Creme: How the top transfers will impact basketball in 2023-24

Ignatius L Hoops

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Sep 9, 2015
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Minimal impact on the Big Ten:

The 2023-24 women's college basketball season is six weeks away, and everyone from the transfer portal is officially enrolled in their new schools. So it's time to look at what all the player movement means with a final ranking of the top transfers.

LSU doubled down on its national championship by winning the offseason too: The Tigers bring the top two transfers -- Hailey Van Lith and Aneesah Morrow -- to Baton Rouge. Coaches around the country have embraced the transfer portal as their primary recruiting tool, but no one else has done so with as much success and as quickly as Kim Mulkey. She won last season's title with nine new players, three of whom were transfers who instantly became starters. The term "superteam" gets thrown around a little too easily these days, but with Van Lith and Morrow joining Angel Reese, the Tigers will have three All-American-type players on the floor together this season.

While LSU garnered most of the portal headlines, much of its competition in the SEC changed significantly because of transfers as well. The conference will look very different in 2023-24. Thirteen of the 35 players on this list landed at SEC schools. Texas A&M and Mississippi State completely reshaped their rosters in the portal and seem primed to make a major jump in the standings. Tennessee added an entirely new backcourt, one that could score enough for the Lady Vols to compete for the conference title. Ole Miss, already a program on the rise, brought in three starters from other programs.

Much of April's analysis focused on the impact of the players' decision to transfer. Now we look more closely at how they might change their new team, and the rankings reflect that. Potential impact was as much a consideration as pure talent, and this list has plenty of both.

18. Jakia Brown-Turner, 6-foot-0, F, senior

NC State to Maryland
A four-year starter at NC State, Brown-Turner decided to return home. As a steady, dependable contributor, the 2019 Maryland Gatorade Player of the year was a vital part of the Wolfpack's recent success. Brown-Turner will now look to follow in the footsteps of recent Maryland transfer success stories like Abby Meyers, Chloe Bibby, Katie Benzan and current teammates Brinae Alexander and Lavender Briggs. She holds career averages of 10.4 PPG and 4.3 RPG, but is coming off the lowest scoring (9.1 PPG) and worst shooting season (41.0% from the field) of her career

22. Rose Micheaux, 6-foot-2, F, junior

Minnesota to Virginia Tech
After making a huge jump in her second year in Minnesota, Micheaux decided to leave the Gopher program soon after Lindsay Whalen resigned as coach. The Hokies could be the big beneficiaries of an ascending career. Micheaux went from averages of 4.7 points and 4.1 rebounds to 13.8 and 7.9, and was named honorable mention All-Big Ten. She should step into the power forward role that was held by Taylor Soule a year ago.

26. Matilda Ekh, 6-foot-0, G, junior

Michigan State to Virginia Tech
The graduation of Kayana Traylor doesn't sting quite as much with the arrival of Ekh. A 38.9% 3-point shooter in her two years at Michigan State, Ekh could be even better playing alongside Georgia Amoore. Ekh started all but two games as a Spartan and was extremely consistent, averaging 11.8 points per game each season.

30. Maddie Nolan, 5-foot-11, G, senior

Michigan to Colorado
Already with her entire veteran core returning, Buffs' coach JR Payne was able to lure Nolan to Boulder for her fifth season. While her 3-point shooting percentage dropped from 40.5% in 2022 to 34.2% last season, Nolan still gives Colorado a consistent deep shooting threat to pair with Frida Forman (39.3% 3-point shooting) to spread the floor and open room for ultra-quick point guard Jaylyn Sherrod to penetrate, and for 6-3 Quay Miller to operate in the post.

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