clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Women's Basketball Season Preview

Head coach Terri Mitchell looks to send her squad back to the postseason this year, and with health and ball control, it should be a pretty easy trip.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Marquette women launched their latest campaign last Friday night when they topped UW-Whitewater, 78-59, in an exhibition match at the McGuire Center. Blowout exhibitions rarely tell the fans much about what to expect from their team for the following season, but despite the final score this wasn't one of those matches.

The scrappy Golden Eagles found themselves trailing the Warhawks in the first half, but they turned a 4 point deficit into a 11 point halftime lead in less than six minutes. That lead, which grew to 20 in the second half, gave Terri Mitchell more flexibility in giving the bench more time on the floor: every player who dressed for the match played (freshman McKayla Yentz the only one who did not reach double digit minutes). When Whitewater got within 10, Marquette shut them down scoring 11 unanswered points to close the game.

This feels like the deepest bench Mitchell has had while I've had season tickets and having more options could hopefully cut down on the wear and tear caused by players clocking in over 30 minutes a game. Not having to pencil marker in losses to Connecticut, Louisville, and Notre Dame this year makes it feels like the sky is the limit for this team. So to close things out, I'll borrow a page from the boys.

Minimum Expectations: Last year Coach Mitchell's crew earned a berth to the WNIT tournament and a repeat trip is not unreasonable. That team lost Sarina Simmons to graduation, but otherwise comes back relatively intact while adding Yentz, freshman JeTuan Rouse, and freshman Ashley Santos.

Wildest Dream: DePaul and Creighton, who are just outside the preseason top 25, are expected to battle it out for the top spot in conference, but Marquette could sneak into third place. The Golden Eagles were picked to finish fifth in the conference preseason poll, but I'm keeping in mind that they went 5-2 in conference last season against teams still calling the Big East home.

Nightmare: Continuing to average 20 plus turnovers a game is a really good way not to win games. The Golden Eagles coughed up the ball a scant 17 times against the Warhawks so that's progress.

Worst Nightmare: Injuries, injuries, injuries: the Golden Eagles have been snake bitten the past two seasons. Already Rouse is on crutches and junior Chelsie Butler also did not dress on Friday. More injuries could relegate this season to "could have been" status.

Next: The season officially gets underway on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm when Wake Forest visits the McGuire Center. The Demon Deacons finished last season under .500 overall and in conference.

Wake Forest came up just short in their exhibition match-up against something called Wingate on Saturday. Presumably it is not just retired NBA player David Wingate, because losing to him 5-on-1 sounds more embarassing than their actual loss to a Division II school. Senior Chelsea Douglas, who was named to the preseason All ACC team, is the top returning scorer for the conference and scored 25 in the exhibition loss. Junior Dearica Hamby notched a double-double.