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2019-20 Marquette Women’s Basketball Season Wrap-Up: The Other Returners

We take a look back at the season that was for the three non-seniors that returned from 2018-19.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Marquette vs St. John’s David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

I’m going to try something a little different and a little new here. As you’re probably aware of at this point, the coronavirus ended the Marquette women’s basketball season just a few days before Megan Duffy’s team was going to almost assuredly receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. As such, we never got an official chance to bring the season to a conclusion.

We also lost every scheduled Marquette sporting event between now and August for sure, as the Big East and Marquette ended the rest of the spring seasons at the same time as the NCAA tournament was cancelled. So, as a result, we’ve got nothing but time to fill for a long time now. So, while I don’t normally do a big breakdown for women’s basketball, we’ve got the time to dive in and do that.

In the interests of not turning this into one 7,000 word article where I end up giving things less attention than I really could, I’m going to break things up into a few pieces. We’ve already given the seniors a big farewell over here, and today we’re going to follow that up with a look at the other three returners from the 2018-19 season. At some point in the not distant future, we’ll move on to a look at what the freshmen did in their first year at Marquette, and then wrap up with a big team overhead view.

So let’s jump in to today’s adventure, shall we? We’ll sort these by total minutes played this season.

Selena Lott

Junior - #24 - Guard - 5’11” - Troy, New York

Selena Lott Traditional Stats

Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PTM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PTM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
30 34.4 5.2*** 10 52.5%*** 1.5*** 4.2 34.90% 3.6*** 4.6*** 78.1%*** 0.8 3.3 4.2 5.6*** 1.8*** 0.8 2.5 15.5***

Selena Lott Fancy Stats

Usage Rate eFG% FTRate OR% DR% Total Reb Rate ARate TORate Blk% Stl% Foul Rate
Usage Rate eFG% FTRate OR% DR% Total Reb Rate ARate TORate Blk% Stl% Foul Rate
21.9% 59.9%*** 27.0%*** 2.9% 10.6% 7.0% 32.3%*** 22.6% 2.3% 2.7%*** 3.6%

*** - Denotes a top 500 national ranking by HerHoopStats.com

By the time the 2018-19 Marquette women’s basketball season came to an end, we knew that no matter what happened in 2019-20, Selena Lott was going to play a major role. After starting five games here and there as a freshman, the New York native was thrust into the starting lineup by Allazia Blockton’s ankle injury, and ended up starting in 21 of Marquette’s 35 games. 7.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game aren’t amazing stats, obviously, but with the Golden Eagles losing five 1,000 point scorers, it was clear that Lott was going to end up carrying a pretty heavy load in 2019-20.

I don’t think anyone quite expected to get as much as what we got.

These numbers are all via Her Hoop Stats, so stick with me here:

  • #158 in the country in points per game
  • #65 in the country in effective field goal shooting percentage
  • #12 in the country in two point shooting percentage
  • #48 in the country in assist rate
  • #98 in the country in free throws made
  • #122 in the country in trips to the free throw line
  • #18 in the country in assists per game
  • #15 in the country in total assists

WHAT? That’s bananas! Back in March, I was kind of annoyed that Lott ended up Second Team All-Big East. I felt that she was a First Team performer, and she ended up on the Second Team because credit for Marquette’s success was going to head coach Megan Duffy instead. Looking at this rundown of what Lott accomplished in terms of pure statistical production — and it’s only a partial list, as I only went for the most impressive numbers to show you — it’s patently absurd that Lott wasn’t named as one of the five best players in the league. The fact that 7th seed Villanova put two women on the First Team is insane in comparison.

I can draw the explanation as to how important Lott was by pointing at a Marquette loss. A couple of them, actually. November 14th, at home, in overtime, against Northwestern. Marquette had a two point lead with 2:37 to play, and the Wildcats would score just once, almost at the buzzer to force overtime and end up winning. Lott missed that game with an injury. It didn’t feel like much of a near miss at the time other than “oh, man, if Selena plays, Marquette wins that for sure,” but that Northwestern squad ended up ranked #11 in the country in the final AP poll of the year.

Item the second: at Seton Hall, February 7th. Marquette ended up with a 72-60 loss as the Pirates held Lott to 11 points, two rebounds, and no assists. SHU head coach Tony Bozzella had his women faceguarding Lott the entire time, electing to play Marquette 4-on-4 on the defensive end. It was a pretty savvy move, as you can see from the extravagant assist numbers that Lott was putting up all year long. Without Lott stirring the drink, or even the threat of her taking it to the rim, MU’s offense struggled to get anything going and ended up shooting just 39% from the field and 11% from behind the arc.

You get the idea.

It was an incredibly impressive year for Lott, and the best news about it is that we get one more go-round with her. Even better, the MU freshmen have a year of experience under their belts, and that’s only going to end up helping the Golden Eagles send Lott off after her senior season on a big note.

Lauren Van Kleunen

Redshirt Junior - #42 - Guard - 6’2” - Mason, Ohio

Lauren Van Kleunen Traditional Stats

Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PTM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PTM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
32 25.5 5.0*** 9.8 51.3%*** 0.0 0.2 20.0% 1.7 2.1 80.3%*** 2.5*** 3.4 5.9*** 2.2 0.6 0.2 1.4 11.8

Lauren Van Kleunen Fancy Stats

Usage Rate eFG% FTRate OR% DR% Total Reb Rate ARate TORate Blk% Stl% Foul Rate
Usage Rate eFG% FTRate OR% DR% Total Reb Rate ARate TORate Blk% Stl% Foul Rate
23.6% 51.4%*** 9.4% 11.8%*** 14.5% 13.2% 18.8% 12.8%*** 0.6% 1.2% 2.8%

*** - Denotes a top 500 national ranking by HerHoopStats.com

First, let’s discuss the hilarity that is Lauren Van Kleunen being categorized as a guard on the Marquette roster. Just so we’re all on the same page, that’s not a new thing. She’s always been a guard on the Marquette roster. Here’s the 2016-17 roster from her freshman year when she sat out with blood clot issues. Guard. So, it’s not new, but more so than ever in 2019-20, it was funny.

The 6’2” Van Kleunen was a post playing superstar for the Golden Eagles, coming off the bench in MU’s first two games of the year and then starting every game the rest of the way. Her hook shot coming through the lane was nigh unstoppable, and her ability to vacuum up offensive rebounds only made her more dangerous. After attempting 105 three-pointers in her first two years on the active roster, LVK fired off from long range just five times in the 2019-20 campaign as Megan Duffy took advantage of what was working well with Van Kleunen and wiped away what wasn’t (she only hit 24% of those long range shots).

As much as Lott’s emergence as a true star on the team was crucial to Marquette’s success this year, so was Van Kleunen’s ability to dominate inside. In fact, quite honestly, it may have been her ball handling abilities that earned her that designation as a guard that benefited the Golden Eagles the most. 2.2 assists per game isn’t world shaking, of course, and her assist rate was fine. But opponents had to contend with Van Kleunen finding a cutter, or going high/low with her postmates, or kicking out to Isabelle Spingola for a triple. Van Kleunen was that old school pass/dribble/shoot threat, particularly out of the high post, and that made defending her even harder. It’s a facet of her game that we never quite got a chance to see in her first two seasons of action, and seeing her succeed like she did this past year was quite wonderful to see.

The only downside to her season was a tiiiiiiny bit of a lack of playing time from a certain perspective. LVK only played 25.5 minutes per game this year, and we can’t argue with what Duffy did there. The four-woman rotation at the two post positions in MU’s offense this past season kept everyone’s legs fresh. While Van Kleunen was incredibly effective on the floor, we have to ask if the rotation ended up limiting her or if it was ultimately beneficial. We also know that Duffy was more than happy to run with a hot hand if the circumstances called for it. Perhaps this was the best possible situation. We’ll see what happens next season for Van Kleunen, as MU will have to figure out a way to operate without Altia Anderson in that rotation.

Chloe Marotta

Sophomore - #52 - Forward - 6’1” - Mequon, Wisconsin

Chloe Marotta Traditional Stats

Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PTM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
Games Min FGM FGA FG% 3PTM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% OReb DReb Reb Ast Stl Blk Fouls Pts
32 16.9 1.9 4.7 40.9% 0 0.1 33.3% 0.7 1 68.8% 1.8 3 4.8 1.2 0.6 0.2 1.9 4.5

Chloe Marotta Fancy Stats

Usage Rate eFG% FTRate OR% DR% Total Reb Rate ARate TORate Blk% Stl% Foul Rate
Usage Rate eFG% FTRate OR% DR% Total Reb Rate ARate TORate Blk% Stl% Foul Rate
18.9% 41.3% 8.8% 13.1%*** 19.4%*** 16.4%*** 12.7% 22.7% 1.3% 1.8% 5.7%

*** - Denotes a top 500 national ranking by HerHoopStats.com

I think that it’s safe to say, without intending it as a slight at all, that Chloe Marotta had the fourth most impressive season out of the four post players in Megan Duffy’s rotation. Altia Anderson had an amazing breakout year as a senior, Lauren Van Kleunen was crucial to how Marquette operated as a team in general, and Camryn Taylor had what can only be called an impressive freshman campaign. That leaves Marotta in the four spot, and that’s just the math of the situation.

It wasn’t a bad year by any stretch of the imagination. It was just a season for the sophomore from Mequon, and quite honestly, that’s fine. Being a regular contributor on a team that went 24-8 is nothing to sneeze at. Marotta played her part in Duffy’s post rotation, appearing in every game and averaging nearly 17 minutes per game. That’s good! She didn’t compile much in the way of pure counting statistics, sure, and quite honestly, she struggled to shoot the ball.

However, it’ll be a cold day in hell before I say a bad thing about someone who ranks, per Her Hoop Stats, #120 in offensive rebounding rate and #338 in defensive rebounding rate. One of Marquette’s major strengths this season was the ability to clean the glass, no matter who was on the floor, and Marotta was a key component to that happening. Marotta could go out there next to Anderson, LVK, or Taylor and hold her end of the deal up in terms of hauling in misses, and that paid off in the long run for the Golden Eagles. Being able to extend possessions on offense or end possessions on defense was a key detail in MU ending up as a top 50 team on both ends of the floor in HHS’ metrics. Marotta played her part, and that’s all you can really ask from someone.