Biggest winners in the 2022 transfer portal
Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Baylor have improved the outlook of their 2022-23 season in the transfer portal this off-season
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Once again, the transfer portal has shifted the landscape in women’s basketball for the 2022-23 season with over one thousand D-I players entering their names in the portal. Plenty of big names in the sport have been on the move, and teams across D-I have made big changes to their rosters for the upcoming season. Three schools stand out as the biggest winners in the portal this year, having reshaped their upcoming season with the additions they’ve made this off-season:
Tennessee already returns nearly 75 percent of its minutes from last season, including Jordan Horston and Tamari Key. While Rae Burrell and Alexus Dye are big losses to fill heading into the 2022-23 season, the Lady Volunteers have reloaded in the transfer portal such that Tennessee could return to the ranks as a national contender next season.
Most notably, the Lady Vols landed Rickea Jackson, who averaged 20 points in the 15 games she played at Mississippi State last season. Jackson will be a welcome addition for a team that at times struggled to score the basketball last year. The Lady Vols have also loaded up in the frontcourt with the addition of 6-foot-5-inch Jillian Hollingshead out of Georgia. Missouri State’s Jasmine Franklin, a two-time first team all-MVC selection and the 2021 MVC Defensive Player of the Year, will also join Tennessee and should be an easy fit for a defensive-minded program. Finally, Tennessee is adding Minnesota guard and 2021 second team All-Big Ten selection Jasmine Powell to their ranks.
The Hokies picked up one of the biggest names in the transfer portal, with Ashley Owusu (Maryland) joining their 2022-23 squad. Owusu, who averaged 14.2 points and 3.7 assists per game last season for the Terps, adds size and a consistent scoring threat to Virginia Tech’s backcourt. Paired alongside reigning ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley in the post, the Hokies have a duo with the potential to make a lot of noise in the ACC next season.
Virginia Tech also signed Taylor Soule, a second team All-ACC selection last season at Boston College. Soule averaged 16 points per game on over 50 percent shooting during the 2021-22 season and should be a nice complement to Kitley inside. Tack on junior point guard Georgia Amoore who led the team with 4.4 assists per game last season, and the Hokies could contend for an ACC title in 2023.
While questions remain about how all the new pieces will fit together, Nicki Collen certainly has no shortage of talent after reloading in the transfer portal this off-season. These additions should soften the blow of having to replace NaLyssa Smith and Queen Egbo, both of whom were drafted by the Indiana Fever.
Most notably, Missouri leading scorer Aijha Blackwell will join Baylor this season. While listed as a guard, Blackwell averaged a double-double with over 15 points and 13 rebounds per game last season and can help replenish some of what Smith and Egbo provided on the glass. Baylor also adds Dre’una Edwards, a 6-foot-2-inch forward who dropped 27 points on South Carolina in Kentucky’s Cinderella 2022 SEC tournament win. Other players signing with Baylor out of the transfer portal are Stanford’s Jana Van Gytenbeek and Illinois’ Erika Porter. While neither played big minutes in the 2021-22 season, Van Gytenbeek’s three-point shooting could be a welcome addition in Waco. She scored a career high 18 points from beyond the arc against Arizona last January. Porter will also add some needed depth in the frontcourt.