We continue our run of finding out about Marquette women’s basketball news a little bit behind when it actually happened with news of a transfer into the program. Thanks to the hardcore Internet Detective efforts of loyal reader Marquettefan, we now know that Antwainette Amaria Walker has transferred to Marquette.
Walker spent her freshman year at Arkansas-Little Rock. Presumably that means that she’ll sit out the 2019-20 season before having three years of eligibility at Marquette, but that’s up in the air until the athletic department makes an official announcement about her transfer. The 5’11” Walker hails from Lisle, Illinois, which is in the west suburbs of Chicago, and about 90 minutes from Marquette. It’s entirely possible that there’s some kind of reason for her transfer much closer to home that would allow for an NCAA waiver to play immediately, but we’ll have to wait and see. Presuming that she has to sit out a year, Walker will join the six Class of 2019 freshmen as sophomores in 2020-21.
Coming out of St. Francis High School in Wheaton, IL, Walker was a three star prospect according to what her signing announcement at UALR says. Through her junior year at St. Francis, she averaged 17.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.7 steals per game, and in her 2018 summer of club play, she averaged 13.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals. As a senior at St. Francis, Walker averaged 20.0 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 2.1 steals per game while the team went 14-14 according to Max Preps.
While she was very productive for St. Francis, that didn’t quite translate to UALR, at least not as a freshman. Walker had some pretty regular minutes in non-conference play, including a season high 16 minutes against Mississippi State, where she also scored 14 points. However, in 21 appearances across the entire season, Walker averaged just 2.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in only 5.8 minutes per appearance.
Here’s what UALR head coach Joe Foley said about Walker when she signed in November 2017:
“Antwainette is a very good athlete,” Foley said. “She can cause a lot of problems for a defense with her athleticism, speed and toughness. She’s going to break opponents down and create a lot of opportunities for our team, and she’ll be a defensive stopper for us as well. She has a high motor and is probably one of the better guards that we’ve recruited in a while.”
And here’s what Drew Ondik, her club coach, said about her in the same press release:
”Her tireless motor, endless drive and determination, defensive tenacity and commitment and her love for her teammates was evident every second of every game and practice. Additionally, she is an even better person than she is a basketball player. The Little Rock Trojans are getting an exceptional player and person in Antwainette Walker.”
If Marquette head coach Megan Duffy is going to deploy a similar style to the one used with Carolyn Kieger, then it sounds like Walker is a solid fit to that system. Foley liked her athleticism, but it’s worth noting that he’s thinking about her from a Sun Belt perspective. That might not translate to a Big East perspective quite as well, but if she has the motor and determination that Ondik described, that might cover any differential between the two leagues in terms of physical ability level.
With Walker on board, Marquette and Duffy have two scholarships open for the 2019-20 school year as well as for the 2020-21 school year right now. As mentioned when we talked about Liza Karlen’s commitment, we are getting a little late in the picture for any additional transfers or late freshman additions. Odds are that we will see those two scholarships carry over to 2020, but hey, that’s what I said when writing about Karlen, too.