It’s time to wind back the clock ever so slightly to Marquette Madness weekend. We did a pretty good job of wrangling together a list of recruits and prospects visiting Marquette for men’s basketball, but we were admittedly criminally at a loss for information about the women’s side of the aisle. That’s a long and involved conversation that we can have if you really want us to have it, but let’s summarize it this way: If you have information about Marquette women’s basketball recruits (or hell, recruits for any sport that’s not men’s hoops), send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to know about it.
The point of this very long introduction is that Marquette hosted Gabrielle Elliott on an official visit that weekend. Evidence Exhibit A:
The 2020 finalists tracker on WBB Blog has been updated with the latest visits and list revisions. One visit that happened over the weekend but not previously noted: Gabrielle “Gabby” Elliott (MI) to Marquette, her 3rd OV, following Minnesota and Clemson. https://t.co/ejE96ucRy1— Raoul (@Raoul_000) October 7, 2019
Evidence Exhibit B:
Right now, a lot of you are probably saying either “Hey, is that....” or “Hey, does that mean....” Yes. Gabrielle Elliott, or Gabby, if you prefer, is the younger sister of current Marquette men’s basketball guard Greg Elliott. Because I know you’re wondering now: No, the whole family does not have a G related name. Check Greg’s MU bio for proof.
Marquette has been recruiting Elliott for a while. Then-head coach Carolyn Kieger offered Elliott a scholarship back in June of 2017. That at was the same time that current Marquette freshman Destiny Strother picked up her offer from the Golden Eagles. I’m not 100% sure about this, but I presume that the retention of two of Kieger’s assistants, specifically Vernette Skeete in this case, has a lot to do with how new head coach Megan Duffy is making the connection with Elliott.
This is all a big deal, by the way.
See, I don’t know if you noticed this or not, but Elliott, a 6’0” wing from Detroit, is kind of a big deal. She’s currently ranked #42 in the country by ESPN in the Class of 2020. Back in July, she announced a top six of Maryland, Clemson, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pitt, and of course Marquette. Over the fall, Elliott appears to have taken visits to Minnesota, Clemson, and just recently North Carolina.
Here’s a minute long highlight clip of Elliott, and according to the description, this is from the 2018 Michigan state title game, which her team won.
If you’d like to see more video, go check out her Hudl page, which was most recently updated this past July.
This brings us around to Marquette’s current scholarship situation.
Here’s the chart, and then we’ll talk about it.
As you can see, Marquette does not currently project to have a scholarship open for the fall of 2020, as they already have four commitments from Liza Karlen and Rose Nkumu from during the summer, and then Julianna Okosun and Danyel Middleton more recently.
This is why I brought up Tori McCoy’s health when discussing Middleton’s commitment. The Illinois native was diagnosed with a major kidney condition during her redshirt year at Marquette after transferring from Ohio State. Given the nature of her condition and the stress on the human body from playing collegiate sports, McCoy can’t play or even practice unless she receives a kidney transplant.
It’s been two years since McCoy was diagnosed and that has not happened yet.
Officially, she still has the 2019-20 and 2020-21 schools years left for eligibility and, if McCoy were of the mind to ask, I feel confident that the NCAA would grant a sixth year waiver if she ended up getting cleared to play.
More so than ever, though, I suspect that will not happen, though. First: It’s been nearly two years since McCoy was able to do anything resembling serious athletic training. More so than the kidney condition itself, that might be enough to draw her athletic career to a close. Second: Marquette lists her as a senior on the official roster page. Not a redshirt junior as she officially is by eligibility, but as a senior, as she’s in her fourth year of college.
Now, yes, Elliott’s official visit transpired before Middleton’s commitment. So maybe the Golden Eagles are closing the books on 2020. But if it seems that McCoy is never going to step on the court for Marquette — and each passing week makes it seem more and more like that’s the case — then it makes sense for the university to make sure McCoy is taken care of the same way that Ike Eke is being taken care of in terms of protecting her ability to finish her degree. That opens the door — and literally a scholarship berth — for Duffy to bring in what could be a transformative recruit for the program.
As you can tell, there’s a lot of moving pieces at work here. We’ll see what happens, but the short answer is this: Based on her recruiting ranking and Marquette’s overall place in the basketball universe, if Gabby Elliott wants to attend your school, you figure out a way to make that happen.