After three years at the University of Missouri, Jayla Kelly has announced via Twitter that she will be transferring and using her two years of eligibility elsewhere.
Kelly struggled to get consistent minutes throughout her career but averaged 11.6 minutes per game this season, a career-high. Much of last season was spent behind former Tiger LaDazhia Williams, where she averaged just 5.5 minutes a game. Without another true center on the roster this season, Kelly doubled her playing time. More on that in a bit...
Starting several games this season for the first time in her career, the former four-star recruit from St. Louis had several standout performances. Against Tennessee and Wake Forest, in particular, she put up near double-doubles, with 14 points and 9 rebounds in 26 minutes against the Lady Vols, and 9 points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes against Wake. However, battling injuries, foul trouble, and a lack of production at times made it tough for Kelly to produce at a higher rate and find any sort of consistency.
Kelly’s minutes this season were a puzzling story, as in some games she would play upwards of 15 minutes, and in others she’d go less than 5. It really was a toss-up on whether she would be on the court or not for extended periods, which left Mizzou fans (and the media) perplexed. What gives? It couldn’t always be attributed to something easy to see like foul trouble. Kelly’s potential is there, however, and she showcased it against the bigger, faster, talent-rich SEC at times. She’ll have a nice bit of film with her to her next destination, wherever that may be.
Kelly averaged 3.2 points per game, 2.7 rebounds, and 0.7 assists in her final season with Missouri, all career-bests for the now-former Tiger.
Best of luck to Jayla, and thanks for being a Tiger.