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5/02/2023 7:10 am  #21

Re: A10 Transfer Portal Activity

UMass has added Tori Hyduke to their roster. The former GW guard did not log a lot of minutes at Drexel following her departure from GW, so this is a bit of a puzzler.

Last edited by xAC (5/02/2023 8:39 am)


5/03/2023 12:08 pm  #22

Re: A10 Transfer Portal Activity

While LaSalle went the DII route for 4 transfers, St Louis is adding 3 juco players.  Brooklyn Gray, 5'11", from Washbash Valley (ILL) College (31-2.); and Marcarvia Shavers, 6'2", and Tierra Simon, 6'1", both from Pearl River Community College (24-3) in Mississippi.  This is in addition to the previously announced 6'5" transfer from Chicago State.  Lots of height to try to help replace Brooke Flowers.  Also Julia Martinez announced that she is using her 5th year of eligibility to return to the Billikens.  

With the addition of Tori Hyduke and a recent, fourth 1st year  commitment, UMass now had a working roster of 11.  Not much height except for a 6'5" 1st year and the two 6" transfers.  Ironically, four of the five players still in the transfer portal are 6'1' and taller.  To my knowledge, Tory Verdi at Pitt still just has a roster of 6, 4 returning players and 2 first years.  Maybe he's waiting to announce a bunch of commitments at the same time. although players seem to like to announce their transfers on social media.


5/04/2023 2:06 pm  #23

Re: A10 Transfer Portal Activity

Update - When I posted last night, I incorrectly wrote the UMass still had 5 players in the transfer portal.  It was 6 until the recent news below.  And first year Chinesye Odenigbo is 6'6" not 6'5."

MaKenna White is transferring from UMass to Seton Hall, so she can play against Ber'Nyah Mayo (St Johns) for a couple of years.  The 6'2" White was usually the first player off the bench for Coach Verdi, replacing starter Angelique Ngalakulondi.  So all four of the core players/scorers with eligibility are all heading to Power conference teams that made the postseason last year.  Although White is from Western PA, I'm not surprised she didn't commit to Pitt, since she is the only regular I know of who had couple of DNP - coaches decision, during her career.  Although White has said she has matured, there might be some residual bad feelings between her and Verdi.  Just speculating.    White improved her rebounding and mid-range shooting over her 3 years.

Ironically, Pitt just added 6"2" graduate transfer Jala Jordan from Seton Hall.  Only 2 starts but 12 minutes, 5.3 ppg.  Verdi also signed a juco guard.

In discussing St Louis and Bigs, I didn't mention that the Billikens still have 6'4" Sevval Gul, who got some good minutes last season.  Their roster looks real crowded with more that 15, if you count the 3 nww juco transfers with maybe one more graduate transfer who is still listed not returning.  Although Tillet's daughter probably is probably a walk-on and not using a scholarship.  I'm not sure of Kyla McMakin's status.


5/04/2023 6:43 pm  #24

Re: A10 Transfer Portal Activity

These updates have been amazing, WMC. As far as I can tell GW has filled all of their scholarships for next season but in the WRGW interview a week or two ago McCombs seemed like they were open to adding a player or two more. Right now I think we can be a double bye contender but I'd love to hear the thoughts of others (and I realize we have 6 months until the season starts)


5/04/2023 10:23 pm  #25

Re: A10 Transfer Portal Activity

gwstudent2024 wrote:

These updates have been amazing, WMC. As far as I can tell GW has filled all of their scholarships for next season but in the WRGW interview a week or two ago McCombs seemed like they were open to adding a player or two more. Right now I think we can be a double bye contender but I'd love to hear the thoughts of others (and I realize we have 6 months until the season starts)

I think the expectation should be that WBB is a double bye contender (and I think they can get there if the important pieces stay healthy). I admittedly don't know how other A10 rosters are shaking out, but I would assume at least URI and St. Joe's would be in the mix for the top as well.

Since as of now it appears there are no open scholarships, I will say I think the team next year is looking solid, but I'm not sure it has that "extra gear" to win the A10. I was a bit surprised that McCombs said in that WRGW interview something along the lines of the team's offense being the team's calling card last year. Although the three point shooting went up, the team's scoring droughts are what often did them in. I'm not really concerned about the defense because the team did well down the stretch of the season (outside of the Davidson game disappointment due to size down low). The team wasn't going to hang with UMass and URI. That tough road swing against La Salle and George Mason was a wake up call and WBB responded well.

The questions going into next season are 1) will the team have a true PG to facilitate the offense, 2) how does the team improve its shooting/efficiency, 3) get bigger down low, and 4) find that "extra gear" to win the A10.

For 1), GW was 12th in assists per game last year. I had mentioned during the year that part of the issue in the halfcourt was that there wasn't really a true PG on the roster. Mia had the ball a lot and had some nice moments as a passer but was better off ball as a shooter. Asjah is a good connecting piece but isn't a true PG. I think there is probably a bit too much pressure on Nya to potentially become that person but we'll need her scoring as the team's expected leading scorer. I think Aurea can do a decent job potentially there but her shooting is rough and I'm not sure what her status is health-wise going into next year. Of course it can be by committee if the team moves the ball well in the halfcourt but that was not apparent on a consistent basis last season.

2) Losing Mia and Jayla is a big hit to the team's three point shooting going into next year (although the team shot under 40% from the field even with them). Given McCombs hasn't really addressed that, I'm guessing that means either she thinks the freshmen may be able to help out there or our offensive approach will change with the addition of Durant to becoming more post-oriented. Still, there needs to be enough shooting to prevent teams from packing it in. Going to have to hope both Nyas shoot teams out of the zone on a nightly basis. Sheslanie may help out there as well if she's good to go for next year. Additionally, the team needs to improve its FT shooting (12th in A10 at 69%) which will be a factor in close games.

3) I think the additions of Durant + taller freshmen have hopefully solved some of the team's height issues against the bigger teams last year. It will hopefully make the team less predictable on offense (jumper happy) and help out with defense in the post. It goes without saying that Mayowa's rebounding is amazing but the team's lack of height often times hurt defensive rebounding and gave the other team many opportunities to score. Better defensive rebounding = more chances to get out in transition which will also help with potentially less three point shooting.

4) The team returns a lot from last year which provides a high floor, but expecting a lot of internal development from a number of seniors may be a bit of wishful thinking. I'm surprised Caia didn't see more action down the stretch but a sophomore jump isn't impossible. Healthy seasons from Sheslanie, Maxine, and Aurea will help. Maren will help down low. Hopefully a freshman or two emerge but expecting a Robertson-like season seems unfair. The question is whether a combination of these pieces can replace the production of Mia + Jayla and then some. It would be nice to hit the upper 60s in scoring otherwise the defense will have to be stellar. I have to think Nya R is going to need to be at least first team A10 for the team to be where we want. She can get there, but it's a lot of pressure without more pieces for support (Mayowa + Nya L?)


5/05/2023 6:49 pm  #26

Re: A10 Transfer Portal Activity

Likewise, I believe GW should be in the running for a top spot in the conference standings, based on last. year's success and relative roster stability.  Other contenders, for the same reasons, should be URI, Richmond, St Joe's, Duquense and St Louis.  George Mason could break out of the middle of the pack, and Davidson should be pretty good.  {Big caveat that I don't know how good recruiting classes are from the high school ranks.)

Fordham has had a lot of turnover but is starting to add some transfers.    LaSalle has had transfer losses that might leave them down a bit next season.  I didn't know what to make of VCU's bad season last year and don't see much improvement   Dayton should be better but a year of two away.  Loyola Chicago should also be improved but not as much as Dayton.  

UMass has lost a lot and is looking at a long season.  I haven't seen any positive news out of St Bonaventure yet.

That said, Davidson added Charlise Dunn, another Australian, from Virginia Tech.  Listed as a 6'2" guard.  Played 11 games and scored 15 points.

Fordham add 6'1" Kailah Harris, graduate transfer from Seton Hall and Mandy McGuirk, 5'6' graduate transfer from a good Penn team.  (Lots of activity. both ways from the Hall.)

Not a transfer, but UMass recruit Aaryn Battle, 5'9" from Camden Catholic, asked for a release from her National Letter of Intent.  Seems a bit late.  The other 3 recruits seem all in on UMass, based on their twitter pages, including obviously the recent recruit..

I promise not to make this a Pitt thread, but Verdi's second transfer has a local DMV connection.  Bella Perkins is transferring after 2 season at Southern Cal.  She's from Fairfax, VA (not the LA one) , from Paul VI high school and was the 2021 Gatorade Player of the Year for VA.  5'9".  Only played 10 games due to injury, none after early January.  I didn't see Perkins as someone GW had an interest in, on the Recruits thread, although apparently a teammate went to Duke.


5/05/2023 8:51 pm  #27

Re: A10 Transfer Portal Activity

For the 2023-24 season it’s still early days, particularly for those teams with multiple roster spots to fill. So far in general, it doesn’t look like the talent transferring into the A10 is on a par with the talent leaving. From a distance, unless there are huge breakthroughs by many incoming freshmen this year, it appears that the A10 is heading for a down year and it’s unlikely that any teams will enjoy the success achieved by UMass and URI last year. The A10 regular season will have less meaning this year, but more teams will have an opportunity to win byes and ultimately, the A10 Championship. Here’s what it looks like at this moment for the A10 teams, without factoring in how each freshmen recruiting class will perform.

The top three teams from last year UMass, URI, and Fordham are all going through significant changes. UMass has lost its top 8-9 players via graduation or the portal. Their key transfers (Taylor, Mayo, White and Ngalakulandi) are going to Power 5/Big East programs. They’re bringing in transfers from the likes of Hampton, Drexel, William & Mary, and Seton Hall, so rebuilding this program will be a challenge for the new coach. URI is losing 4 starters. Incoming transfers Davis (Manhattan) and Hyman (Syracuse) will offset the losses of Cairns and Rinat at guard, but the other bench players will have to step up in the front court. They still have a star player in Toure and 3-point specialist in Phillips which is enough to contend if the other players around them perform. Fordham’s situation is much like UMass. They’ve lost most of their rotation players and have a new coach. The three transferring in will hardly offset the loss of DeWolfe, Dingle, and Downey who provided 67% of the scoring for the Rams last year. To make matters worse, Fordham has yet to secure any commitments from high school recruits thus far.

The other 2022-23 teams receiving a bye are more stable than the Top 3. St. Louis loses Flowers but 6’5” Haidara (Chicago State) comes in to replace her, and Martinez is coming back for the Billikens. There seems to be some uncertainty about McMakin’s intentions, but she’s not listed on the roster for now. Their 3 recruits are all Juco players who will come in more prepared than the typical HS freshman. Richmond kept their starting team intact and added Camden (Penn State) via the portal, so look for them to be competitive again this season. St. Joe’s lost their starting backcourt (Jekot to graduation and Mullins to the portal). Guard Welch (Davidson) joins the Hawks’ talented front line (Brugler, Smith, and Ziegler) to make St. Joe’s an early favorite to secure a double-bye in the regular season.

After GW in the standings, La Salle, Duquesne, George Mason and Davidson followed. La Salle had significant changes, losing Spruill to graduation and the Jacobs sisters (Mia and Claire) to the portal. They are adding nine players to the roster—6 recruits and three DII transfers from the portal. Definitely a rebuilding year for the Explorers. Duquesne had a young but talented team and their top 7 players are returning. They added some experience in Browne (Indiana) and Kiaku (NC Central) via the portal. George Mason has their starting team returning and a large recruiting class (6) joining transfer Williams (Radford). Like the Dukes, Davidson returns their top 7, including Deegan, who opted to stay and play. Look for Duquesne, GMU and Davidson to be competitive this season.

At the bottom of the standings last season were Dayton, VCU, St. Bonaventure, and Loyola-Chicago. Only last place Loyola had significant change. They lose top scorer Chandler (SMU) and starting guard Brown (Drake) but are getting 3 transferring in and 3 new recruits. It’s unclear whether seniors Galanopoulas and Nolan choose to stay. Regardless, it’ll probably be another tough year for the Ramblers. Dayton and VCU are standing pat, with the Flyers bringing in only a single transfer and VCU the only team without a transfer. St. Bonaventure lost Lops , their best player, to the portal (Seton Hall) and several others to graduation. They have a number of slots to fill, but as of now, gained only one portal commitment Haskell (Canisius), and none from the high school ranks. They are definitely a work in progress. Look for these four teams to stay in the bottom half of the conference again this year.

As far as GW, the good news was that no-one opted for the portal, and better yet, Blethen, Brown, Lok, and Taiwo all chose to stay. Lakstigala was a key loss. Lok was really coming around at the end of the year to become a consistent scoring threat. With better efficiency from Robertson and incremental improvement from the other returning players, hopefully GW can take their offense to the next level.

As of now, there are no apparent impact players coming into the conference via the portal. Whether that’s true for incoming freshmen is to be determined. Only 3 teams—GW, Dayton, and VCU did not lose players to the portal. The overall strength of the conference seems diminished from last season, but there’s more parity. Look for St. Joe’s, URI, Richmond, GW, Duquesne, Davidson St. Louis, and GMU to hover around the top half of the conference, with all the other teams struggling to get out of the bottom half.

Disclaimer: This information changes regularly and may already be out of date. We try to catch up when we can.

Last edited by xAC (5/07/2023 7:47 am)

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