Kansas women's basketball set to compete for tournament berth with Elle Evans addition

Iowa State Cyclones guard Hannah Belanger (13)
Iowa State Cyclones guard Hannah Belanger (13) / Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA

Kansas women’s basketball had one of its best seasons in several years. HC Brandon Schneider’s Jayhawks made a late-season run to cement their tournament hopes and won a thrilling game in overtime in the first round of March Madness. 

While KU had an experienced roster with several longtime Jayhawks, not everyone will be back. Several players graduated and ran out of eligibility, including WNBA Draft selection Taiyanna Jackson and sharpshooting guards Zakiyah Franklin and Holly Kersgeiter. Kansas’ depth was looking thin heading into next year, but the coaching staff made a big-time addition by reeling in North Dakota State transfer Elle Evans.

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Schneider gave budding star S’Mya Nichols a teammate to take the load off her offensively. After a successful freshman year, she averaged 15.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 34 games for the Bison. She earned First Team All-Summit League and Summit League All-Defense honors thanks to strong defensive statistics (1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per contest).

Evans can score quickly and efficiently, shooting over 55% from beyond the arc in conference play and ranking third in the league in points per game. She should receive significant minutes the second she steps into Lawrence and even has an extra year of eligibility after the upcoming campaign. Making up the difference for three starters is not a simple task, but Evans will provide some much-needed scoring and outside shooting for the Jayhawks.