Big 12 Basketball

BYU Cougars Women’s Basketball 2023-24 Roster Preview

The BYU Cougars are preparing for the 2023-24 women’s basketball roster and below is a preview of every player on the roster entering November’s opening game.

Below are the returning players, the transfers, and the freshmen who will play a role in BYU’s upcoming season.


Expected to Return

Nani Falatea

The 5-foot-9 junior guard was BYU’s leading scorer as a sophomore, as she averaged 15.3 points. She also grabbed 3.9 rebounds. She was one of two Cougars to be named an All-West Coast Conference First-Team selection. She also had a team-leading 4.5 assists per game and fired 37.7 percent from the 3-point line. She is in line to be a full-time starter for the second straight season.

Lauren Gustin

There was a moment when the Cougars weren’t sure if the 6-foot-1 forward was coming back. She was briefly in the transfer portal in April but returned just a few days later. That’s great news for the Cougars. She was the WCC Defensive Player of the Year and an All-WCC First-Team selection after she averaged 16.1 points and 16.7 rebounds per game. Her rebound average led the NCAA, as did her defensive rebounding average. She should be in the mix for Big 12 Player of the Year if she plays at that level again this season.

Arielle Mackey-Williams

She averaged 8.8 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. She also pitched in 2.2 assists in her sophomore campaign. The 5-foot-7 junior took a big jump last season and has the opportunity to do so again in 2023-24.


Kaylee Smiler

The 5-foot-8 senior is playing her fifth season of college basketball. Last season she averaged 7.3 points on 44.7 percent shooting. But it’s her clip from the 3-point arc that bears watching — 46.9 percent. That led the team and makes her dangerous when Big 12 play comes around.

Heather Hamson

The 6-foot-3 junior only played in half of BYU’s games a season ago and averaged just 1.1 points per game. She’ll be angling for more playing time in the frontcourt.

Rose Bubakar

The 6-foot junior is coming off a sophomore season in which she averaged 6.7 points in 33 games and 11 starts. She also averaged 3.0 rebounds. She can compete to be a full-time starter this season.

Emma Calvert

The 6-foot-4 junior also played in 33 games last season but started 28 of them. She averaged 6.9 points and 3.8 rebounds. The former four-star recruit should be in contention for more playing time in 2023-24.


Arrival Via Transfer

Lauren Davenport

The 5-foot-11 guard transferred in from Boston University. She started 14 games a season ago and played in 31, as she averaged 5.9 points in nearly 20 minutes per game. She was the Terriers’ most-improved player last season.

Kylie Krebs

The 5-foot-7 guard played two seasons at Glendale (Ariz.) Community College before transferring to BYU.  CC (Glendale, Ariz.)

Class of 2023 Recruits

Ali’a Matavao

The 6-foot forward played her prep ball at Liberty High School in Henderson, Nev., and played non-prep ball with another member of the freshman class. The two-time Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year nearly averaged a double-double with Liberty and is also a skilled defender. She also played volleyball and was a state and regional long jump champion. The multi-sport athlete should have a shot at a rotation spot.

Amari Whiting

The 5-foot-10, Timpview HS (Burley, Idaho) recruit has a couple of connections to the program. First, she was Matavao’s teammate in non-prep basketball. She is also the daughter of BYU coach Amber Whiting. The younger Whiting is the top recruit in the class (No. 33 by ESPNW) and was the Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year selection twice. She could see playing time right away.

Kailey Woolston

The 5-foot-11 guard out of Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah, is a former state player of the year and led Lone Peak to a state championship. She was also the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year for 2023.

McKinley Willardson

The 6-foot-1 prospect from Santiago High School in Corona, Calif., led her school to the 2023 California Division I State Championship and averaged 12.1 points with 8.9 rebounds along the way.

Marina Mata

The 6-foot-1 forward from Barbastro, Spain, played for the Spanish World Cup team.

Starting Five: Gustin, Falatea, Mackey-Williams, Smiler, Calvert

First Four off Bench: Bubakar, Hamson, Matavao, Davenport

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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