The transfer merry-go-round has been set to overdrive this offseason in women’s college basketball, and the Aussies are no exception. A number of players have made the jump to new programs, with others on the hunt for a final destination.
Shannon Dufficy’s move to Missouri is the real headline, but other interesting moves could make for some fascinating storylines as seasons and careers progress.
Shannon Dufficy: Utah State to Missouri
Shannon Dufficy’s transfer from Utah State to Missouri is one of the bigger pieces of news regarding Australians in college this off-season, with the All-Mountain West Conference First Team selection choosing to test herself in the SEC in her final college season, following the path of fellow Australian Funda Nakkasoglu, who moved from Utah State to Florida after her sophomore year.
Dufficy averaged 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds in 2018-19, tallying more points in her junior year than her freshman and sophomore seasons combined, helping the Aggies rebound from a 7-23 season in 2017-18 to post a 17-16 record.
Utah State now has a massive gap to fill, whilst Dufficy will use her mandated season sitting out to develop in a major college program environment before taking the court with Missouri in November 2020.
Eliza West: Utah State to Southeastern University (NAIA)
Dufficy isn’t the only Utah State player leaving for what they hope will be greener pastures, with Eliza West making her way to NAIA program Southeastern University in Florida. Moving to the NAIA will allow West to play her senior year without sitting out for a season as Dufficy will have to, with the Southeastern faithful no doubt hoping that West can be the player that puts the team over the top after finishing as national runner-up in 2018-19.
The point guard from Victoria finished 22nd in the nation for assists per game last season, tallying 5.6 dimes per game alongside 5.3 points. West is likely to become one of the top players in the entirety of NAIA basketball, and that scoring number in particular will surely skyrocket after seemingly being pigeonholed as a pass-first point guard in her most recent season with Utah State.
Jade Kirisome: Furman to Saint Mary’s
Saint Mary’s may not have had an Australian in their recruiting class this season, but Paul Thomas managed to secure a commitment from Furman transfer Jade Kirisome, who makes the move across the country after one season in North Carolina.
Kirisome may have only started one game in her freshman year and averaged just 14.8 minutes per contest, but the Gaels coach clearly saw enough in the Queenslander to bring her on board as she averaged 4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game, shooting 35% from the field and 32.5% from three-point range in the process.
The 5'9 guard will have to sit a year out, and will return to the court in November 2020 to play alongside fellow Australian Sam Simons.
Issy Parker: Pacific to UC San Diego (NCAA Division II)
Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer enjoyed success with an Aussie in Alanna Smith. Her sister, UC San Diego head coach Heidi VanDerveer, will have the same opportunity as incoming junior Issy Parker moves from Pacific to a team looking to build towards its elevation to Division I in 2020-21. Moving to NCAA Division II will allow Parker to play immediately this season, but also make a return to Division I competition in her senior year as the program makes the jump.
Having made 33 appearances in her two years at Pacific, the 6’2 forward will now seek increased minutes in a program building to something bigger after only receiving limited opportunities in Stockton. For UC San Diego, Parker represents the first Australian on the Tritons’ roster since Kristen Vrcelj spent two seasons with the program from 2016-18.
To be confirmed
Several other Australian players are reportedly looking to move, with still a couple of months until the new academic year starts in September.
Olivia West is reportedly set to become Utah State’s third Australian to transfer out of the program this year, with an announcement from the Tasmanian guard seemingly imminent.
Wagner star Taylah Simmons appears ready to challenge herself at a higher level, with colleges at the upper level of the mid-major category rumoured to be interested in the sophomore, who averaged 15.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2018-19.
Ally Bates’ time at Utah Valley also appears to have come to a premature end, with the sophomore joining Sam Lubcke and Sariah Wi Neera as Aussies to have left the Wolverines before the end of their eligibility in recent times.
USC’s Danijela Milisic is the only one of a cohort of six Women of Troy to enter their name into the transfer portal yet to find a new program at this time.
Fellow California-based forward Rebecca Black is also on the look for a new program after two injury-plagued years at San Francisco
Lana Hollingsworth is also set to transfer from Boston College after being starved of opportunities in her freshman year following a coaching change in Chestnut Hill.