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Notre Dame women’s basketball lands transfer portal forward Liatu King of Pitt

IMG_9992by:Tyler Horka05/06/24


Notre Dame played some stout competition in 2023-24. The season started against eventual national champion South Carolina and all of the Gamecocks’ talented stars, of which there are a plethora. Final Four participant UConn and former National Player of the Year Paige Bueckers came a little later on. The Irish battled Syracuse and ACC Player of the Year runner-up Dyaisha Fair twice.

The list goes on and on.

The most points any individual player on the schedule scored against the Fighting Irish was 34. Florida State’s Ta’Niya Latson got there in double overtime. Pitt forward Liatu King only needed regulation to match that mark, putting a serious scare in the Irish in a 71-66 Notre Dame victory Jan. 4.

And now King is a member of the Blue and Gold.

King’s long awaited transfer portal destination announcement came Monday, and the ACC’s Most Improved Player and a first-team all-conference selection chose Notre Dame. King averaged 18.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game as a senior at Pitt.

The 6-0 forward was unquestionably one of the league’s best players from start to finish, all year long. The same can be said of Liza Karlen in the Big East. Karlen, formerly of Marquette, averaged 17.7 points and 7.9 rebounds for the Golden Eagles as a senior. She committed to Notre Dame on Sunday evening, some 18 hours before King did the same.

King was a model of consistency in her final season as a Panther, scoring in double figures in 30 of 32 games. She had double-digit rebounds in an ACC-high 19 games and recorded 18 double-doubles, which would have paced the Notre Dame roster. Forward Maddy Westbeld had the most of any Irish player with 12.

For her career, King averaged 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in 107 appearances and 70 starts at Pitt. She improved her statistics every season she was there, from 5.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in 19 appearances with zero starts in 2020-21 to the phenomenal season she just had. She was not an every-game starter until her senior year.

Whether she’s an every-game starter at Notre Dame remains to be seen. The Fighting Irish are bringing in five-star center Kate Koval, and Notre Dame already has Westbeld coming back to start in the front-court for a fifth season as well. Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivey has some lineup management to ponder with the addition of King, but that’s a good problem to have.

The Irish only lost one player to the portal in graduate senior center Nat Marshall. With King and Karlen, the Irish are slated to have 12 scholarship players for the 2024-25 season. Below is a look at the Notre Dame roster for the upcoming season. Remaining years of eligibility are in parenthesis.

2024-25 Notre Dame women’s basketball roster

  • Freshman center Kate Koval (4)
  • Sophomore guard Hannah Hidalgo (3)
  • Sophomore guard Emma Risch (4)
  • Junior guard Cass Prosper (3)
  • Junior guard KK Bransford (2)
  • Senior guard Olivia Miles (1)
  • Senior guard Sonia Citron (1)
  • Senior guard Sarah Cernugel (1)*
  • Graduate senior center Kylee Watson (1)
  • Graduate senior center Maddy Westbeld (1)
  • Graduate senior forward Liza Karlen
  • Graduate senior forward Liatu King (1)
    * Cernugel is undecided on if she will return to Notre Dame for another season.

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