Big 12 Basketball

UCF Women’s Basketball Transfer Portal Top Takeaways

UCF Knights guard Kaitlin Peterson (3) moves around Oklahoma Sooners forward Kiersten Johnson (5) during the second half of an NCAA Women's Basketball game at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023. Oklahoma won 69-52.

The UCF Knights women’s basketball team didn’t have to tap into the transfer portal quite as much as they might have expected after their first season in the Big 12.

The Knights went 12-17, 3-14 in the Big 12. UCF struggled at both ends of their Big 12 schedule. The Knights lost their first seven games in the league and then lost their final seven, the last of which was their Big 12 Tournament loss to Cincinnati.


Head coach Sytia Messer and her staff had plenty to do in order to get ready for their second year.

In this edition of Portal Thoughts, we’ll look at what UCF did in the offseason and what’s left to accomplish.

UCF’s Losses (3)

Guard Mya Burns is the biggest loss in terms of players out of eligibility. Listed as a graduate last season, she played in 29 games and averaged 9.9 points and 4.8 rebounds. That deprives the Knights of their second-leading scorer from a year ago.

Guard Morgan Robinson-Nwagwu was another player listed as a graduate last season. She averaged 4.6 points in 27 games. Femi Funeus, a forward, played in just four games. She was also listed as a graduate.


UCF’s Transfer Losses (6)

The Knights lost six players to the transfer portal, none of which played a particularly big role last season.

The leading scorer among the six of them was Anzhané Hutton, a forward who averaged 7.6 points and 6.3 rebounds for the Knights in 2022-23 but didn’t play last season due to injury. She will play for East Carolina.

Guard Timia Ware, who did play last season, will join Hutton at ECU. Center Jayla Kelly, who averaged more than three points and three rebounds a game, transferred to Charlotte. Guard Sierra Godbolt is now at Samford and guard Mary McMillan is now at Stetson.

The only transfer without a home to this point is Asia Todd, who averaged 2.3 points.

UCF’s Transfer Gains (3)

The Knights have three transfers coming in for next season, one of which played in the Big 12 last season.

Former Oklahoma State center Hannah Gusters joins the Knights and could emerge as their starting center after she led OSU with 14.3 points in 2023-24.

Guard Nevaeh Brown figures to be a prominent part of the offense. She transfers in from ETSU after she averaged 13.6 points and 2.5 assists last season. She also played at Wake Forest.

Guard Ally Stedman was at Miami last season, and before that she played two seasons at Pepperdine on the west coast. She didn’t make much of an impact at Miami, as she averaged 2.2 points. But, with the Waves, she averaged 13.7 points over two seasons.


UCF’s Recruiting Gains (5)

UCF’s recruiting class is huge by any standard.

The Knights signed three in the early period in November. Forward Summer Yancy, from Kansas City, was the No. 4 recruit in Missouri. Forward Mahogany Chandler-Roberts will join the Knights after a standout career at Benson Tech in Portland, Ore. Forward Adeang Ring is a 6-foot-5 center from Australia who was at Bella Vista College Prep in Arizona.

Guard/forward Emely Rodriguez just signed with the Knights. The Central Pointe Academy (Miami, Fla.) product led her team to two state titles and spurned UConn, South Carolina, and Florida State to sign with UCF.

Arek Angui is listed as a 6-foot-8 center out of Greenforest in Georgia. She’ll be the tallest player on the roster.

Set to Return (5)

The Knights don’t have a lot of continuity from last season, but they have it in the right places. They hung onto their best player, guard Kaitlin Peterson, who averaged 20.7 points and would have been one of the most sought-after targets had she opted for the transfer portal. But, by staying in Orlando, the Knights have a huge piece to build around.

Guard Laila Jewett was UCF’s third-leading scorer with 8.3 points. She also led the team with 3.4 assists. That gives the Knights a solid, veteran point guard.

Right behind the pair is center Khayla Ngodu, who, as a freshman, averaged 6.1 points and 5.9 rebounds. She started roughly half of last season’s games and had a double-double against Houston.

Forward Achol Akot averaged 5.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in just 19 minutes, and she’ll be a valuable part of the frontcourt rotation. Forward Taylor Gibson, who at one point was at Michigan, returns after playing nearly 12 minutes per game.

What’s Left?

The Knights look set from a roster standpoint, with 13 under scholarship. Whether that leads to a better season remains to be seen. Having Peterson and Jewett back is a huge boost to the backcourt. Brown and Gusters can crack the starting lineup. The Knights also need one of their talented freshmen to give them consistent time in a bench role.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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