The LSU women’s basketball program reached into the graduate transfer market for the second time to secure the SEC’s 2020-21 field goal percentage leader.
The Tigers picked up 6-foot-3 forward Ariyah Copeland from Alabama, who will join the program upon her graduation with a degree in human performance exercise science. Copeland becomes the second graduate transfer player to become a member of LSU’s program for 2021-22, joining Vanderbilt 6-2 forward Autumn Newby.
LSU coach Nikki Fargas knows all-too-well about Copeland who was a force for the Crimson Tide in this year’s matchup with LSU when she scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds in a 67-59 victory on Jan. 7 over the Tigers.
“Ariyah’s impact on the game is going to be immediate,” Fargas said. “Her ability to score the ball will give us another threat in the paint. She proved that by finishing No. 1 in the SEC and No. 3 in the nation in field goal percentage. Ariyah plays this game with great passion and is going to be a great addition to our team.”
Copeland, who started in all 27 of her team’s games, finished as the team’s third-leading scorer (14.4), top shot blocker (25) and second-best rebounder (8.6). She produced the school’s No. 1 field goal percentage for a season at 61.1, ranking her first in the SEC and third nationally for a team that went 17-10 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Copeland started in 77 of 111 games, averaging 8.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in four seasons with 97 blocked shots. She’s also ranks second all-time on the school’s field goal percentage list at 55.8.
She was the nation’s No. 50 overall player by Prospects Nation out of Columbus (Ga.) High School. She was also rated No. 72 overall by All Star Girls Report, earning Class 4A all-state honors as a senior.