News on women’s basketball transfers (including additions to the transfer portal) from NCAA D-I schools. Items listed in reverse chronological order.
Oregon head women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves continues to add to his 2023-24 roster, as he announced Wednesday the signing of South Florida transfer and five-star guard Priscilla Williams.
Williams, standing 6-foot-2, spent the 2022-23 season at USF after beginning her collegiate career at Syracuse in 2020-21. Coming out of Branson (Mo.) High School, Williams was ranked as the nation’s No. 9 recruit and No. 3 guard in the 2020 class and was part of Syracuse’s No. 4-rated recruiting class.
In her freshman campaign with the Orange, Williams appeared in 21 games while making 20 starts, averaging 8.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. She cracked double figures nine times with two 20-point efforts. She shot 37.5 percent from the floor and 37.0 percent from 3-point range.
Williams’ career-high 26 points came against Miami (Fla.), as she went 9-for-9 from the field and 6-for-6 from behind the arc on her way to being named ACC Freshman of the Week. She tied SU’s program record with eight 3-pointers, coming against Lincoln, and grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds to go with 15 points for her first career double-double against Boston College.
After missing the entire 2021-22 season, Williams played in 17 games with USF a season ago as she recovered from an injury. Averaging 6.6 minutes a game, Williams scored 38 points (2.2 per game), grabbed 18 rebounds (1.1 per game) and shot 40.9 percent from deep (9-for-22). She produced a season-best 12 points in 12 minutes, going 4-for-6 from 3, in a 75-50 win over La Salle.
Williams helped the Bulls to a 27-7 record and an eight-seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, where USF reached the Round of 32.
She began her prep career in 2016-17 at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas, before transferring to Branson (Mo.) High School for her final three seasons. Williams averaged 30 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks a game as a senior while guiding the Pirates to a 17-14 record. In addition to being rated a five-star prospect, Williams was selected to the 2020 McDonald’s All-America Team and named to the Jordan Brand Classic roster. She was also tabbed a first-team all-state pick in Missouri by USA Today and a Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Class 5 all-state honoree in 2019 and 2020.
Williams will join the nation’s 18th-ranked recruiting class for next season, according to espnW. The class includes three four-star players ranked in espnW’s top 100 in Sofia Bell (No. 26), Sammie Wagner (No. 42) and Sarah Rambus (No. 66). The Ducks also added Lane College transfer Bella Hamel, the Northwest Athletic Conference player of the year, senior guard Kennedi Williams, who transferred after four seasons at Liberty and Miami (Ohio) senior transfer guard Peyton Scott.
Williams will enter the 2023-24 season as a redshirt sophomore with three years of eligibility remaining.
Saint Louis transfer Kiley Bess (6-0 JR guard, Poplar Bluff, MO) has landed at Indiana State.
Indiana State head women’s basketball coach Chad Killinger announced the addition of guard Kiley Bess to the program Wednesday.
“Kiley comes from a basketball family and it shows. She has an incredible work ethic, high basketball IQ and gives us another versatile player that can play a couple different positions,” Killinger said. “I’ve known about her since my days coaching in Moberly and have always had a great deal of respect for her family. She is someone that we expect to come in and provide some leadership while giving us another shooter on the perimeter. We are excited to watch her game continue to evolve and believe her experience will enhance our ability to move our program to another level.”
White, a 6-0 guard from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, comes to Terre Haute after spending the last three seasons at Saint Louis. She appeared in 34 games for the Billikens, making one start. After seeing limited playing time in the 2020-21 season as a freshman, Bess enjoyed a breakout sophomore season in 2021-22 where she averaged 6.5 points and 3.3 rebounds while making 1.4 3-pointers per game off the bench for SLU.
A season-ending injury in early February cut her 2021-22 campaign short, but Bess was able to return to the court to play in 10 games in the 2022-23 season for a Saint Louis team that won the A-10 Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. She had a season-high nine points and three rebounds in a road win at St. Bonaventure, knocking down 3-of-4 3-point attempts.
Bess’ sophomore season saw her emerge as one of the top options off the bench for Saint Louis, as she averaged nearly 25 minutes per game in 16 appearances. She scored in double-figures six times for the Billikens, including a career-high 18 points in a win over Southeast Missouri State. Bess also had a career-high six rebounds in the aforementioned against SEMO, one of 13 games in the 2021-22 season where she grabbed three or more boards. She made her first career start in an overtime win over St. Bonaventure, playing a career-high 43 minutes and finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists. Bess had a stretch of three straight games where she dished out multiple assists, with SLU earning wins over St. Bonaventure and VCU in that span. Her 22 3-pointers were third-most on the Saint Louis roster, despite missing the final month of the season.
Michigan State grad transfer Jayla James (6-1 SR wing, Upper Marlboro, MD) has landed at Manhattan. She spent her freshman year at Penn State. Raven James, her sister, is the Jaspers’ director of basketball operations.
Head coach Heather Vulin is thrilled to announce the sixth member of the incoming women’s basketball class, Jayla James, a 6-1 guard.
She joins the incoming class of Teagan Young, Kristina Juric, Nitzan Amar, Ymke Brouwer, and Caroline de Klauman.
“To say we are excited to have someone of Jayla James’ talent level and character is an understatement,” added Vulin. “I have known Jayla since she was in elementary school when I first started recruiting her older sister, Raven, who is now on my staff. Jayla is a dynamic wing that can score at all three levels and defend anyone on the court. We love her length and athleticism and that she wants to come to Manhattan College and make a statement for her remaining year of eligibility. #JasperNation is going to love her!”
James will arrive in Riverdale after spending the three prior seasons at Michigan State and her freshman year in Happy Valley at Penn State. While a Spartan, James appeared in 40 games and drew one start. Last year against Florida A&M, James contributed five points on a perfect 2-2 from the field and grabbed one rebound in the game. James is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten recipient. While a Nitty Lion, James appeared in 17 games in her freshman year.