The transfer portal has been good to the Colorado women’s basketball team the past couple of years and the Buffaloes are hoping it can be again this year.
With several players graduating or transferring out of the program, CU has four open scholarships for the 2022-23 season and plans to fill those spots through the NCAA transfer portal.
“We’re just like everybody else in trying to bolster all areas of the floor,” CU head coach JR Payne said.
Two years ago, CU got wing Tayanna Jones as a transfer from Georgetown and she has been a rotational player off the bench.
Last summer, the Buffs picked up center Quay Miller and guard Tameiya Sadler from Washington. Both were significant contributors this season, as the Buffs (22-9) went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nine years.
Only seven of the 15 scholarship players on last year’s roster will be back – including Jones, Miller and Sadler. CU is losing four players to graduation, one to medical retirement and three transfers. Two of CU’s graduating seniors – Sila Finau and Peanut Tuitele – are also transferring for their final year of eligibility.
Next year’s roster will be boosted by four incoming freshmen, including posts Ally Fitzgerald and Brianna McLeod and wings Lizzie Holder and Jada Wynn.
“We love the four we signed,” Payne said. “We think they fill needs that we have. They have great size, they are gym rats, they are good kids, they’re great students. They’re awesome. We targeted them and love them.”
To fill out the roster, CU won’t add any more high school recruits but has been extremely busy since the end of the season in recruiting transfers. There are more than 1,000 women’s basketball players in the transfer portal, including 40 from Pac-12 schools.
CU is loaded at guard next year and is light on experience in the frontcourt, but Payne said the Buffs are looking at all positions as they strive to build the roster.
“We are open to everything right now,” she said. “I believe very strongly in what we have and that everyone can improve. But, we’re trying to win a championship. We’re trying to compete for a Pac-12 championship, so we need to recruit the best players in the country every single year. If they’re coming out of the portal with three years of eligibility or one year of eligibility, then that’s what we’re trying to do.
“We tell people all the time, we will play who we feel gives us a chance to win ballgames.”
Payne added that she’s not worried about any current players getting upset if the Buffs add a transfer at their particular position.
“The players on next year’s roster right now are people that want to compete,” she said. “Our kids want to compete and feel confident in who they are and what they bring to the table.”