Cal Women's Basketball Roster Outlook
Two transfers means that Cal WBB will be looking for offseason reinforcements
After taking stock of the MBB roster situation last week, it’s time to do the same for the Cal women. When we last left off, I was trying to decide how much hope to carry into the 2022-23 season after another year filled with limited wins and bad circumstances.
Alas, now we have to discuss transfers out of the program. Sophomore forward Dalayah Daniels announced her decision to transfer away from Cal on March 21, and junior guard Cailyn Crocker did the same on March 31.
That’s two rotation members who won’t be on the roster next year, which means that after appearing to be full up on scholarships entering the off-season, Charmin Smith now has two open scholarship slots to play with:
WBB allows for 15 total scholarships, though many WBB programs don’t fill up all 15. Sierra Richey may have been on scholarship last year, though she came to Cal as a walk-on.
Again, every player is listed based on their college basketball eligibility rather than their actual number of years on campus. For example, Cailyn Crocker just used her 2nd year of basketball eligibility, but has already graduated from Cal and will be grad transferring with two years left.
Karisma Ortiz has been in college for four years (one year at Penn State, two at Texas, and now one at Cal) but has only played in one season that for sure counts against her eligibility after losing one season as a transfer, another season to COVID, and finally a 3rd season to injury. I have no early idea how many years of eligibility she has left, so the chat above is merely my best guess.
Similarly, Jadyn Bush presumably has one more year of eligibility left after using two years at Harvard prior to the pandemic and playing 12 games at Cal this year before suffering a season ending injury. She wasn’t honored on Senior Day this year so I am assuming she wants to return next season for her 6th year of college.
Cal will be bringing on Bella Stevens next year as a preferred walk-on.
If nobody transfers, here’s the scholarship roster breakdown by position*:
Point Guards: Leilani MacIntosh
Combo Guards: Jayda Curry, Amaya Bonner, Alma Elsnitz
Wings: Jazlyn Green, Mia Mastrov, Karisma Ortiz, Ornela Muca
Posts: Evelien Lutje Schipholt, Jadyn Bush, Michelle Onyiah, Fatou Samb, Sela Heide
For the sake of class balance, it would make the most sense for Cal to either bring on a grad transfer with a single year of eligibility left, and/or a freshman with full eligibility left, because Cal’s junior and particularly sophomore classes are packed with players. That’s in part due to COVID, and since not all players will use their extra year of eligibility the same way (or at all), it’s a problem that might fix itself.
There also isn’t an obvious position of need to be addressed, as Cal has a relatively balanced roster. For that matter, I don’t think there’s necessarily a need to fill a scholarship just to have another person on the bench, and for that reason I think it would make sense for Cal to only offer somebody from the portal if they are likely to have a significant on-court impact. Otherwise, you may as well save the scholarship so that Cal can bring on more high school commits later for greater class balance.
If you were asking me what kind of impact I would be looking for in the transfer portal, I’d say a high impact interior defender/rebounder who would allow Cal to play bigger by shifting their current group of posts to the 4 more often, or alternatively a sharp-shooting wing so that there’s better floor spacing and shooting to give Jayda Curry room to operate as a lead scorer. The best players available through the portal appear to be guard heavy, for whatever that’s worth.
As with the men, stay tuned over the next few weeks we get more transfer announcements and players start to make commitments, and we should have something close to the final rosters for 2022-23 for both WBB and MBB to analyze shortly.
Ortiz could become the first player to finish a PhD before exhausting her eligibility.
Adding a perimeter defender would be nice too. We struggled defending 3-point FG shooters