Hailey Van Lith’s First Reported Transfer Visit Raises Questions After Important Distinction

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Hailey Van Lith is the most sought-after women’s college basketball player to hit the transfer portal this offseason. The 5-foot-7 guard played a significant role in Louisville’s success over the last three seasons and will provide an instant boost to whichever school she chooses.

After leading the Cardinals in scoring during the 2021/22 season, Van Lith dropped a team-high 19.7 points per game in 2022/23. She can hoop!

In large part because of Van Lith’s offensive prowess, Louisville reached the Elite Eight twice during her tenure and Final Four in her sophomore year. And now she’s off to finish out her career elsewhere.

Van Lith will graduate from Louisville and entered the portal as a graduate transfer. She will have two years of eligibility remaining, if she chooses to take advantage of the blanket waiver that was granted to all athletes effected by the COVID-19 seasons.

Whether she player two years or not, Van Lith has one year left at a new program. A decision will then be made regarding her professional future, though recent trends within the sport would suggest that she might stick around to cash-in on NIL.

That decision is not to be made today. Right now, Van Lith’s focus is on next season.

Where is Hailey Van Lith going to play in 2023/24?

The 21-year-old guard entered the transfer portal with an important distinction. Van Lith was listed as “do not contact,” which means that she asked potential suitors not to reach out.

Van Lith can reach out to the programs that she is interested in without being inundated with offers from schools that she is not interested in attending. It’s just easier that way.

However, her first reported transfer visit raises some questions.

Van Lith is in Baton Rouge on Tuesday afternoon. She’s visiting the reigning national champions.

Considering that Hailey Van Lith was deciding between Baylor and Louisville out of high school, it makes sense. Kim Mulkey is re-recruiting her at a new school after winning a national title.

There was a lot of speculation that LSU made sense for Van Lith as a transfer. Sure enough!

And Angel Reese’s cryptic tweet on Tuesday afternoon only added to the speculation…

Although the math adds up, there is something to note.

Van Lith entered the portal as a “do not contact.” She immediately took her first reported visit to LSU.

Could Van Lith have entered the portal already knowing where she was going? Is it a Caleb Williams-like situation? Were there conversations being had behind the scenes? What about tampering or NIL?

As of this moment, there is no reason to believe that any funny business occurred. There may never be any tangible reason to think that Van Lith decided to transfer out of Louisville with knowledge that she would end up in Baton Rouge.

But the questions are worth asking, just as they are with any player that enters the transfer portal.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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