Kiki Iriafen transferring to USC after breakout year at Stanford, will team up with JuJu Watkins

Stanford forward Kiki Iriafen (44) during a college basketball game against Maryland in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Forward Kiki Iriafen is transferring to USC after a breakout season with Stanford. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Stanford breakout Kiki Iriafen has picked her new team. After two weeks in the transfer portal, Iriafen told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that she has chosen USC for the 2024-25 NCAA season.

Iriafen posted a link to Wojnarowski's report on her Instagram story, and she edited the poster from the movie "Dreamgirls" into a USC team-up image, with the heads of Iriafen and USC standouts JuJu Watkins and Rayah Marshall replacing the heads of the film's stars.

Iriafen, a Los Angeles native, had a meteoric rise in women's college basketball. She was Stanford's leading scorer, averaging 19.4 points, 11 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 54.6% from the field and a career-high 77.3% on free throws as a junior this past season. She was named the Pac-12's Most Improved Player, but "most improved" might be underselling it. In her sophomore year, Iriafen averaged 6.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game.

That's exactly the kind of help USC needs to get over the hump and win another national championship. Seeded No. 1 going into 2024 NCAA tournament, the Trojans were stopped in the Elite Eight, losing 80-73 to No. 3 UConn.

Stanford underwent a lot of change this offseason. Cameron Brink, the team's second-highest scorer, was drafted No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Sparks. Longtime head coach Tara Van Der Veer retired and was replaced by assistant coach Kate Paye. With Iriafen potentially jumping into the WNBA draft in 2025 (where she could be a No. 1 pick), she has one more chance to win a national title. Teaming up with Watkins, one of the sports most talented young players, gives her the best opportunity of her career to do so.