Hailey Van Lith is reportedly entering the transfer portal after one season with LSU

LSU Lady Tigers guard Hailey Van Lith is weighing her options. (Steven Liu – USA TODAY Sports)

LSU's loss to Iowa in the Elite Eight will likely be Hailey Van Lith's final game with the Tigers.

Van Lith entered the transfer portal, according to Multiple reports Thursday. The 22-year-old, who played four years of college basketball, has an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After serving as the centerpiece of Lousville women's basketball for three years as a two-time first-team All-ACC selection, Van Lith entered the transfer portal last offseason. She considered Stanford and South Carolina before committing to the Tigers, the defending champions at the time.

Van Lith is an exciting addition to the Tigers' formidable roster, a team that appeared to get stronger when it also acquired DePaul's Anissa Morrow via transfer. Van Lith and LSU called the 2023-24 season “ “Smoking free tour” Which was extinguished when Iowa star Caitlin Clark delivered 41 points against LSU, ending her season in the Elite Eight.

Van Lith was tasked with guarding Clark for most of the game, a defensive assignment that LSU coach Kim Mulkey never seemed to adjust to despite the Iowa guard's scoring.

Van Lith switched to playing only point guard at LSU, where he averaged 11.6 points per game and shot a career-low 38% from the field. That was a drop in scoring from her time with Louisville, where she averaged 15.4 points per game and shot 42% from the floor. She scored at least 20 points in 31 of the 101 games she played there.

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After Monday's loss, Mulkey spoke positively about Van Lith's contribution to LSU this season, saying she was “forever indebted to Haley and her unselfish play.”

“I hope it's not her last game. But if it is, I'm proud to have been her coach for a year,” Mulkey said. “She wanted to experience all the things I think she saw from afar at our tournament last year. “For her to take that leap of faith and leave her comfort zone in Louisville, you don’t see a lot of players doing that.”

Van Lith had until Wednesday to announce the fast-approaching WNBA draft. It seemed likely that she would enter her name, as she implied she was ready for the league while speaking to reporters on Monday night. She made it clear that no-show deals would follow her as a professional, including her partnership with Adidas that began in March.

“You have to look at the type of player you are,” Van Lith said after the loss to Iowa. “There are some people who have to take advantage of college because they're not professional players. They're darlings who will stay in college. And I think for me that's not the case. I'm a professional type of player.”

When the league released a list Thursday of players who have officially applied to be included in the draft, Van Lith's name does not appear. She chose not to join the class, which would include Clark, teammate Angel Reyes, South Carolina's Camila Cardoso and Stanford's Cameron Brink.

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