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Arizona adds Alabama grad transfer Ariyah Copeland, a big boost for the frontcourt

North Carolina v Alabama Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Arizona women’s basketball team announced another big addition from the transfer portal on Thursday with the signing of Alabama post Ariyah Copeland.

The 6-foot-3 senior averaged 14.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game with the Crimson Tide this season. She was No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 in the SEC in field goal percentage (60.9) and has posted 16 career double-doubles.

A Columbus, Georgia native, Copeland initially picked LSU as her new destination but changed course after Tigers head coach Nikki Fargas resigned.

Copeland joins a loaded Arizona frontcourt that consists of seniors Cate Reese and Semaj Smith, Vanderbilt transfer Koi Love, sophomore Lauren Ware, and top-100 freshman Aaronette Vonleh.

Love, who has three years of eligibility left, averaged 20.8 points and 9.6 rebounds in a shortened 2020-21 season. Adding her, Copeland and Vonleh gives Arizona no excuse not to be a more dominant team in the paint next season. They were eighth in the Pac-12 in rebounds this season.

Here’s a look at Arizona’s scholarship count now that Copeland is in the fold. Note that Sam Thomas does not count towards it because she is a returning senior.

  1. Cate Reese
  2. Helena Pueyo
  3. Bendu Yeaney
  4. Shaina Pellington
  5. Lauren Ware
  6. Semaj Smith
  7. Madi Conner
  8. Aaronette Vonleh
  9. Gisela Sanchez
  10. Anna Gret Asi
  11. Derin Erdogan
  12. Koi Love (Vanderbilt transfer)
  13. Taylor Chavez (Oregon transfer)
  14. Ariyah Copeland (Alabama transfer)
  15. OPEN

Barring an outgoing transfer, it’s unlikely Arizona will add any more players since Adia Barnes has often said 15 is too many to keep happy.