Here’s how Kim Mulkey’s new additions will fit into the LSU women’s basketball team

LSU women's basketball landed five new players bringing its roster size to 12. PHOTO BY: Jonathan Mailhes

After losing star players Angel Reese and Hailey Van Lith, Kim Mulkey knew she would need to strengthen her squad through the transfer portal.

Outside of Van Lith and Reese, LSU also lost freshmen guards Janae Kent and Angelica Velez to the portal.

LSU basketball needed guard depth, and after a relatively quiet first few weeks, the Tigers announced the signing of three new transfers. Arizona’s Kailyn Gilbert, Miami’s Shayeann Day-Wilson and Mississippi State’s Mjracle Shepphard all committed to LSU. They’ll be joined by transfer forward Jersey Wolfenbarger and incoming freshman Jada Richard.

In total, LSU added five new players this offseason and will head into the 2024-25 season with 12 scholarship players on the roster.

“We could not be more excited to add Shayeann, Kailyn and Mjracle to the LSU family,” Mulkey said. “The three of them will add a combination of experience and depth on the perimeter for us and will bolster our roster to continue to compete at an elite level.”

Gilbert spent two years at Arizona where she made a massive jump her sophomore season. Her freshman season saw her average 4.9 points per game, but she improved that to 15.1 points per game last season. She also improved her assists from 1.1 per game in her first year to 2.3 assists per last year.

Sheppard comes to LSU with SEC experience after she spent one season at Mississippi State before coming to LSU. She averaged 5.1 points and 2.1 assists per game and will be hoping to take a leap in her sophomore season like Gilbert did. She scored 12 points while shooting 6-for-9 from the field against LSU last season.  

Day-Wilson averaged 11.9 points per game last season for the Hurricanes while shooting 41.4% from the field. Before she played at Miami, Day-Wilson spent two seasons at Duke where she won ACC Freshman of the Year in 2022. She has plenty of experience and comes to LSU with 71 career starts.

Day-Wilson, Gilbert and Sheppard will be competing with Last-Tear Poa for the starting point guard position with Van Lith gone. The guards that lose out on the starting job will be tasked with providing depth and competition off the bench.

Jersey Wolfenbarger spent two seasons at Arkansas before sitting out last season with the intention to transfer. She’ll join an LSU front court that will return Aneesah Morrow, Aalyah Del Rosario and injured center Sa’Myah Smith. She’ll be looking to carve out a spot in the starting rotation and take the spot that Reese once filled.

Richard comes to LSU as the top recruit in the state of Louisiana. Richard is a high-scoring guard who was named the Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year this year. LSU freshman Mikaylah Williams had won the Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year the two years before Richard did.

Richard will hope to follow the trend of LSU freshmen coming in and contributing right away. LSU has had the last two SEC Freshman of the Year winners. She might find it harder to find floor time, but she’ll at least be looking to add another depth piece off the bench.

LSU’s incoming class of new players doesn’t have the big names of Aneesah Morrow, Hailey Van Lith or Mikaylah Williams. Day-Wilson is the top ranked transfer LSU landed and is the No. 19 transfer in her class. Richard is the only incoming freshman and is the No. 90 recruit in her class.

But the new additions don’t need to come in and be stars right away. Flau’jae Johnson, Morrow and Williams are expected to be the stars of the team. Instead, the new additions will be tasked with complementing the existing players on the roster.

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Will Nickel

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