Four Colorado Buffaloes entered the transfer portal, including two key seniors, Tuitele and Finau.
Utah’s fifth-year senior Dru Gylten tweeted Monday that she’s entering the portal. She plans to move closer to home, and her fiancé. (Nothing good ever comes of marriage proposals.)
Home is Rapid City, South Dakota, where WNBA Las Vegas coach Becky Hammon grew up. Assuming Hammon is the most accomplished and best-known basketball player to attend Stevens HS (there’s also Eric Piatkowski, who spent nine years with NBA Clippers while they were terrible), I’d think they would rename their gym after her. I think that’s the least Rapid City could do; given Hammon’s status as a member of the WNBA 25th anniversary and Russian Olympic teams, a six-time all-star whose number was retired in San Antonio, I’d push to rename Main St. as Becky Hammon Drive were I on the Rapid City council.
Like I said, Gylten’s departure leaves an immeasurable hole in Utah’s roster, and I think 2023 will be a lost year for Utah unless it’s adequately patched. Utah’s in a weird place where lateral movement would be considered a failure, because that’s how fair-weather supporters are.
Arizona State named Natasha Adair head coach. Adair was at Delaware for five years, most recently coaching the Blue Hens to an NCAA appearance.
Adair replaces Charli Turner Thorne, who retired after 25 years with the Sun Devils. She won 488 games, 2nd-most all-time in the Pac. The leader in that category is Coach VanDerveer at Stanford, for whom Turner Thorne played in the late ’80s.
If one of your players from 30-some years ago retires as a coach, maybe you’d think about retiring yourself, but Coach VanDerveer is still having fun. There’s a video circulating of Coach doing the electric slide with her team. I didn’t know what an “electric slide” was until watching that video, and there’s Coach dancing with a bunch of kids.
If retirement were on Coach VanDerveer’s mind, I thought last year would’ve been a storybook moment, with those championships in the early ’90s and the one in 2021 as bookends. Also, that would’ve left this year’s championship-caliber team in the hands of (presumably) Coach Paye, who would later have a few years of experience in the big chair when a rebuild became of order.