With one of her 15 scholarships sitting open and only one senior on the roster for 2016-17, Marquette women’s basketball head coach Carolyn Kieger doesn’t have much space to add players for the Class of 2017. That didn’t stop her from getting a commitment from Wisconsin native Myriama Smith-Traore on Monday.
After lots of thought & prayer, I'm happy to say I have committed to play basketball for Marquette University! pic.twitter.com/UrCyQFk5LE— Myriama (@myriamatraore) August 31, 2016
Congratulations to 2017 6'2 F from Whitewater Myriama Smith Traore on her commitment to NCAA D1 Marquette University pic.twitter.com/rkvZ8aItCU— Wisconsin Lakers (@LakNation) August 31, 2016
Big day for our program! Beyond excited for the new addition to our family can't stop smiling #WeAreMarquette— Carolyn Kieger (@ckieger) August 31, 2016
Smith-Traore averaged 17.4 points, 15.1 rebounds, 5.5 blocks, 3.1 steals and 2.5 assists as a junior for Whitewater last year. Whitewater won the 2015 Wisconsin Division 3 title, and Smith-Traore went for 17 points, 18 rebounds, two assists, and four blocks in the title game. As a freshman. Sophomore year, the Whippets lost in the regional final, even though they were the #1 seed in their region. As a consolation prize of sorts, Smith-Traore was still named to the Associated Press’ All-Wisconsin First Team. She was one of three juniors on the five player first team, which would seem to make her one of the three best Wisconsin players in the class of 2017, even if ESPN doesn’t agree. Or even have a profile page for her.
From reading a couple of articles about her, it sounds like Smith-Traore is evolving into a player that can do just about anything on the court that her coaches ask of her. That would seem to fit perfectly into the model that Kieger had on display last year as the Golden Eagles went 14-16, but 9-9 in Big East play and 9-4 in the Al McGuire Center. Marquette brings back everyone from that team, and adds a healthy Chelsea Gibson and four new freshmen, all of whom are at least 6 feet tall. MU will only lose senior McKayla Yentz from this year’s team, so Smith-Traore will be joining a veteran squad that will hopefully be coming off the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 2011.
We’ll wrap up with a look at Marquette’s scholarship situation as it currently stands.