With the fall signing period for the class of 2018 still five months away, Marquette women’s basketball is pretty much set. They have verbal commitments from Chloe Marotta and Kaela Webb, thus filling the only two open scholarships they project to have.
That gives head coach Carolyn Kieger and her staff lots of time to work on recruiting for the classes down the road, and they’ve been hard at work issuing scholarship offers lately. The most recent instance came last week when the Golden Eagles offered spots to Destiny Strother, Aaliyah McQueen, and Gabby Elliott, all of whom hail from Michigan.
As you can tell, they all play for the same AAU team, Michigan Storm Elite. It’s probably not a coincidence that this tweet was published on day two of MU’s team camp, particularly with all three girls posing with Kieger in front of an MU logo somewhere in the McGuire Center.
Strother is the only 2019 player of the trio, but she’s already gaining notice in Michigan. After averaging 17.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 steals this past season, the 5’8” sophomore was one of 11 players named to the Michigan Class A All-State Team by The Associated Press. Strother is one of just four non-seniors and two sophomores on that squad.
Aaliyah McQueen and Gabby Elliott are both Class of 2020 recruits, which means they both just wrapped up their freshman years of high school. I can’t track down any year long stats for McQueen, but I can tell you that she appears on this Michigan Top 100 list, although it is only separated into the top 20 and everybody else. For what it’s worth, both Webb and Strother are in the top 20.
Here’s a highlight video for McQueen, but heads up: it’s from March of 2016, while she was still in 8th grade.
Elliott also appears on that Michigan Top 100 list, and we should probably address the question that’s ringing in your head right now. “Wait a minute. A high school freshman named Elliott from Michigan, specifically the Detroit area? Any relation to 2017 Marquette men’s recruit Greg Elliott?” You betcha. Gabrielle is Greg’s sister. As if the Marquette connections in Michigan weren’t getting woven tight enough with Steve Wojciechowski recruiting three guys in one class from the same AAU team, Kieger is strengthening those ties with Erika Davenport already on her roster, Webb inbound in 14 months, and now an offer to Elliott.
As was the case with McQueen, I can’t track down any season long stats for Elliott, but I did find this: Detroit Edison, her high school squad, won the Class C state title this past March, and Elliott had seven points and five rebounds in the 46-44 victory, including a free throw with two seconds left. It’s probably worth noting that Elliott is not going to lack for recruiting attention over the next year or two, as Prospects Nation has Rickea Jackson, her high school teammate, ranked as the #2 player in the country in the Class of 2019.
While skimming through Twitter to see if Kieger offered any other players recently, I stumbled across a tweet about a player with a Marquette offer getting interest from Michigan. As it turns out, Shelby Calhoun, a Class of 2020 recruit, got offered by the Golden Eagles back in April.
Calhoun is an interesting case, as she apparently has now played three seasons of varsity basketball for Christian Academy of Louisville, even though she just finished her freshman year of school. Of course, given that she’s 5’10” as a 15 year old girl, that kind of makes sense. As of late January, she was averaging 18.2 points and 12.2 rebounds per game and had recorded a points/rebounds/assists/blocks quadruple-double against a Kentucky top 10 squad.
Here’s how Marquette’s scholarship situation looks going forward.