InsideNDSports - ND women's hoops adds second transfer of the day, Oregon's Kylee Watson
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ND women's hoops adds second transfer of the day, Oregon's Kylee Watson

Oregon forward Kylee Watson (22) will join the Irish after two seasons with the Ducks.
Oregon forward Kylee Watson (22) will join the Irish after two seasons with the Ducks. (John Lochar, Associated Press)

Hours after Notre Dame formally announced Stanford guard Jenna Brown would be joining the Notre Dame women’s basketball roster, Oregon forward Kylee Watson did the honors herself on Tuesday night via her Twitter account.

The 6-foot-4 forward, like Brown, is a former McDonald’s All-American looking for a reboot to reach that kind of potential in college. Unlike Brown, the Linwood, N.J., product is an underclassman — a junior to be with as many as three years of eligibility left, with the COVID exemption in play.

Watson played in all 32 games for the Ducks (20-12) last season, starting nine. She averaged 3.8 points and 2.1 rebounds, while shooting 55% from the field and 41% from the free-throw line.

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As a freshman, she averaged 2.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in 18 games.

As a high school senior, she was the No. 17 player overall in ESPNw’s 2020 player rankings and part of an Oregon five-player class that was ranked consensus No. 1. She’s one of four players in that class who have since left or plan to leave Eugene, Ore,

Notre Dame, in that same recruiting cycle, signed forwards Maddy Westbeld (No. 20 overall play in 2020) and Natalija Marshall (34), and guards Allison Campbell (27) and Alasia Hayes (44). Campbell (Penn State) and Hayes (Mississippi State) transferred after their freshman seasons.

With last year’s starting center, Maya Dodson, being denied a sixth season by the NCAA, the Irish (24-9) needed size badly — and still do — to go with four returning starters — Westbeld and guards Sonia Citron, Olivia Miles and Dara Mabrey.

They also need numbers.

The Irish lost reserve guards Anaya Peoples and Abby Prohaska and forward Sam Brunelle to the transfer portal a month ago. Guard Katlyn Gilbert, who never played after Dec. 19 for personal reasons, recently entered the portal.

That leaves the 6-5 Marshall as the only other returning scholarship player, and she’s coming off January knee surgery. McDonald’s All-American KK Bransford, a 5-10 guard from Cincinnati, was ND’s only high school signee in November.

The additions of Brown and Watson give the Irish eight scholarship players for next season — for now.

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