Over the weekend, Marquette women’s basketball hosted first a team camp and then an elite camp. You’re never going to believe it, but when lots of high school prospects make their way to campus, the coaching staff corrals a few of them and makes a scholarship offer or three. The first one we’ll highlight is of a more pressing concern, as she’s in the 2019 recruiting class and will be eligible to sign a letter of intent in November. The other two are names to keep in mind in the future, as they’re both Class of 2021 prospects and have just finished up their freshman year of high school.
As you can see in the tweet, Taylor Valladay is a class of 2019 recruit. I’m going to trust her AAU team’s tweet when it says that she’s 5’10” tall, as her Max Preps page says she’s just 5’7”. Valladay made a huge jump in her statistical output for her high school team as a junior in 2017-18, posting career bests in points (13.3), rebounds (5.8), and steals (3.1). Her scoring and steals numbers were team high numbers for Rich South High School in Richton Park, Illinois, on the far south side of Chicago, and she was just shy of the team lead in rebounds. While Example Sports says she’s a point guard, Valladay has never been able to rack up assists for Rich South. Her career best was as a sophomore, where she averaged 2.5 helpers per game.
That may, however, be more of a product of her prep team. Rich South went just 16-13 last season, and Valladay’s 1.8 assists per game was second best on the team by just 0.2 per game. On top of that, Rich South wasn’t what you would call a greasefire of pure entertainment in 2017-18. They averaged just over 41 points per game, and the fact of the matter is that it’s hard to post a lot of assists when your team only tossing in 15 to 20 field goals per game, and six or so of them are coming from you.
Here’s a three-ish minute highlight reel for Valladay, and you can go check out this Hudl page for more clips, although it hasn’t been updated since late November 2017.
The first of two Class of 2021 prospects on our list here, Brown is listed as a 5’10” point guard on her Max Preps page, and that height at her age is probably what’s helping draw the attention of the MU coaching staff. She attends East Grand Rapids High School in — WAIT FOR IT — Grand Rapids, Michigan. EGRHS had a very successful 2017-18 campaign, going 20-4 overall and reaching the Michigan Class A Regional semifinals before falling, 50-48, on a pair of last second free throws. You can’t say that Brown didn’t do her part, though, as she had a team high 14 points.
I can’t track down any stats on the year for Brown, but I can tell you that she earned First Team All-Conference honors, which is fairly impressive since 1) Three of her teammates did as well and 2) This was only her freshman year. Again, no stats to back this up, but when you’re shining enough to earn that kind of attention as a freshman on a talented squad, you’re doing something right. Brown also has the unique experience of sharing those First Team honors with her older sister, Olivia. Check out this article from the EGRHS school newspaper on the family tandem that will play together again next season, not to mention this article from three years ago on MLive.com that talks about the sisters’ experience raising pigs.
Head over to Brown’s Hudl page for a couple of highlight reels, including a seven minute long season highlight package.
Congratulations to #DarkHorse 2021 6’ G Kendall Moriarty (Benet Academy, IL), as she received her first scholarship offer courtesy of Marquette University (D1) this afternoon. One of the state’s top 2021 guards! https://t.co/Xk9lue3SvY— Dark Horse Recruits Girls (@dhrecruitsgirls) June 18, 2018
When you’re six feet tall at the end of your freshman year of high school, you’re going to get a little bit of recruiting attention, and that seems to be the case with Moriarty.
That’s also pretty much the end of the discussion that we can have here, because while Moriarty attends and plays for Benet Academy in the west Chicago suburbs, she wasn’t a star figure for the Redwings as a freshman. At least, that’s the conclusion I drew from this Chicago Tribune recap of Benet’s regional championship win as well as this Daily Herald recap of their win over Whitney Young in the sectional semifinals. Moriarty is mentioned in both, so she’s contributing in key moments, but for now, the show belonged to the upper class players. Not a big deal, especially with the team going 28-5 this past season and reaching the IHSA Class 4A Sectional Finals before bowing out of the 2018 state tournament. Odds are there will be bigger moments in Moriarty’s future.
We do have a highlight package for Moriarty, four minutes of clips that was posted just two weeks ago from her club team action over the spring.
As always, we wrap up with the scholarship table. With six seniors in 2018-19 and five of them expected to play heavy minutes, the 2019 class is an important one for head coach Carolyn Kieger and her staff. The Golden Eagles already have two commitments for the class, but they still project has having six open scholarship spots when August of 2019 rolls around. 2021 is a bit farther off at this point and how MU handles the 2019 spots will affect this, but Marquette currently projects to have three scholarships coming open for the fall of 2021.