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Former Stanford standout Kiki Iriafen transferring to USC, teaming up with JuJu Watkins: Report


Former Stanford standout Kiki Iriafen is transferring to USC, according to ESPN. Iriafen entered the transfer portal just four days after former Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer announced her retirement. She was in the portal with a “do not contact” tag, insinuating she knew where she wanted to end up.

Now Iriafen gets to play her final year of collegiate ball at home in Los Angeles, teammates with another native Angeleno and powerhouse JuJu Watkins.

Iriafen, who’s spent the past three seasons with the Cardinal, had a breakout showing last year, averaging 19.4 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, helping the Cardinal to the Pac-12 regular-season title. Iriafen was given the Katrina McClain Award as the best power forward in the country.

She is an expected lottery pick with the potential to go No. 1 in the 2025 WNBA Draft.

Iriafen had eyes widening at her 41-point, 16-rebound, three-block performance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament when Stanford squeaked by Iowa State in an 87-81 overtime win.

If teams didn’t have the 6-foot-3 forward on their scouting reports on March 23, they did by March 24. Iriafen paced Stanford in both points and rebounds in both the second round and Sweet 16 loss to NC State (26 points, 10 rebounds).

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

From Stanford surprise to scouting target, welcome to Kiki Iriafen’s coming-out party

Stanford and USC met twice in the 2023-24 season. In their first matchup on Feb. 2, the Trojans won 67-58 thanks to Watkins’ historic 51-point performance. Iriafen canceled out 16 of those points. The same game result applied on March 10, when the Trojans cast aside the Cardinal to take the Pac-12 tournament title. Then, Iriafen scored 18.

In the NCAA Tournament, USC reached the Elite Eight — and was led by Watkins in scoring each round — where it dropped to UConn. The Trojans undoubtedly envision themselves playing past that point next year — when they join the Big Ten — with the arrival of Iriafen.

(Photo: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)





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