Sophomore guard Natalie Chou to transfer

Sophomore guard Natalie Chou pulls up for a jump shot against Central Arkansas Nov. 14 at the Ferrell Center. The Lady Bears defeated the Sugar Bears 86-55. Baylee Versteeg | Multimedia Journalist

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

Baylor sophomore guard Natalie Chou is now looking for a new program to call home.

Head coach Kim Mulkey announced that the Plano native has been granted a release and will transfer.

Chou was a key role player in her freshman season for the Lady Bears as Baylor marched its way to the Elite Eight for the third straight season.

Chou appeared in all 37 games, where she averaged just less than five points per contest. She was a sharpshooter for the Lady Bears off the bench, shooting 42 percent from distance, which was good for sixth in the Big 12.

Heading into her sophomore season, Chou was moved into the starting shooting guard position, opposite of senior Kristy Wallace. Chou appeared in 27 games with 21 starts, but was hampered and missed time due to a wrist injury.

With her injury and the injury to Wallace, the Lady Bears saw the emergence of sophomore Juicy Landrum and freshman Alexis Morris, as they helped lead Baylor to the Big 12 regular season and conference titles, a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.

Chou did appear in all three NCAA Tournament games. However, she did not score in Baylor’s 96-46 win over Grambling State, going 0-4 from the floor and 0-3 from distance. Against Michigan, Chou saw less than a minute of action and against Oregon State, she played 16 minutes and did not score.

Baylor will return seven players from the 2017-2018 team, including All-American junior center Kalani Brown, sophomore forward Lauren Cox, Landrum, Morris, and fellow freshmen guards Trinity Oliver, Didi Richards and Moon Ursin.

The Lady Bears also welcome in newcomers forwards Caitlin Bickle, Aquira DeCosta, NaLyssa Smith, center Queen Egbo and guard Honesty Scott-Grayson as part of their top-ranked recruiting class.