Alli Campbell’s heading to Penn State and at least two other Notre Dame women’s basketball freshmen from this past season are looking into transferring as well.
If they do leave, that means three out of the five players from last fall’s incoming class rated No. 3 by ESPN will be gone.
Alasia Hayes and Amirah Abdur-Rahim have entered the NCAA’s transfer portal to explore their options, ND spokesperson Josh Bates confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
Campbell announced late Monday night on Twitter that she’s bound for Penn State, less than an hour from her hometown of Altoona, Pa.
“It’s all good… I just took the long way home!” Campbell tweeted. “So excited for this new opportunity at Penn State”
The tweet included a photo illustration of Campbell in a Nittany Lion uniform.
Among Notre Dame’s five incoming freshmen last season, Campbell was the highest rated in her class nationally by Prospects Nation at No. 21 and was tabbed No. 27 by ESPN.
Maddy Westbeld, who went on to win Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year honors for the Irish, was slotted at No. 20 by ESPN and No. 27 by Prospects Nation.
None of the three players among Campbell, Hayes nor Abdur-Rahim played major minutes overall for ND (10-10) this past season.
Hayes played the most, appearing in 13 of the first 15 games before opting out of the remainder of the season in early February due to COVID-related concerns, according to the university.
The reserve point guard averaged 7.9 minutes, 2.0 points and 1.2 rebounds to go with 12 assists and four steals against 14 turnovers.
At best if she remains at ND, she’s expected to be a backup next season to Olivia Miles, who enrolled in January and became an immediate impact player for the Irish.
Campbell logged 57 minutes over her initial two games at Notre Dame — when five other players were sidelined — but then played just 16 more minutes over the final 18 games, sitting out the majority of them in uniform and then others out of uniform following a late-season practice injury.
Over those opening two contests, the 6-foot Campbell scored 12 points and made 5-of-8 field goals, including 1-of-2 on 3-pointers, as the Irish lost 86-85 at Ohio and beat Miami of Ohio 88-68 at Purcell Pavilion.
She also blocked four shots, those early swats all she needed to ultimately finish second on the team behind center Mikki Vaughn in block/minutes ratio.
Campbell arrived at ND out of Bellwood-Antis High School, where she was a three-time Class 2A Pennsylvania player of the year, scored over 3,000 career points and led her team to back-to-back state titles. The Blue Devils were still in contention for a third straight title when Campbell’s senior season was halted due to COVID.
The 5-7 Hayes hails from Murfreesboro, Tenn., and was the No. 44-ranked player nationally in the high school class of 2020 by ESPN, though just No. 130 by Prospects Nation.
Abdur-Rahim, a 6-3 forward from Marietta, Ga., did not appear on ESPN’s top-100 list nor on a Prospects Nation list that goes considerably deeper.
She got into eight games for the Irish this past season, averaging 5.7 minutes, 1.0 points and 1.1 rebounds.
If Abdur-Rahim and Hayes do depart, that still leaves ND with 11 scholarship players for next season, including the additions of freshman guard Sonia Citron (No. 16 by ESPN in the class of 2021, No. 31 by Prospects Nation) and grad-student forward Maya Dodson, a transfer from Stanford.
With the NCAA’s scholarship limit at 15, the Irish could also still make other additions. The transfer portal currently includes an estimated 500 Division I players.
Irish coach Niele Ivey was not available Tuesday for comment, though Bates said no ND players besides Hayes and Abdur-Rahim are in the portal.
Five of Notre Dame’s top six scorers from this past season and seven of the top nine are thus expected back, the exceptions being the graduated pair of Destinee Walker and Vaughn.
Further, 6-5 post Nat Marshall is anticipated to be at full health after missing all of her first ND season while recovering from a knee injury suffered in December 2019.
Marshall was the other incoming recruit in last fall’s freshman class of five, ranking No. 19 on the Prospects Nation list and No. 31 by ESPN.