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LSU transfer Hailey Van Lith to visit Mississippi State, reconnect with former coach

Hailey Van Lith
LSU transfer Hailey Van Lith will reconnect with former coach Sam Purcell during her weekend visit in Starkville. (Photo courtesy of LSU Athletics)

The Mississippi State women’s basketball staff will be hosting one of the top names in the transfer portal this weekend.

Robbie Faulk of Thunder & Lightning confirmed that LSU transfer guard Hailey Van Lith will be making a trip to “Starkvegas” to be courted by a familiar face in MSU head coach Sam Purcell.

Van Lith joined Kim Mulkey’s reigning national champion LSU squad in 2023 following a three-year stint at Louisville, two of which were under Purcell’s guidance as the Cardinals’ associate head coach.

The Wenatchee, Wash. native was a top-10 prospect out of high school. Her stat sheet took a small hit in the transition from Louisville to the SEC as she went from averaging 19.7 points per game as a junior to 11.6 in her lone season with the Tigers, though she remains a highly coveted commodity in the portal.

Throughout her college career, Van Lith has made the NCAA Tournament in all four seasons, most recently reaching the elite eight. The Tigers were ultimately ousted by all-time college basketball scoring leader Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes 94-87.

A mainstay in the postseason’s most prestigious tournament would be a welcome addition to Purcell’s squad as his team found itself outside the group of 68 teams selected to compete for a national championship this past season.

With Bulldog guard Mjracle Sheppard hitting the transfer portal on Thursday, who knows? Maybe Purcell and company have something up their sleeves with Van Lith.

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