KU women’s basketball makes big portal move by adding Elle Evans

photo by: AP Photo/Abbie Parr

North Dakota State guard Elle Evans (21) shoots as Minnesota forward Mallory Heyer (24) defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Minneapolis.

If the Kansas women’s basketball team is looking to add depth, size on the perimeter and 3-point shooting, as head coach Brandon Schneider said on his radio show Monday night, then it did all three Tuesday.

Elle Evans, a 6-foot-3 guard who spent her first two collegiate seasons at North Dakota State, announced her commitment to join KU. A former Summit League freshman of the year, Evans is coming off a season in which she earned all-conference first team and all-defensive team honors, averaging 15.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

She accomplished that high level of production in part thanks to her shooting. Evans went 75-for-164 from beyond the arc, 45.7%, after converting just 32.1% of the time during her decorated freshman season. She also shot 91.8% from the free-throw line as a sophomore.

Evans was particularly exceptional during a four-week stretch in early 2024. Beginning when the Bison hosted Northern Arizona on Jan. 6, she embarked on an eight-game stretch in which she averaged 22.8 points per game, culminating in a 33-point, 10-rebound double-double at North Dakota on Feb. 3.

North Dakota State made the Women’s National Invitation Tournament after a loss in the Summit League tournament final. It defeated Montana but lost 69-65 to Big Ten Conference foe Minnesota. Against the Golden Gophers, Evans had 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting and six rebounds.

The incoming junior is originally from Edwardsville, Illinois, making her the first non-Kansan to join KU in the transfer portal in the last two offseasons.

The KU staff has numerous connections to NDSU. Current KU assistant and recruiting coordinator Morgan Paige was on staff there for five seasons under head coach Jory Collins. Collins was once a KU assistant himself under Schneider for one season, after having previously taken over for Schneider at Emporia State back in 2010.

During Paige’s tenure at NDSU, she had also coached Ryan Cobbins, who ended up coming to KU from Alabama as a transfer last offseason.

Evans will have the opportunity to contribute immediately for a Jayhawk squad looking to replenish its starting lineup after losing four key contributors to graduation. KU had previously signed transfers Sania Copeland (Wisconsin) and Brittany Harshaw (Creighton).

If KU does intend to add eight players total, as Schneider suggested Monday, then it has space for two more. The Jayhawks are still looking for a post player to fill the void left by Taiyanna Jackson’s departure.


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