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Four Lady Lions Transfer In Two Weeks

It’s been a turbulent offseason so far for Carolyn Kieger and Penn State women’s basketball, now having had four players transfer away from the program. Junior Alisia Smith became the most recent player to transfer on Sunday, when Big Ten foe Michigan State announced her as the newest addition to its roster.

The forward, who is a native of Lansing, Michigan, will leave Happy Valley for a homecoming at Michigan State. Smith got the fourth-most playing time out of any Lady Lions during her junior season, averaging just shy of 21 minutes. The junior also shot 43.1% from the field, the team’s second-highest percentage among qualifying players.

A week earlier, sophomore forward Lauren Ebo announced she also was leaving Penn State to seek a new opportunity at Texas.

Ebo was the starting five for the Lady Lions for the majority of her sophomore season, averaging 20.3 minutes-per-game. The forward also led the team in blocks, registering 21 on the season.

With two forwards gone now, Kieger is left with only Bexley Wallace and Anna Camden down low as of now. Although she’s listed as a guard, Camden primarily worked as a perimeter shooter during her freshman campaign, knocking down a team-high 36.8% of shots from beyond the arc. Wallace, a sophomore, averaged just eight minutes-per-game last season.

With Nan Garcia being the only 2020 recruit who played forward in high school, the Nittany Lions will need to fill the roles that Ebo and Smith had.

The final two players who have transferred away from the program are freshmen Jayla James and Mya Bembry, who are leaving for Michigan State and Seton Hall, respectively.

James averaged under four minutes-per-game for the Nittany Lions, and only had three total points on the year. The Maryland native told the Lansing State Journal that her decision to transfer was due mainly due to time and distance from home no longer being an issue for her.

Bembry, who grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, will also have a homecoming at Seton Hall. The freshman averaged just 12.6 minutes and 1.5 points during her first and only season in Happy Valley.

All of these transfer players were apart of former Lady Lions head coach Coquese Washington’s recruiting classes. Kieger will welcome her first recruiting class come to campus next year, which features a crop of players with overall high expectations, including five-star point guard Leilani Kapinus.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected]

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