When we last checked in with the Marquette women's basketball team, the team had finished the 2011-2012 campaign with a 14-17 overall record snapping a nine year postseason appearance streak for the program. But with no seniors graduating from that squad, the future seemed brighter for the Golden Eagles.
So with a few games under their belt, how do we feel about the prospects for Terri Mitchell's squad this season?
After winning both of their preseason exhibition matches, Marquette easily topped Butler in their home opener back on November 10th. The Golden Eagles then lost to Georgia Tech on the road after committing an atrocious 37 turnovers. A split of their matches in the Texas A&M Classic against Marshall and TAMU over the weekend put Marquette at 2-2 for the season going into tonight's game at South Dakota State. The ladies will then (finally) return to the Al McGuire Center against Fordham this Saturday.
The bad news first: guard Gabi Minix suffered a season ending ACL injury after the Butler game. Minix is a workhouse who averaged over 35 minutes a game last season so freshman Brooklyn Pumroy will have big shoes to fill quickly.
While the Georgia Tech turnover rate no doubt is raising the average, Marquette is currently averaging 23 a game which is up from the 20 per game last season. With a new starting guard, that number may remain problematic for awhile.
The good news: Added depth on the bench is great news for a team that finished the previous regular season with just 7 healthy players. Even Courtney Thomas, who did not play at all last year, clocked in some minutes during the TAMU loss. The bench contributed over 20 points in both victories and Katie Young, who contributed 18 points by herself in the Georgia Tech loss, figures to be an important part of the offense. She leads the team in three pointers made and trails only Katherine Plouffe and Arlesia Morse in total points on the season. Plouffe has topped double digits in every game this season to lead the team in scoring. Morse went cold during the Marshall match but has otherwise also shot in double digits.
The team spent most of the month of November on the road not shying away from a challenging start. Texas A&M is 25 in USA Today poll while Georgia Tech is just outside the top 25 in the AP poll. December should be more hospitable for the team as all but the December 5th match-up against Wisconsin will be in the McGuire Center.