NDSU women's basketball utilizes transfer portal for brand new roster and 'championship caliber program'
NDSU women's basketball revamps roster by diving into transfer portal ahead of 2022 season.
FARGO — It’s no secret we’re living in the age of the transfer portal when it comes to collegiate athletics. Many programs are affected, including the NDSU women’s basketball team, which is using the portal to bring in new names this fall.
“It was a rough year for us," said NDSU Women's Basketball Head Coach Jory Collins.
After having an impressive 2020 season, the Bison were expecting to ride that momentum into 2021. Instead, NDSU finished the season going 11-18.
That frustration continued into the off season when seven players entered the transfer portal.
“We had lots of discussions in the Spring about where we were at, who we want to be and what kind of people we want in our program," said Collins.
With key players like Ryan Cobbins leaving and Emily Dietz graduating, Collins dove into the transfer portal to bring in new assets.
"We have two new coaches, and we’re going to have eight new players," the head coach said. "It's a variety. Some freshman, transfers, a grad transfer."
Taylor Brown, a grad transfer from American brings a play style that catches Collins' eye to fill in significant time at the center position.
"Her game experience and maturity really stands out," said Collins.
The depth on this roster is one thing that Collins hasn't seen in past rosters, especially at the four position.
“We’re pretty comfortable that Katie Hildebrandt, as a sophomore now, is ready to step into some bigger minutes," said Collins. "Abbie Draper, from Bradley, played really well as a freshman last year. Both are capable of filling that spot," he added.
So far, four of the eight new players have arrived to NDSU, but it's the two freshmen, Elle Evans and Abby Graham, that have stood out during the summer practices.
"Uber talented," Collins said. "They’re also very mature. Both play and play a lot for us and can be difference makers for us.”
With a new group brings new mentality. The focus of the NDSU women's basketball team this off-season is being selfless.
"The environment and the mentality is a 180 from where we were at for a long time last year," said the head coach. "That just breeds growth."