May 30, 2020 

WCC Player Tracker: Rebuilds, high-profile transfers and more

Gonzaga is the best-known program, but the West Coast Conference boasts prominent new talent across all 10 teams.

Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.

Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues and grows. Subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.


The West Coast Conference isn’t “just” a mid-major. Not when it’s about to top itself in talent in the 2020-21 season, months after a youth-driven Portland squad upset nationally-ranked Gonzaga in the 2020 WCC Tournament semifinal.

This is the place to keep track of all of the player movement in the WCC — the star freshmen coming in (including an ESPN top-100 recruit, a Gatorade state player of the year and a handful of state champions), the mainstays returning to their past glory after injury, the transfers who may or may not get a shot to play in the fall and the transfers who will.

Whether the NCAA will grant one-time transfer waivers to every recent arrival is yet to be decided. Luckily, there’s also plenty of movement here that requires no guesswork.

(Updated as of November 29, 2020)


BYU

Departures

All-WCC First Team member Brenna Chase Drollinger graduated, as did Jasmine MoodyShalae Salmon and Khaedin Taito.

Leilani Otuafi transferred to Utah Valley.

Devry Millett and Luci Stewart no longer appear on the roster.

Returners

Three of BYU’s many returners — seniors Maria AlbieroSara Hamson and Paisley Johnson — started every game they played. Hamson was the WCC Defensive Player of the Year, while both she and Johnson made All-WCC teams.

The return of Shaylee Gonzales will be a huge bump for the Cougars. After being named WCC Newcomer of the Year her freshman season, during which she led the team in scoring, Gonzales missed 2019-20 with a knee injury.

Tahlia White looks to make her BYU debut after suffering an injury before her freshman season and serving a mission last season.

Arrivals

The Cougars welcome two freshmen and three transfers (two eligible in 2020-21):

  • Jane LeRoy: 5’9 guard, Utah 6A Region MVP

  • Megan Stevenson: 6’0 forward, two-time First Team All-Region in Virginia

  • Lauren Gustin: 6’1 forward, transferred to BYU from Salt Lake CC in 2019 and will be eligible in 2020-21. Career averages: 19.1 points, 13.1 rebounds

  • Tegan Graham: 6’0 guard, announced grad transfer from Colgate in April. Career averages: 7.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists

Eligible with waiver:

  • Kayla Belles: 6’3 forward, announced transfer from Michigan State in April. Sophomore season averages: 6.9 points, 4.5 rebounds


Gonzaga

Departures

Gonzaga had two seniors graduate: Katie Campbell (All-WCC Second Team) and Jessie Loera (All-WCC Honorable Mention).

Returners

Three starters, all seniors, led by WCC Player of the Year Jill TownsendJenn and LeeAnne Wirth also highlight the Zags’ returning class.

Kayleigh Truong started the last eight games of the 2019-20 season and will look to earn a starting role in 2020-21.

Arrivals

Gonzaga welcomes three freshmen and two transfers, one of whom is currently eligible.

  • Yvonne Ejim: 6’0 forward, played on Canada U19 team at 2019 World Cup

  • Lily Scanlon: 5’9 guard, played on Australia U19 team at 2019 World Cup

  • McKayla Williams: 6’1 wing, ranked No. 87 recruit by ESPN

  • Cierra Walker: 5’8 guard, transferred to Gonzaga from Vanderbilt in 2019 and will be eligible in 2020-21. Career averages: 8.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 39.2% three-point shooting

Eligible with waiver:

  • Abby O’Connor: 6’0 wing, announced transfer from Loyola Chicago in April. Career averages: 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds


Loyola Marymount

Departures

Raychel Stanley (the only player to start 30 or more games) and Cierra Belvin graduated.

Esther Oluade transferred to Panola College (NJCAA).

Brittney Reed does not appear on the 2020-21 roster.

Returners

LMU returns four starters: seniors Jasmine Jones and Chelsey Gipson (All-WCC Honorable Mention), and sophomores Aspyn Adams and Ciera Ellington (All-WCC Freshman Team).

Junior Naomi Yim, who started 15 of her 31 games played, also returns to the team in 2020-21.

Arrivals

The Lions welcome two freshman signees and three transfers.

  • Eliza Joynes: 6’5 center, experience in the Australian youth system including 2018 National Schools Basketball Championship title

  • Nicole Rodriguez: 5’9 guard, head coach Charity Elliott called her “one of the best pure shooters in Southern California” who “will immediately stretch our defense by her presence”

  • Aquira DeCosta: 6’0 guard/forward, announced transfer from Baylor in November. Freshman season averages: 3.0 points, 1.9 rebounds, 40.8% shooting

Eligible with waiver:

  • Cassandra Gordon: 5’10 guard, announced transfer from Georgetown in April. Sophomore season averages: 3.4 points, 1.8 rebounds

  • Ariel Johnson: 5’9 guard, announced transfer from Florida in April. Sophomore season averages: 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists


Pacific

Valerie Higgins led the Tigers in scoring and rebounding in 2019-20 and was one of two of Pacific’s All-WCC First Team selections. (Esther Perez)

Departures

Starters Sofie Tryggedsson and Jessica Blakeslee graduated, as did key bench player Callie Kaiser.

Loretta Kakala was not with the Tigers at the end of last season due to disciplinary reasons and is reportedly transferring.

Returners

Seniors Valerie Higgins and Brooklyn McDavid and junior Kaylin Randhawa will return to their starting roles. Higgins and McDavid were All-WCC First Team selections in 2019-20.

Arrivals

Pacific has signed three freshmen and a potentially-eligible transfer.

  • Erica Adams: 5’10 guard, head coach Bradley Davis said she is “a talented combo guard whose speed and athleticism enable her to make a difference on both ends of the floor”

  • Mia Fleming-Mullins: 5’11 forward, during senior season in California averaged 17.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks

  • Liz Smith: 5’8 guard, Davis said she’s “the consummate point guard … [s]he really can do it all … [s]he has a high basketball IQ and great court vision”

Eligible with waiver:

  • Rosie Schweizer: 6’0 forward, announced transfer from George Mason in April (never suited up for the Patriots due to personal reasons, per The Next’s Natalie Heavren)


Pepperdine

Departures

The Waves graduated six players, including starters Barbara Sitanggan (All-WCC First Team) and Paige Fecske, as well as Deezha BattleHannah Friend and Ashleen Quirke.

Danijela Milisic, a graduate transfer, appeared in four games and is no longer listed on the roster.

Destiny McAllister transferred to Division II’s University of Charleston.

Returners

Six regulars return to action for Pepperdine, including starters Monique AndriuoloMalia Bambrick and Jayla Ruffus-Milner (All-WCC Freshman Team).

Tara Dusharm, who arrived as a graduate transfer in 2019-20 before suffering a season-ending injury in the first game, also returns.

Hayley Duren, who missed the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, looks to make her first appearance for the Waves since March 2, 2018.

Arrivals

Four freshmen and three transfers make up head coach Kristen Dowling’s first recruiting class.

  • Kendyl Carson: 6’0 guard, All-Alaska First Team as a senior, but won a Washington 3A state title her junior season

  • Isabel Montoya: 5’6 guard, Dowling said “her skill of being a pass-first point guard will complement the weapons we will have next season”

  • Jane Nwaba: 5’10 forward, “her tenacity on the defensive end and unwavering presence on the boards will put a stamp on what we hope our style of play to be” (Dowling)

  • Rosemary Odebunni: 6’1 forward out of Sierra Canyon High School (No. 6 in California), Dowling thinks Pepperdine is “going to be better because of [her championship experience]”

Eligible with waiver:

  • Eve Braslis: 6’1 forward, announced transfer from Utah Valley in June. Career averages: 10.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists (started 57 of 57 games)

  • Becky Obinma: 6’3 center, announced transfer from TCU in April. Redshirt freshman season averages: 1.6 points, 1.9 rebounds (5.6 minutes)

  • Cydney Rivera: 5’8 guard, announced transfer from Collin College in July; played with Puerto Rico U19 team at 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup. Sophomore season averages: 8.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists (started all 30 games appeared in)


Portland

Alex Fowler racked up a series of honors her freshman season at Portland, including 2020 WCC Newcomer of the Year. (UP Athletics)

Departures

The Pilots lost just one starter from their WCC Tournament title-winning squad: Kate Andersen, who’s also an All-WCC Honorable Mention pick.

Megan Engesser transferred to Division II’s Black Hills State, and Shasta Parker transferred to Division II’s CSU San Marcos.

Erika Kankfelt, who redshirted after playing three games in 2017-18 and sat out the next season, did not appear in a game in 2019-20 and is not on Portland’s roster.

Returners

Alex Fowler, whose freshman season included being named the WCC Newcomer of the Year and to the All-WCC First Team and All-WCC Freshman Team, headlines a returning roster that includes fellow starters Haylee Andrews (All-WCC Second Team), Maddie Mulheim and Lauren Walker.

Keeley Frawley also returns after joining Fowler on the All-WCC Freshman Team.

Josie Matz looks to return after sitting out last season to rehab a knee injury she suffered at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Arrivals

Portland welcomes four freshmen, an intra-conference transfer and a potentially-eligible transfer in 2020-21.

  • Jacksen McCliment-Call: 5’10 guard, “a great worker and a fantastic shooter … ability to score on many levels” (Meek)

  • Tyler McCliment-Call: 6’0 guard, “a very versatile all-around player who will bring aggressive defensive play and multifaceted scoring abilities” (Meek)

  • McKelle Meek: 5’7 guard, Oregon Gatorade State Player of the Year, Oregon 6A State Player of the Year and more; head coach Meek’s daughter

  • Rose Pflug: 5’11 guard, transferred to Portland from Pepperdine in 2019 and will be eligible in 2020-21. Sophomore season averages: 6.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 35.5% three-point shooting

  • Emme Shearer: 6’0 guard, represented New Zealand in 2018 FIBA U18 Women’s Championship

Eligible with waiver:

  • Lucy Cochrane: 6’5 forward, announced transfer from Oregon in August. Freshman season averages: 1.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, 62.5% shooting (18 games, 6.6 minutes per game)


Saint Mary’s

In the Gaels’ upset win over Gonzaga on Feb. 8, 2020, Sam Simons played all 40 minutes and scored 22 points. (Saint Mary’s Athletics / Tod Fierner)

Departures

Injuries meant seven Gaels started half or more of the games they played in, including departing seniors Claire Ferguson and Tyra Moe. Also graduating: Katie Rathbun and Morgan Malloy.

Returners

Five Saint Mary’s returners started 18 or more games last season: Sam Simons (All-WCC First Team), Taycee Wedin (All-WCC Honorable Mention), Madeline HollandBrianna Simonich and Emily Codding, who returns after suffering an injury in January.

However, Simons is opting out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns.

Arrivals

Three freshmen, two eligible transfers and a recent transfer join the Gaels next season.

  • Ellie Croco: 6’1 forward, Oregon 5A first team all-state following junior and senior seasons

  • Tayla Dalton: 5’9 guard, played for several New Zealand youth national teams including in the 2019 U18 3×3 World Cup

  • Leia Hanafin: 5’11 guard, team won Australia’s 2019 U18 National Championships

  • Jade Kirisome: 5’9 guard, transferred to Saint Mary’s from Furman in 2019 and will be eligible in 2020-21. Freshman season averages: 4.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.6 assists

  • Amy West: 6’4 forward, transferred to Saint Mary’s from Liberty in 2019 and will be eligible in 2020-21. Freshman season averages: 1.3 points, 1.2 rebounds (6.0 minutes)

Eligible with waiver:

  • Ali Bamberger: 6’3 forward, announced transfer from Washington in May. Freshman season averages: 3.9 points, 2.6 rebounds


San Diego

One of three returning starters, Jordyn Edwards led San Diego in made 3-pointers in 2019-20. (USD Athletics)

Departures

Four seniors graduated, including All-WCC Honorable Mention picks Madison Pollock (starter) and Leticia Soares (started eight games), as well as starter Patricia Brossmann and Ana Ramos.

Aminata Dosso transferred to Division II’s West Texas A&M.

Returners

Three seniors-to-be who started all 31 games in 2019-20 return to the team: Jordyn Edwards (All-WCC Second Team), Sydney Hunter and Myah Pace (All-WCC First Team).

The Toreros also look to welcome back Kendall BirdKarla Martínez and Kiera Oakry, who all missed 2019-20 due to injury.

Arrivals

2020 WCC Coach of the Year Cindy Fisher signed two freshmen and a potentially-eligible transfer to her recruiting class.

  • Laura Erikstrup: 6’2 center, attended training camp for U18 Danish national team in 2018 (twin Sydney signed with Arizona State)

  • Gabby Giuffre: 5’11 guard, participated in U16 Olympic trials in 2018

Eligible with waiver:

  • Steph Gorman: 6’0 guard, announced transfer from Utah State in April. Sophomore season averages: 10.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, plus led team in made 3-pointers with 68


San Francisco

Departures

All-WCC Second Team pick Mikayla Williams and Rojeen Sharifi graduated, while grad transfer Dolapo Balogun played her final season.

Tiffany Holmes, who appeared in three games for the Dons in 2019-20, does not appears on their 2020-21 roster.

Returners

The Dons welcome back four starters: Lucie HoskovaAbby RathbunKia Vaalavirta and Leilah Vigil (All-WCC Honorable Mention).

Three players took redshirts last season: Marta GalicMarianna Klavina and Lucija Kostic.

Ioanna Krimili also looks to return after starting her first nine career games and leading the team in scoring before suffering an injury.

Arrivals

One freshman and three transfers (one currently eligible) will join San Francisco next season.

  • Jumoke Adaramoye: 6’1 forward, averaged triple-double her first three seasons in high school (points/rebounds/blocks)

  • Masha Vasileuka: 6’2 forward, transferred to San Francisco from Weatherford College in 2019 and will be eligible in 2020-21. Sophomore season averages: 18.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists

Eligible with waiver:

  • Jessica McDowell-White: 5’6 guard, announced transfer from Eastern Washington in April. Sophomore season averages: 8.7 points, 5.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds

  • Sofia Persson: 5’8 guard, announced transfer from Odessa College in April. Freshman season averages: 9.7 points, 3.3 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 39.3% three-point shooting


Santa Clara

Ashlyn Herlihy is the Broncos’ leading scorer of the 2020-21 returners and was named All-WCC Honorable Mention. (Santa Clara Athletics/Don Jedlovec)

Departures

Seven seniors graduated, including starters Tia HayNaomi Jimenez and Emily Wolph, as well as Tamia BraggsErica MeyerAddi Walters and Lauren Yearwood.

Madison Piper, a redshirt sophomore who never suited up for the Broncos, also participated in Senior Day this February.

Returners

Three starters headline the Santa Clara returners, led by All-WCC Honorable Mention pick Ashlyn Herlihy, plus Lindsey VanAllen and Merle Wiehl.

Arrivals

As expected, filling the gap left by eight departing players means a big recruiting class: five freshmen, an eligible transfer and two more recent transfers.

  • Lara Edmanson: 6’0 wing, has worked with WNBL’s Melbourne Boomers, invited to 2019 NBA Global Academy women’s camp

  • Emma Ellinghouse: 6’3 center, played for Idaho’s No. 2-ranked high school, second team all-conference as a senior

  • Katie Harris: 6’7 center, 2018 all-league selection, sister of SCU transfer Shayley Harris (listed below)

  • Ashley Hiraki: 5’6 guard, MVP of Archbishop Mitty (No. 2 team in California/USA), three-time regional player of the year as a senior

  • Anna Johnson: 5’10 guard, two-time All-CIF Southern Section, 2018 California state champion

  • Shayley Harris: 6’6 center, transferred to Santa Clara from UCLA in 2019 and will be eligible in 2020-21. Freshman season: Totaled 5 points, 9 rebounds and a block (4.8 minutes per game, 12 games)

Eligible with waiver:

  • Bryce Nixon: 5’10 guard, announced transfer from Arizona in April. Career averages: 1.4 points, 0.6 assists, 0.4 rebounds (7.5 minutes)

  • Danja Stafford: 6’1 forward, announced transfer from Eastern Arizona CC in April. Freshman season averages: 17.2 points, 15.7 rebounds (was ACCAC Freshman of the Year)

Leave a Comment