, making her another huge loss for Molly Miller. They’re essentially rebuilding this summer. Last week, it was announced that the Lopes picked up grad transfers Laura Erkstrup (University of San Diego) and Sydney Erkstrup (Arizona State). Laura appeared in all but two possible games during her career as a Torero, including a WNIT win over CBU in 2022, while Sydney appeared in 26 games last year and made 11 starts for first year Sun Devils coach Natasha Adair. 

Seattle U

  • Taliyah Clark, Sophomore G from Lynnwood, WA

Clark was a star for the Redhawks all season, especially when it counted in the postseason. She led the team with 10.8 points per game, including four 20+ point performances, two of which were in the tournament. Skyler Young was named the new Redhawks coach on April 19th, replacing Suzy Barcomb. 

Stephen F. Austin

  • Avery Brittingham, Junior F from Fort Worth, TX
  • Jordan Harrison, Freshman G from Oklahoma City, OK. Committed to WVU
  • Zya Nugent, Sophomore G from Denison, TX. Committed to WVU
  • Angel Scott, Sophomore G from Deer Creek, OK
  • Brionna Scott, Junior F from Deer Creek, OK

With the departure of Mark Kellogg, SFA seems to be in rebuilding mode due to all of these portal entries and potentially more to come. Jordan Harrison is coming off Freshman of the Year honors in 2022-23. Zya Nugent, in the Ladyjacks’ championship season in 2021-22, averaged 12.9 points and 2.5 assists. Both followed Kellogg to West Virginia for the 2023-24 season. Brittingham is coming off of a season where she averaged 10.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. The Scotts are also huge depth losses. Leonard Bishop, Kellogg’s Associate Head Coach, was introduced as the new Ladyjacks skipper on April 19. 

Tarleton

  • Emilia Axelsson, Senior F from Ragunda, Sweden 
  • Jordan Brown, Sophomore G from Plainsboro, NJ
  • Jordan Wright, Freshman G from Belleville, MI
  • Viktoria Ivanova, Junior G from Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
  • Nyajah Mitchels, Junior C from Jacksonville, NC
  • Seynabou Thiam,  C from Dakar, Senegal 
  • Jordan Wright, Freshman G from Belleville, MI
  • Mason Jones, Sophomore G from Panhandle, TX
  • Chloe Callahan, Sophomore G from Canyon, TX
  • Jenna Dick, Senior G from Langley, British Columbia, Canada

First-year head coach Bill Brock will certainly have his hands full with having to replace nine Texans who have made the decision to enter the portal. Five of the nine players averaged more than 15 minutes per contest last year with the biggest losses being Mitchels (7.9 PPG and 3.2 PPG) and Dick, who shot just under 37% from 3-point range with 42 makes from beyond the arc. 

UT Arlington

  • Reniya Jones, Sophomore G from Washington, D.C.
  • Taleyah Jones, Freshman G from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
  • Stephanie Mosley, Sophomore G from Mansfield, Texas
  • Bella Ringenberg, Freshman C from Sanger, Texas
  • Jordyn Turner, Sophomore G F from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 

UT Arlington’s first campaign in the WAC resulted in a mid-pack finish and first round tournament loss to Seattle. Although Player of the Year Starr Jacobs is set to return for one last campaign, Taleyah Jones has hit the portal. Jones, a freshman from Oklahoma, averaged 8.7 PPG and shot right at 30% from 3-point range last year while starting 14 games and averaging 25 minutes per game. The Lady Mavs other entries did not average more than 13 minutes per contest and Stephanie Mosely did not enter a game. 

UTRGV

  • Halie Jones, Junior G from Wichita, KS
  • KaCee Kyle, Sophomore G from Greenwood Village, CO
  • Tiffany McGarrity, Junior G from San Antonio, TX
  • Brianna Sanchez, Sophomore F from Edinburg, TX

Jones, Kyle, and McGarrity will be tough to replace as the trio combined to make 61 3-pointers last year which was just shy of 30% of the Vaqueros total perimeter makes. 

Utah Valley

  • Mae Afoa, Freshman F from Sandy, Utah
  • Jaeden Brown, Sophomore F from Draper, Utah
  • Shay Fano, Junior F from Spanish Fork, Utah

It was a tough campaign a season ago in Orem for Dan Nielson and the Wolverines after losing Josie Williams, Madison Grange, Megan Jensen, and Maria Carvalho. Things might get even tougher. Brown played in just 13 games before missing the remainder of the year with an injury but averaged 14.6 points and 9.3 rebounds to lead UVU in both categories. Her most memorable performance might be the 20-point and 20-rebound performance she had in a double overtime win against Grand Canyon to start WAC play at home. Fano was the veteran on a young squad and averaged 12.1 points along with 7.0 rebounds. 

*Any teams not mentioned have no players in the portal at this time and/or are leaving the WAC

 

About the author

Chelsea Mendelson

On-Air Talent and Producer with GCUTV. Former basketball player and current basketball fan. Proud to be a woman in sports.

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