Women’s basketball lands four-star guard Loyal McQueen 

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Sports Editor

The Alabama women’s basketball team announced Tuesday afternoon that sophomore guard Loyal McQueen will transfer to The University of Alabama. 

McQueen was previously at Georgia Tech University. She will enroll at Alabama in January and will be eligible to play in the fall of 2022. 

“Loyal is a dynamic, up-tempo lead guard who will excel in our system of play,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. “She is a well-rounded student-athlete who has a great support system around her, and we are so excited to have her and her family joining our Alabama family.”

A product of Florence, South Carolina, McQueen was a four-star recruit and the top-ranked guard out of South Carolina in 2020. McQueen played in 25 games as a freshman at Georgia Tech, making 21 starts. She averaged 8.8 points per game while shooting a team-best 36.8% from long range. She also dished out 2.16 assists per game in 2020-21. 

McQueen was named Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Week on Dec. 14, 2020, after helping the Yellow Jackets jump out to a 2-0 start in league action. During that same season, she recorded five straight games in double figures.

The best game of McQueen’s freshman season came against Clemson on Feb. 4, 2021, when she led the team to a 71-69 triumph. She scored 17 points and had seven assists. She followed up that performance with 14 points and six assists against top-ranked Louisville on Feb. 11, 2021. 

McQueen helped lead the Yellow Jackets to the 2021 NCAA Sweet 16, where she recorded a combined 19 points in her rookie start at the tournament.

McQueen played five seasons at Wilson High School. She ended her high school career as the South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, South Carolina Miss Basketball, the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association 4A Player of the Year, the Max Preps South Carolina Player of the Year and the USA Today Southeast Player of the Year for the 2019-2020 season.

She averaged 20.4 points per game, 6.1 assists per game, 4.6 rebounds per game and 2.6 steals per game in 110 games at Wilson High School. In her senior season, she eclipsed 2,000 career points, finishing with 2,252 points. McQueen had six 30-point games, including a 51-point game, which featured 11 3-pointers, that season.

McQueen entered the portal on Nov. 16. She started in three games for the Yellow Jackets, averaging 4.7 points per game. She notched six total rebounds, one block and eight steals. However, she only played for 28 minutes this season. 

“She’s a strong competitor,” said Will Fuss, sports editor at The Technique at Georgia Tech. “I think part of what caused the transfer was a lack of the kind of touches she needs to thrive.”

Although her playing time was brief during her sophomore campaign, McQueen made some noted improvements on the offensive side of the ball. 

“She also, albeit in a very small sample size, played a bit of a different game early this year, taking more 2s and taking care of the ball better on offense,” Fuss said. 

Alabama fans should be on the lookout to see if that offensive evolution continues under Curry’s guidance.

Per NCAA transfer rules, McQueen will sit out during the spring semester and be eligible to compete at the start of the next season. McQueen is expected to join the team in January and will be eligible to practice with the Crimson Tide immediately.