During her short tenure, Washington Huskies head coach Tina Langley has experienced multiple roster changes.
Recently, the Washington Huskies women’s basketball program lost six players from the 2021-22 roster to the NCAA transfer portal.
The entire 2021 freshman class of recruits (ranked #17 by ESPN) has now left Washington — i.e., in order, Avery Van Sickle, Olivia Pollerd, Marisa Davis and Jess Finney all entered the transfer portal.
(Shortly after UW’s hiring of Langley, the 5th member of the 2021 recruiting class, A.J. Marotte, left UW and landed at Oregon State via last year’s 2021 NCAA transfer portal.)
This freshmen exodus was followed by the departure of redshirt freshman Alexis Whitfield.
Our research and investigation revealed the recent mass transfers from the last-place Washington Huskies were (primarily) tied to a lack of past playing time and appearance of bleak future prospects within the Tina Langley-led program
The proverbial (negative) cherry on top is that the focal point of the Dawgs’ efforts last season, Nancy Mulkey, exhausted her college eligibility and is now seeking a pro career.
The current Huskies’ roster is reduced to eight returning players and three incoming freshman for the 2022-2023 season.
Let’s take a look at the status of the frontcourt bigs, the most glaring need of the Washington Huskies.
BIGS Returning: Darcy Rees, Senior Incoming: None Transfer Priority: High
With the loss of 6’9″ Mulkey, 6’2″ Whitfield and 6’2″ Davis-Jones, the Dawgs have shrunk their roster in more ways than one.
The lone legitimate big on roster is Aussie Darcy Rees.
After having an outstanding sophomore season, when her stats mimicked those of ex-Oregon great Satou Sabally (in efficiency and productivity, not total numbers), Rees has endured a leg injury the past two seasons.
As we previously noted, in an article examining Jordyn Jenkins as a UW transfer target :
Washington Needs an Effective Post Centerpiece
The Washington Huskies face an upcoming 2022-23 season without center Nancy Mulkey as the centerpiece.
Mulkey’s biggest and (most eye-catching) contribution “down-low” was on defense as a shot-blocker.
UW Head Coach Tina Langley’s offense mostly positioned Mulkey at the high post and (straightaway) beyond the three-point arc.
However, Mulkey was efficient around the basket — 66.7% shooting within four feet of the rim and 41.2% on shots in the paint.
Langley’s offense does not necessarily require a low-post bruiser, but paint efficiency is sorely needed.
As a team, UW made only 36.6% of their shot attempts in the paint.
We believe there are two players worthy of an “all-in” UW recruiting pitch and both happen to be local products.
2022 Transfer Targets:Dalayah Daniels, Taya Corosdale
Dalayah Daniels was a five-star high school recruit out of Seattle, WA (Garfield High School) in the Class of 2020.
Daniels is still one of the nation’s most talented bigs (e.g., Aliyah Boston-level talented).
However, playing at Cal she’s been flying under the radar her entire career, that appears to be due to a Cal scheme which did not feature Daniels properly.
Daniels is an ultra-athletic 6’3″ big that can post-up deep and finish, rebound and block shots like a traditional center; as well as, run the floor with guards, dribble-drive, and hit mid-range jumpers.
Washington native and Oregon State big 6’3″ Taya Corosdale (Bothell High School) is also in the transfer portal.
Corosdale has one remaining season of eligibility.
She is a talented scorer and rebounder that started all 31 games for OSU (31.9 minutes per game), averaging 7.3 points and 7.4 rebounds.
One obvious area of concern is that Corosdale’s skillset significantly overlaps with the skillset of Husky Darcy Rees.
Of course, having two versatile bigs that can shoot the three, shoot the mid-range jumper from the high post, as well as, score in the low post seems like a good problem to have.
However, it would take substantial creativity to maximize the impact of both Rees and Corosdale by playing them together in a productive offensive scheme.
Unfortunately, offensive creativity was not a hallmark of Coach Langley’s first season at the UW WBB helm.
Based on past experience, adding Corosdale would likely result in less playing time for Rees — just as we saw very little of Mulkey and Rees (or Mulkey and Whitfield, for that matter) in the lineup together.
Certainly, the Huskies will not be able to afford is to sit one of their top five players next season.
The interchangeability of Rees and Corosdale could present a matchup nightmare for Washington’s opponents on a nightly basis and considerably level the playing field against superior PAC-12 programs.
As a big, Corosdale’s unique ability to curl off of screens, set her feet quickly and hit the three complements Darcy’s proficiency at shooting the set-up straightaway three.
By using Rees and Corosdale together, Washington could pull opposing frontcourt players high and away from the basket; resulting in more open driving lanes and backdoor cuts for Washington’s multitude of athletic wings, i.e., Van Dyke, TT Watkins, Jayda Noble, and Nia Lowrey.
The Quest Continues
The Huskies were hit hard by recent player attrition and must address those additional roster spots, if they are to improve on their last place finish in the PAC-12.
However, within the free agency-style transfer portal, there are some limited and impactful opportunities for Coach Langley to immediately change the outlook of her program heading into next season.