Last week saw the Marquette men’s basketball team hand out a bunch of scholarship offers. That led me to running a search or seven on Twitter to make sure I was catching everything possible.
As it turns out, there have been some offers that have slipped through the cracks.... but they’ve been for the Marquette women’s basketball team instead. Let’s get caught up, shall we?
Dugalic attends Maine West High School in Des Plaines, Illinois. According to this recap of the 2018 Illinois Class 4A third place game, she’s a 6’3” center who scored 13 points in Maine West’s 45-41 victory. MaxPreps shows her averaging 7.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game, but only 0.9 blocks as a freshman in 2016-17, but as far as I can tell, they don’t have stats for this past season. That sounds like a pretty small bunch of totals in terms of stats, but if most of their games are struggling to crack 50, then it’s probably actually pretty good, especially for a freshman. Dugalic has an ESPN profile page, giving her a grade of 90 and three stars. It also lists her as the 7th best forward in the country, and there’s only six forwards in ESPN’s current top 25. Given that #6 is the #25 player in the country and ranked as a 4 star prospect with a grade of 94, I suspect that #7 in the country item is a generic marker for anyone who’s not in the top 25. There’s also this scouting report from April 2018:
Agile faceup-4 with college-ready frame delivers off the dribble, mismatch creator; elevates with soft touch in key; quick in block, active on the glass; emerging dominance in the key; shot blocking presence, superb in transition; a stock-riser in the class of 2020.
Aaliyah Nye receives an offer from Marquette University today. This young lady has had a busy week on the phone....and it ain't over. pic.twitter.com/aodxbIlLzi— Michigan Storm Elite (@stormAAU) April 26, 2018
Nye is listed as a 5’9” shooting guard by this Lady Ballers Insider page that also ranks her as the third best prospect in the class of 2020 in the state of Michigan. That has her trailing Gabrielle Elliott (yes, Greg Elliott’s sister) and Whitney Sollom, both of whom already have offers from Marquette. Trailing behind Nye is Aaliyah McQueen, who also has an offer from Marquette, and Cheyenne McEvans, who we will get to in a minute. Elliott, Nye, McQueen, and McEvans all play for Michigan Storm Elite, the same grassroots program that counts current Golden Eagle Erika Davenport and future Golden Eagle Destiny Strother amongst their members.
Her East Lansing high school team made it all the way to the Class A state title game this season, only to fall 57-36 to Saginaw Heritage. Nye was the only Lansing player to score more than six points, tallying 18 on 6-of-10 shooting from long range and chipping in two rebounds. It doesn’t provide much by way of scouting report or stats, but you should check out this article on East Lansing from late February, as it talks about Nye moving with her sisters from Alabama to Michigan and all three girls playing for East Lansing. I’m unclear on what East Lansing’s record was this year, as the box score from the state title game says they were 26-1, but that article I just linked you to says they were 18-2 at the time.
You can check out this Hudl page for highlights.
Cheyenne McEvans receives an offer from Marquette. Well deserved! pic.twitter.com/T4ndU2eI77— Michigan Storm Elite (@stormAAU) April 26, 2018
Blessed to receive an offer from Marquette University! pic.twitter.com/iDwKhwuWU0— Cheyenne McEvans (@Chey12_) April 26, 2018
As mentioned above, McEvans plays on the same club team as Aaliyah Nye, as well as multiple other players who either have offers from Marquette already or have committed to Marquette or actually play for Marquette. I don’t want to consider anyone on an inside track to a spot on the team, but it’s hard to ignore the connections between Michigan Storm Elite and the Al McGuire Center right now.
That same Lady Ballers Insider page that had Nye as the third best prospect in the state lists McEvans as the eight best player in the state. It also marks her as a 5’8” point guard, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Carolyn Kieger’s style of play, it that she can never have too many lead guard types on her team.
According to MaxPreps, Southfield Arts & Tech, McEvans’ high school team, went 16-6 this past season, winning two district level games in the state tournament before falling in the regional semifinals. McEvans averaged 10.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists as a freshman, and then boosted those stats up to 14.9/11.0/2.4 as a sophomore. Her defense really kicked into high gear as a sophomore, jumping from 1.8 steals to 2.8 steals per game, and going from 0.3 blocks to 1.4 blocks per game.
Congratulations to Rival ‘19 @Angeliqueee32 of @ProctorHoops who just landed an offer from Marquette University her 4th offer of the week ! @3Stripewbb @dcbluedevilsNH #RivalsWay #3StripeLife pic.twitter.com/e7s7l0SWrP— Lady Rivals (@LadyRivals) April 27, 2018
I had to do a little bit of detective work on this one, as she doesn’t have her last name on her own Twitter profile. Thankfully, a quick Google search for her high school and her high school coach’s name quickly turned up this page for the team and thus her name.
As you can see from the tweets about her offer, Ngalakulondi is a class of 2019 recruit, and she attends Proctor Academy in New Hampshire. She was named New Hampshire Player of the Year by both USA Today and Gatorade, and remember: she was a junior this season. According to the USA Today announcement of her honors, she averaged 24.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.6 blocks and 2.9 steals this past season, which seems pretty good. Proctor reached the NH Class C semifinals this year after winning the whole shebang each of the past two years, all while Ngalakulondi racked up 1,213 points in three seasons.
Either girls basketball competition in New Hampshire is somewhat lackluster or people are massively sleeping on Ngalakulondi, because those stats are bonkers and definitely do not connect up to the level of scholarship offers that she’s been getting.
We go from the near future in 2019 to the far future in 2021 with Grace Hall. As she’s just wrapping up her freshman year of high school, we don’t have all that much information about her. There is this article from the Chicago Tribune about her 13 point, five rebound effort in a 45-31 victory for Homewood-Floosmoor, her high school team. Six of her points came on a buzzer beater at the end of the third quarter and on H-F’s first two baskets of the fourth. That’s about it as highlights go, I suppose, as Homewood-Flossmoor went 14-14 following their 40-33 Class 4A regional final loss to Mother McAuley.
Jaddan Simmons (2020 PG Green Bay Southwest HS) receives an offer from Head Coach Carolyn Kieger and the Marquette Golden Eagles! #AcesEarnIt #BigEast #wisgb— Purple Aces - WI (@PurpleAcesGB) May 4, 2018
@Jaddan_Simmons @GBSWGirlsBBall @MarquetteWBB pic.twitter.com/Z1cwFAGreZ
As you can probably guess from the tweets, Simmons attends the same high school that current Golden Eagle Natisha Hiedeman graduated from a few years back. I think it’s safe to say that Hiedeman has had a successful career with the Golden Eagles so far, and if Simmons were to even have 75% the kind of career as Hiedeman if she were to choose Marquette, I think everyone would come away from the deal pretty happy.
Simmons averaged 21.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists as a sophomore, and her 3.8 steals per game is pretty great, too. This article from the Green Bay Press Gazette says she averaged 15.4 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.7 steals as a freshman who started high school a year earlier than you’d expect, meaning that she was still only 14 when the article was published in August of 2017. Southwest High School has gone out in the WIAA regional finals in two straight years to Seymour, but you can’t blame Simmons for the 2018 loss. This WisSports.net page says she scored 25 this past February in Southwest’s 64-50 defeat.
That’s going to do it for offers for now, at least. Marquette is going to have a bunch of open scholarship spots available in 2019 when Angelique Ngalakulondi will be ready to start college, but it’s also unclear how many of those that Kieger intends on using that fall. The roster is in need of massive rebalancing with just Chloe Marotta arriving on campus this summer. That could ultimately lead to more recruits in 2020 than just two to replace the previous year’s outgoing seniors. It’s still a long ways off, so we’ll see what happens between now and then.
Here’s the scholarship table as it stands right now, noting Olivia Moskari’s somewhat surprising departure after not being recognized on senior day: