Kiki Iriafen announces transfer to USC

After entering the transfer portal earlier this month, junior forward Kiki Iriafen announced Saturday that she is transferring to USC.

Iriafen was arguably Stanford’s best player last season. He led the Cardinal with 19.4 points per game and collected 11 rebounds en route to winning the Katrina McClain Award for the nation’s best power forward. Iriafen, originally from Los Angeles, will join forces with budding superstar JuJu Watkins, creating the most anticipated duo in women’s basketball and immediately launching the Trojans into national championship contention.

Iriafen’s departure leaves new head coach Kate Paye with a program forced to change its identity. In addition to the departures of senior forward Cameron Brink and graduate guard Hannah Jump, Paye’s roster currently does not include players who averaged double figures last season. While many are hoping for significant progress from returning players like junior forward Brooke Demetre and sophomore guard Telana Lepolo, Paye will likely have to lean on her younger players to try to replace the lost production on both ends of the floor. Expect freshman forwards Nunu Agara and Courtney Ogden, as well as the incoming freshman class, to play a big role for Stanford going forward.

The upcoming season will mark a huge transition for the program. As the Cardinal look ahead to their first season in the ACC, their first season without former head coach Tara Vanderveer, and with a roster that has lost some of its key pieces, Paye will have a challenging road ahead of him in returning the program to the mountain top.