3 players Dawn Staley missed out on from Spring transfer portal

The leadership of head coach Dawn Staley proved fruitful for South Carolina as they clinched the national championship this year. The program’s top player, Kamila Cardoso, declared for the 2024 WNBA draft and subsequently went to the Chicago Sky.

Dawn Staley still has a strong roster for the season ahead at her disposal, but there are some top players that Staley could have roped in from the Spring transfer portal this year.

This year Staley’s team includes freshmen like Adhel Tac and five-star high school national player of the year Joyce Edwards, while she can also pin her hopes on sophomores like Tessa Johnson and Milaysia Fulwiley. Juniors like Ashlyn Watkins and Chole Kitts too will form part of the roster ahead as will seniors like Te-Hina Paopao. Sahnya Jah entered the transfer portal this year after an indefinite suspension.

With strong players already on the roster, South Carolina seems to be destined for yet another great season. But what other players could Dawn Staley have chosen to step in Kamila Cardoso’s shoes?

3 players Dawn Staley missed out on from Spring transfer portal

#1. Kiki Iriafen

Kiki Iriafen - Women's Basketball - Stanford University Athletics

Former Stanford Cardinal transfer forward was reportedly in conversation with the basketball staff of South Carolina. But as rumors began to circulate that she was visiting USC, Dawn Staley posted her picture with Kiki. The expressions on Staley’s face in the photograph showed that the rumors were true.

Soon, Iriafen committed to USC after playing for three seasons at Stanford. She is the winner of the Katrina McClain Award and was a McDonald’s All-American 2021. She would undoubtedly have been a good addition to South Carolina.

#2. Reagan Beers

A long way from the cul-de-sac, Raegan Beers shines for Oregon State women's basketball | College | portlandtribune.com

The former Oregon State star posted an average of 17.5 points and 10.6 rebounds this season. She also had a top field goal percentage of 66.4. The 6-foot-4 guard ultimately signed with Oklahoma. She helped Oregon reach the Elite Eight contest in 2021 and could have been a nice addition to South Carolina. She was one of the eight Beavers players to register in the transfer portal this year.

#3. Kaitlyn Chen

The 5-foot-9 former Princeton guard signed with UConn after registering in the transfer portal this year. Chen averaged 15.8 ppg and 4.9 apg this year. She became the Most Outstanding Player three times and would have been a decent addition to Dawn Staley’s roster.

Kaitlyn Chen thankful she stuck with Princeton women's basketball as reigning Ivy Player of the Year eyes another title – Trentonian

In 2023, she was named Ivy League Player of the Year, averaging 16.2 ppg and 4.1 rpg. Notably, Chen ranks third in Princeton’s history in assists and 12th in points. She piled up 1,276 points, 313 rebounds and 359 assists during her time at Princeton.

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