WATCH: Kim Mulkey gets brutally honest after LSU’s Hailey Van Lith enters transfer portal. |T

Kim Mulkey gets brutally honest after LSU’s Hailey Van Lith enters transfer portal

One of the top players in the portal didn’t have the year she expected to in Baton Rouge.

Hailey Van Lith's Failed Position Change Led Her To Transfer Again

LSU coach Kim Mulkey broke her silence this week and was brutally honest after Hailey Van Lith, one of her starting guards, entered the college basketball transfer portal. Mulkey said Van Lith, after starring at Louisville previously, fell short of where she wanted to be in terms of development. She averaged 11.6 points, 3.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game

“Her aspirations were to get drafted this year,” Mulkey said at a team banquet, via “And she realized, ‘I need another year and I need to go back to a place where I can relax and get back to my normal position. And what do you do? You hug her, and you wish her well.”

Van Lith did not declare for the WNBA Draft. Star teammate Angel Reese announced her intention Wednesday to forgo her remaining eligibility and embark on a professional career.

Previously over three seasons at Louisville, Van Lith was a certified star and averaged 19.7 points per game as one of the nation’s leading scorers as a junior in 2022-23.

“Her range is anywhere from the end of the second round to potentially being an undrafted free agent,” analyst Brandon Clay said ahead of this month’s deadline. “There’s no questioning her competitive nature, but moving to LSU has brought to light her struggles as a true point guard. Van Lith is hovering just below a 1.5:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. WNBA scouts would love to see this be a 2:1 ratio at worst. For all of the noise surrounding Van Lith’s production, she’s still averaging 11.7 points and 3.7 assists on a team playing in the Elite Eight (stats before the Elite Eight).”

Van Lith drew a tough assignment in her final game with LSU, guarding superstar Caitlin Clark throughout the Elite Eight matchup against Iowa. Clark finished the contest with an NCAA Tournament-record 41 points, and after Clark drained her fourth 3-pointer of the third quarter, Van Lith shrugged her shoulders as Mulkey looked down at the floor in disgust, her team unable to contain the best player in women’s basketball.

Van Lith’s best offensive production of the year came during the regular season. She delivered modest numbers during the NCAA Tournament, connecting on just 20.0% of her field goal attempts in the postseason.


Van Lith is considered one of the best players available in the transfer portal and is currently on a visit to Mississippi State. She’ll have one year of eligibility remaining and has chosen to use her COVID season in 2024-25.

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