Pitt Women's Basketball
Former Pitt Forwards Amber Brown and Maliyah Johnson Find New Transfer Destinations
The transfer portal is continuing to grow in size this offseason with the number of players looking to find their new home for better success, playing time or a different environment.
Pitt fired head coach Lance White in March for poor performance after five seasons as at the helm. White accrued a record of 42-99, the worst five-year stretch of any head coach in Panthers history. Athletic Director Heather Lyke found the new Pitt head coach in Tory Verdi, who has led Eastern Michigan and UMass from the bottom to the top of their conferences as head coach of those programs.
White’s departure meant that many players on his roster would look to find a new school to play basketball and nine players have put their name in the transfer portal.
Two forwards in Amber Brown and Maliyah Johnson have made their decision on which schools they play for next season, the first Panthers to complete their transfers so far.
Brown announced her transfer to St. John’s in the Big East next year. She will have one final season in college, as she elected to use an extra year from the COVID-19 exception.
Us, never them @_Necole123 🔴🔴⛈️⛈️⛈️⛈️ pic.twitter.com/E0g946F6Bv
— Candice Walker (@walker_coach) April 6, 2023
She played a large role for Pitt in her four seasons there, serving as a two-way player that defended well across the floor and showed fearlessness attacking the basket.
Brown started all 110 games she played in, averaged 9.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 45.6% from the floor over that time. She also finished with 684 career rebounds, the 10th most in program history.
Johnson announced that she will transfer to Houston, who are starting in the Big 12 conference next season. She will join Houston as a junior and have two years left of eligibility.
Welcome to H-Town @_Mbucketss! ❤️#EverythingMatters x #GoCoogs pic.twitter.com/BOXXkXkbNk
— Houston Women's Basketball (@UHCougarWBB) March 31, 2023
She made a great jump from her first year to her sophomore season. Johnson averaged 8.5 points per game, 38.0% shooting from the field, 30.8% shooting from 3-point range and 86.2% from the foul line in 2022-23. She also averaged 3.6 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game, while also making 27 steals last season.
Johnson excels as a mid-range jumper and occasionally from 3-point range. She should excel in a new role with less emphasis placed on her to bring a team to victory.
There are currently only four returning players to Pitt next year, with three new players they’ve signed in the Class of 2023. The list below shows the players that have placed their name in the transfer portal and those that are staying for the next season.
Guard Avery Strickland is the only player who is still considering returning to Pitt out of the nine players that entered their name in the transfer portal.
Graduate Dayshanette Harris: one year
Graduate Emy Hayford: one year
Graduate Destiny Strother: one year
Senior Sandrine Clesca: two years
Senior Taisha Exanor: two years
Sophomore Avery “Ace” Strickland: three years
Graduate forward Amber Brown: one year (St. John’s)
Redshirt senior Cynthia Ezeja: two years
Junior Maliyah Johnson: two years (Houston)
2023-24 Pitt Roster + eligibility
Sophomore Marley Washenitz: three years
Sophomore Aislin Malcolm: three years
First-year Jasmine Timmerson: four years
Senior Gabby Hutcherson: two years
Senior Liatu King: two years
First-year Hannah Mills-Watson: four years
First-year Lauren Rust: four years