Marquette returns from two games in North Carolina with a record of 1-3 on the season. The Wake Forest game was a closely contested game for the most part, and MU gave #7 Duke a bit of a threat in the second half before the Blue Devils blew the game wide open over the last 10 minutes.
So, four games into the Carolyn Kieger era, what do we have so far? With two games - Green Bay & Duke - against top flight competition, and a third against a power conference team, you'd expect Marquette's statistical outlook to be kind of terrible. But it's not, at least not obviously terrible. The only notable massive flaw is turnovers, where Marquette boots it away nearly every third time down the floor.
Other than that, everything is kind of even. Marquette's effective field goal offense and defense are within three points of one another, and the Golden Eagles are holding their opponents to essentially the exact same offensive rebounding rate that they're assembling on their own end. MU's getting to the line a whole bunch and not returning the favor for their opponents, so things are largely okay. If they can cut down on their turnovers - and if you're a regular reader of our discussions of women's hoops on this site, this is a big if - we could see an improvement in the win column going forward throughout the season.
Game #4: vs UW-Milwaukee
Last year, Marquette went into the Klotsche Center and came out with a 71-52 win. Both teams find themselves in similar circumstances this time around however. Marquette is struggling to replace the departures of three starters and a key bench cog, while UWM only returns two of the six players that played 10 or minutes in last year's game.
One of their returning players, Ashley Green, was named to the Horizon League's preseason all-conference second team. As a team, UWM was picked to finish seventh in the Horizon League by a vote of the league's coaches and sports information directors. The Panthers are part of a three team tier that is clearly thought to be the bottom end of the conference. Sixth place Oakland received 105 points in the polling, while UW-Milwaukee snagged just 61 points.
Green is by far the most important player for the Panthers in this still young season. She's averaging just short of 30 points a game and just a shade over 10 rebounds per game, too. She's got the magic touch so far this season, with an effective field goal percentage of 74%. The 8-12 from behind the three-point arc is definitely helping that, but she's shooting 25-38 inside the arc, too. Eight different Panthers have played in all three games, and all eight are averaging at least 11 minutes per game, but only two - Green and Macie Dorow - have started all three games.
The Panthers have started off this season 1-2. They split a season opening trip to North Dakota where they got a win from North Dakota State, but took a loss against North Dakota. In their home opener against Bowling Green this past Saturday, they suffered a 60-50 loss.