One day after Marquette announced that women’s basketball had returned to a full coaching staff with the hiring of a third assistant coach, the news got even better. Makiyah Williams, a guard in the Class of 2021, has made her verbal commitment to head coach Megan Duffy and the Golden Eagles.
MAKIYAH WILLIAMS, RANKED ILLINOIS #6 PLAYER IN THE CLASS OF 2021 HAS COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/FVc2r21kWu— Trinity Girls Basketball (@TrinityGirlsBa1) April 24, 2020
Williams stands 6’0”, and this article from the Chicago Tribune on her commitment calls her a forward in the Class of 2021. The article also points out that Williams averaged 20.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 2.3 steals and 1.9 assists this past season for Trinity High School in River Forest, Illinois. That’s a west side suburb of Chicago, not all that far from O’Hare Airport. Let’s just jump straight into the quotes from Williams in the article, shall we?
“(Marquette) was the best fit for me,” Williams said. “There were a lot of different coincidences, such as picking a school where I would be a part of a team that could beat a team like Connecticut. Also, I was outside two days ago, getting in a workout and I saw eagles flying outside my house.
“But Marquette just recruited me the hardest, talked to me more. It’s close to home, so a lot of people can come watch me play. I liked the facilities and the school is not too small or big.”
The mention of UConn in there is not a coincidence. Back in late January, Williams had this to say to OakPark.com’s James Kay:
“I don’t want to join UConn—I want to be the team that takes down a team like UConn.”
So it would seem that the Huskies rejoining the Big East is already paying dividends for the Golden Eagles. That OakPark.com article says that Williams can play 1 through 5 on the floor, but it remains to be seen if that’s something that will be effective at the Division 1 level. At 6’0”, Williams would have had four women taller than her on the 2019-20 Marquette roster. If we shift the comparison to those Huskies that Williams wants Marquette to be gunning for, that number rises all the way to seven.
I can’t tell you anything about Williams and recruiting rankings right now or at least not much. She doesn’t appear to have an ESPN page or a ranking with Prospects Nation. Prep Hoops has her as the #6 prospect in the state of Illinois, and given the number of players in the Chicago area alone, that’s a pretty good state ranking. Prospects Nation only lists out to a top 75 right now, while ESPN goes out to 100. ESPN has just two Illinois players in their rankings, while PN has six in their top 75. Seems like there’s a lack of consensus there, eh?
Marquette offered Williams a scholarship right after Megan Duffy was hired as head coach last spring. From what I can gather, Marquette was her best scholarship offer at the time. DePaul and Kansas State also came knocking at some point after that, and when it came down to it, Williams was still considering Eastern Michigan and Illinois State. It would appear that the combination of Duffy identifying her as a prospect quickly after being hired, staying consistent with Williams for the last year, and the opportunities in front of Marquette in the Big East were big items on the checklist when it came time to make a decision.
Here’s a highlight reel for Williams, although it is from last July. You’re watching #23 out there to see what she can do.
Wouldn’t hurt to rewatch it to see what #25 is doing, as that’s Brianna McDaniel, the top player in the state of Illinois in 2022 and obviously a Marquette prospect if I’m pointing that out to you.
Let’s go to the scholarship chart, shall we?
I’m switching the screenshots of the scholarship chart from an Excel file to Google Sheets because I don’t like Excel’s new default orange for our juniors. It’s too light and thus too close to the yellow for sophomores. Let me know what you think.
As it turns out, the chart we displayed after Destiny Strother’s transfer became a one and done chart. We’ve already updated it with Williams now, and as a result of her entry to the chart, we’ve also opened up the 2024-25 column for her senior year. Marquette is expected to have two open scholarships for the 2020-21 school year, but with 13 players on the roster, I don’t expect to see Megan Duffy make any movement on that front. If those two spots roll over to the Class of 2021, then Marquette will be looking to add as many as three more freshmen to go along with Williams. With Selena Lott and Lauren Van Kleunen departing the team, Marquette is looking for both inside and outside playmaking abilities for this recruiting class. Three spots is a lot of space, so it’s hard to say what will be the priority going forward for the coaches, especially with Itoro Coleman and Tony Greene providing a new outlook on things from here on out.