Three weeks ago, our friends in Tuscaloosa got some bad news when point guard Karyla Middlebrook, who had started every single one of the Crimson Tide's 62 games in 2014-15 and 2015-16, announced that she would be transferring after she graduates in May, citing the ubiquitous "need to be close to home" rationale.
BREAKING:— Brandon Clay (@BrandonClayPSB) March 22, 2016
RS So. G Karyla Middlebrook (MO) is leaving Alabama. Will graduate in May & have two years of eligibility pic.twitter.com/xQYyt4h0Oa
And now, first reported by Ken Corbitt of the Capital-Journal, it appears that the former Blue Springs star -- a high school classmate of Wildcat football teammates Elijah Lee and Dalvin Warmack -- is heading to Manhattan to complete her two remaining years of eligibility.
#KStateWBB adds 5-7 G Karyla Middlebrook, graduate transfer from Alabama. Averaged 8.8 pts, 2.7 assists last season, 70 career starts— Ken Corbitt (@KenCorbitt) April 11, 2016
Middlebrook will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer. The redshirt junior is also an academic star, graduating magna cum laude from Blue Springs and earning SEC Academic Honor Roll recognition. In her true freshman year, Middlebrook took over immediately as the starting point guard for the Tide before being injured after only seven games. So what Mittie is getting here is experience, although the ultimate benefit is open to question, as Alabama women's basketball has been a bit less than mediocre the last few years.
Of more interest, perhaps, is what this may mean for the rotation. Kindred Wesemann led K-State to the NCAA tournament at the point, although it's possible Mittie sees the three-point assassin as more of a shooting guard and will count on Middlebrook to act as a distributor. What is clear is that Middlebrook didn't transfer to K-State just to give Wesemann a few minutes of rest every game, so she'll almost certainly play a large part in the Wildcat scheme next fall.
I've reached out to my copious Alabama sources, and we may have more on this later today or tomorrow.