Since the Marquette women’s basketball season ended in March, the Golden Eagles have undergone two somewhat unexpected departures. First, it was Myriama Smith-Traore announcing her decision to transfer, and then it was Olivia Moskari being a surprise addition to the senior tribute section at the end of season banquet.
That left head coach Carolyn Kieger with three open scholarships for this coming fall instead of the lone spot that was expected. On Tuesday, the team announced that they’ve filled one of those spots with junior college transfer Amanda Maqueia. She arrives at Marquette after two years at New Mexico Junior College and will presumably have two seasons of eligibility ahead of her.
As you can see from the image in the tweet, Maqueia is a 6’4” center, which moves her into a tie with Tori McCoy for the tallest woman on the roster. However, McCoy is listed as a forward and clearly has inside/outside abilities, while Maqueia is listed as a center.
While the idea of adding notable size to the MU roster is immediately and obviously tantalizing, it’s probably important to pump the brakes here. Maqueia averaged 4.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in 35 appearances for NMJC as a sophomore, including 14 starts. That was in just 13.0 minutes per game, though, and her per-40 numbers of 12.8 and 11.4 are much more interesting.
However, there’s a problem with her minutes per game stats. In eight of her 35 appearances, Maqueia is listed as playing just one minute. At a glance, some of these stat lines make sense, where she’s listed as not taking a shot, or even taking just one shot. However, I find it slightly unbelievable that she managed to record 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting along with six rebounds in just one minute against Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa. Dig a little deeper on some of those no-shooting games, and you find plenty of rebounds and other stats on her scorecard.
Here’s my conclusion: The 4.2 points and 3.7 rebounds are probably real per-game numbers for Maqueia. The 13 minutes per game is probably not, as her average for the games with more than one minute played comes out to 16.6 minutes in 27 games.
There’s another big takeaway from Maqueia’s stats, and that is she is marked as starting the last 13 games of NMJC’s games. That includes both of their games in the NJCAA Division 1 national championship tournament before they fell in the quarterfinals to #1 seeded Shelton State. In 12 of those games (the 13th is one of those 1 minute games), Maqueia averaged 3.3 points and 3.8 rebounds in 18.3 minutes.
In terms of what this means for the roster, essentially it means that Kieger and her staff have taken Olivia Moskari’s roster spot and pushed the vacancy back by a year. Moskari was expected to be a senior in 2018-19, but if she has her degree in hand after just three years and didn’t want to hustle through a year of grad school while mostly riding the bench, that makes all the sense in the world. Now, with Maqueia on board, instead of looking to fill the vacancy left behind by seven seniors after 2018-19, it will be just six seniors. Hey, it’s not amazing news, but by creating a three-woman senior class in 2019-20, it helps normalize the roster imbalance that was created when Kieger had to remake her roster on the fly after her first season on the Marquette sideline. Focus on filling two, maybe three more spots alongside Destiny Strother in the class of 2019, perhaps take on a transfer here or there, and all of a sudden you start approaching a situation where you have three or four seniors every year.
Marquette has not yet issued an official press release about the addition of Maqueia to the roster, at least not on GoMarquette.com. Part of me wonders if that’s because there are further additions to the roster to be announced since there are still two open spots. It wouldn’t be the worst idea to take on a freshman that’s transferring, which would make them a sophomore alongside Chloe Marotta in 2019-20. We’ll see what happens.
Here’s what the scholarship situation looks like going forward.