If you watched Marquette's official announcement of Carolyn Kieger as the new head women's basketball coach, you may have noticed that two players were conspicious by their absence. Both sophomore Brooklyn Pumroy and redshirt freshman Ashley Santos did not appear at Coach Kieger's presser, and yesterday, we got confirmation on what seemed already obvious.
Louisiana Tech has announced that both Pumroy and Santos have transferred to join the Lady Techsters and their new head coach Tyler Summitt. You'll remember, of course, that Summitt spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach to now former MU head coach Terri Mitchell.
Pumroy started 64 times in 65 games out of the 66 that Marquette played in her two seasons in blue and gold. She made major strides in her second season, averaging 9.1 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.2 rebounds. Santos came to Marquette at the same time as Pumroy, but missed all of her first season with a knee injury. After rehabbing the injury, she provided solid minutes off the bench for the most part, appearing in all 33 games in 2013-14 with two starts. Her stats weren't outstanding, as she averaged just over 3 points and 1 assist per game and right on the button with 2 rebounds per game, but she provided valuable backup to Pumroy.
With the departures of Pumroy and Santos along with the graduations of Katherine Plouffe and Katie Young, Marquette loses three-fifths of their starting lineup from last season, along with 56% of their scoring. There are two upsides, though. First of all, the athletic department has confirmed to Anonymous Eagle that Pumroy and Santos are the only two transfers leaving the program. That leaves Coach Kieger and her staff with six players with Big East experience returning next season and a seventh, JeTaun Rouse, that will be a redshirt freshman after missing all of 2013-14 due to injury.
The other upside also comes via confirmation from the athletic department. All four of Marquette's signed recruits remain signed and committed to Marquette for next fall, and will in fact join the program with the start of the second session of summer school. This is important, as Marquette has a consensus top 30 recruiting class, and according to Dan Olson of Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and ESPN.com, the best recruiting class in the Big East. Two players, Kenisha Bell and Tia Elbert are nationally acclaimed guards, with a third, Hannah Grim, provided extra depth to the backcourt as well. With only Cristina Bigica and Arlesia Morse returning with significant game experience in the backcourt or on the wings, It will be up to Kieger and her staff to get Bell, Elbert, and Grim ready to contribute right off the bat in 2014-15.
(h/t to Swish Appeal for finding the LaTech press release.)