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NCAAW Transfer Portal: Taylor Mikesell is the latest high-profile player to switch teams

Formerly of Maryland, Taylor Mikesell is headed to Oregon. Her former teammate, Shakira Austin, is going to Old Miss. They are just two of the top-tier college players taking their talents elsewhere.

Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament - Championship
Taylor Mikesell (right) and Shakira Austin (left) bonded as teammates at Maryland. Both will be playing in different uniforms next season.
Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

On Saturday, former Maryland Terrapins sharpshooter Taylor Mikesell revealed her decision to sign with the Oregon Ducks, who lost stars Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally and Ruth Hebard to graduation and the WNBA.

Mikesell joins a surprisingly large number of player entering the NCAA transfer portal this offseason, and some of those decisions may have to do with players and coaches not seeing eye-to-eye. Most often, however, players have good reasons to transfer, such as academics or seeking to be closer to home. But it would not be good to see players rejecting guidance or trying to build super teams at the collegiate level.

Still, no matter the reasons, Mikesell and her peers are flexing their power to direct their own careers.

Here are the recent top-tier transfers, their statuses within the portal and what they’ll bring to their new teams:

Taylor Mikesell

Transferred from: Maryland Terrapins

2019-20 stats per game: 11.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.4 steals

Transferred to: Oregon Ducks

2020-21 NCAA status: Ineligible to play due to transfer rules

Feature: Taylor Mikesell puts in the work to be a great shooter

As a freshman at Maryland, Mikesell set the Terrapins’ all-time record for 3-pointers made in a single season (95). As a sophomore in 2019-20, her numbers dipped across the board. Yet, she still shot over 40 percent from 3-point range in each of her two seasons — 42.2 percent as a freshman and 40.5 as a sophomore. With 3-point threats Ionescu and Sabally going No. 1 and No. 2 overall in the 2020 WNBA Draft, and a good up-and-coming shooter in Holly Winterburn transferring to UC Davis, Oregon could use a 3-point specialist and Mikesell’s upside is really good.

DiJonai Carrington

Transferred from: Stanford Cardinal

2019-20 stats per game: 7.6 points, 5.2 rebounds (played in just five games)

Transferred to: Baylor Lady Bears

2020-21 NCAA status: Eligible

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 30 Div I Women’s Championship - Third Round - Missouri State v Stanford Cardinal
DiJonai Carrington (with ball) helped lead Stanford to the Elite Eight in 2019.
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Carrington may be the best player to have entered the transfer portal this year. She averaged 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds as a junior at Stanford in 2018-19 before playing in just five games in 2019-20 due to injury. After considering UConn and Oregon, Carrington signed with Baylor and the Lady Bears are lucky to have her as a weapon against top rivals like the Huskies and Ducks. ESPN ranked Stanford No. 2 heading into next year in its projection published on March 25. Baylor, meanwhile, was ranked fifth.

Carrington just shifted the balance of power in women’s college basketball quite a bit.

Destiny Slocum

Transferred from: Oregon State Beavers

2019-20 stats per game: 14.9 points, 4.7 assists, 2.9 rebounds

Transferred to: Arkansas Razorbacks

2020-21 NCAA status: Eligible

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Albany Regional-Oregon State vs Louisville
Destiny Slocum was a highly anticipated recruit as a freshman at Maryland and her college career hasn’t disappointed.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Slocum, a battle-tested Pac-12 standout who played two seasons with Oregon State after starting her collegiate career at Maryland, has transferred again. Will the third time be the charm for Slocum with the Arkansas Razorbacks? She saw more playing time as a Terrapin than she did as a Beaver, but upped her playing time by 2.6 minutes in the 2019-20 season, her second in Corvallis, where she starred alongside Mikayla Pivec. Slocum will replace Arkansas graduate Alexis Tolefree and join Chelsea Dungee and Amber Ramirez to form a dangerous 3-point shooting backcourt in Fayetteville.

Shakira Austin

Transferred from: Maryland Terrapins

2019-20 stats per game: 12.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.3 blocks

Transferred to: Ole Miss Rebels

2020-21 NCAA status: Ineligible to play due to transfer rules

Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament - Championship
Shakira Austin was an All-Big Ten Second Team selection in 2019-20.
Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Maryland head coach Brenda Frese was very high on Austin during her freshman year and envisioned her as an early first-round WNBA Draft selection. But Austin has now departed Maryland after two seasons. She is a great blocker with help from her 6-foot-5 frame and sharp instincts. Austin is also fast for a post player and, therefore, can beat opponents off the dribble and drive from the top of the key. Her inside moves and touch both improved in 2019-20 as well. Austin will be a great help to Ole Miss. Still, it’s surprising that she would leave what could have been a title contender in Maryland to play for a team that went 0-16 in SEC play for the 2019-20 season.

Destiny Pitts

Transferred from: Minnesota Golden Gophers

2019-20 stats per game: 16.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists (15 games)

Transferred to: Texas A&M Aggies

2020-21 NCAA status: Ineligible to play due to transfer rules

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 07 Big Ten Conference Women’s Tournament - Indiana v Minnesota
Destiny Pitts (with ball) only played half of the 2019-20 season but went 46 percent from downtown with 45 makes.
Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In 2019-20, Pitts was the best player on a Minnesota team that seemed like it was going places. The Golden Gophers went undefeated in non-conference play in 2018-19 when Pitts was a sophomore and playing under first-year head coach Lindsay Whalen. But Minnesota couldn’t sustain that success long enough to make the NCAA Tournament. Any hope they had of bouncing back in 2019-20 ended when they went on a five-game losing streak that lasted from late-December to mid-January, and Pitts was suspended for “body language” and subsequently left the team midseason.

Kierstan Bell

Transferred from: Ohio State Buckeyes

2019-20 stats per game: 10.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals

Transferred to: Florida Golf Coast Eagles

2020-21 NCAA status: Ineligible to play due to transfer rules

Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament - Championship
Kierstan Bell is bringing her high-energy play from Ohio State to Florida Gulf Coast.
Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Bell was a big-name recruit (No. 8 according to HoopGurlz) in the high school class of 2019 and became Ohio State’s second-leading scorer for the 2019-20 season. She scored 14 points in the team’s signature win over then-No. 2 Louisville (Dec. 5). The 6-foot-1 Bell is a tall, athletic guard who can do it all on offense. Florida Golf Coast went 30-3 for the 2019-20 season but is undergoing a complete reload with its three tops scorers — Keri Jewett-Giles, Davion Wingate and Nasrin Ulel — all graduating. The Eagles are hoping Bell and their six other new players can fill the void.

Chloe Bibby

Transferred from: Mississippi State Bulldogs

2019-20 stats per game: 8.2 points, 5.4 rebounds

Transferred to: Maryland Terrapins

2020-21 NCAA status: Ineligible to play due to transfer rules

Mississippi State v Stanford: Greater Victoria Invitational
Chloe Bibby (left) will bring a versatile skill set to Maryland.
Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images

Bibby was a key member of the Mississippi State Bulldogs’ starting lineup in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. Before sustaining an injury in the middle of the 2018-19 season, Bibby was averaging a career-best 11.9 points per game. She was a rotation player as a freshman when Mississippi State made a run to the national championship game and lost to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Bibby is a 6-foot-1 forward who will bring experience and leadership to a Maryland team that lost four seniors to graduation and two others to the transfer portal.

Leigha Brown

Transferred from: Nebraska Cornhuskers

2019-20 stats per game: 14.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists

Transferred to: Michigan Wolverines

2020-21 NCAA status: Ineligible to play due to transfer rules

NCAA Womens Basketball: Nebraska at Iowa
Leigha Brown (with ball) could form a dangerous “Big Three” with Naz Hillmon and Amy Dilk at Michigan.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska intended for Brown to be its leading scorer — but in a unique way, by coming off the bench. Brown, a 6-foot-1 forward, was named the Big Ten’s Sixth Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2019-20. She wanted to be closer to her home in Auburn, Indiana, and will have the chance to play at least one season with Naz Hillmon and Amy Dilk, who have the Wolverines on the rise. Hillmon and Dilk will be juniors in 2020-21 and Brown will join them on the court in 2021-22 if not granted a waiver sooner.

Zaay Green

Transferred from: Tennessee Volunteers

2019-20 stats per game: 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds (two games)

Transferred to: Texas A&M Aggies

2020-21 NCAA status: Redshirt

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament - Mississippi State vs Tennessee
Zaay Green has the potential to become a star at Texas A&M.
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Green, a 6-foot-0 guard, averaged 9.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists as a freshman in 2018-19 before an ACL tear limited her to just two games in 2019-20. She will join Pitts in College Station as the two try to help the Bulldogs make up for the loss of Chennedy Carter — the most prolific scorers in the nation before being selected at No. 4 overall in the 2020 WNBA Draft. Green was the No. 10 overall recruit in 2018.

Jaden Owens

Transferred from: UCLA Bruins

2019-20 stats per game: 2.6 points, 1.2 assists

Transferred to: Baylor Lady Bears

2020-21 NCAA status: Ineligible to play due to transfer rules

UCLA v Washington
Jaden Owens chose not to compete for the starting point guard spot at UCLA after the departure of Japreece Dean.
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Owens was the No. 13 overall recruit in 2019, but only played around 10 minutes per game during the 2019-20 season. She may find success as a point guard at Baylor, however. The Lady Bears used one-guard transfers Chloe Jackson and Te’a Cooper to help them find success in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, respectively. Jackson made the game-winning layup in the 2019 NCAA Tournament championship game. Cooper, meanwhile, averaged 13.6 points and 4.6 assists during her one year in Waco and was selected No. 18 overall by the Phoenix Mercury in the 2020 WNBA Draft.

Maori Davenport

Transferred from: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

2019-20 stats per game: 2.7 points, 2.3 rebounds

Transferred to: Georgia Bulldogs

2020-21 NCAA status: Ineligible to play due to transfer rules

Indiana v Rutgers
Maori Davenport (left) will try to help the Bulldogs improve on their 17-14 (7-9 SEC) record in 2019-20.
Photo by Benjamin Solomon /Getty Images

Rutgers hoped Davenport, a 6-foot-4 center, would help bring the Scarlet Knights back into national prominence. The team had an NCAA Tournament-worthy season, but Davenport failed to contribute in any significant way. The 2019 No. 14 HoopGurlz recruit will be closer to her Troy, Alabama, home while attending school in Athens.