Okay, let’s make sure everyone’s up to speed on old Marquette women’s basketball business before we start on new business.
ITEM #1 — Lauren Van Kleunen announced that she is returning to Marquette for her COVID bonus season.
ITEM #2 — Karissa McLaughlin, Purdue’s all time leader in made three-point field goals, announced that she will be transferring to Marquette for her COVID bonus year.
If you thought that head coach Megan Duffy and her staff were done working on the roster for the 2021-22 season — and if you thought that, it was a pretty fair conclusion to reach — then you were wrong. On Thursday afternoon, Kennedi Myles announced that she will be transferring from Illinois to Marquette.
Myles, a 6’2” forward out of Cincinnati, just finished up her sophomore season for the Fighting Illini. She was a Day 1 starter for Illinois and stayed in the first five for the entirety of her 52 game career in Champaign. She was never the focus of the offense as Nancy Fahey appeared to spread her offense around pretty well, but Myles stayed steady all the way through to average 8.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game in two seasons.
At a glance, it looks like Myles knows that she can do the most damage on the interior but she’s trying to extend her game outwards. She shot 30 three-pointers in her Illinois career, but made just four of them. I’m not going to lie to you about her overall shooting, though: It’s kind of bad. Myles is shooting just 37% from the field in her collegiate career, and that’s on over 500 career attempts. This is something that she’s going to have to work on, but if the way Lauren Van Kleunen’s inside game has flourished over the past two seasons is any indication, Megan Duffy and her assistants can straighten things out for Myles.
As that straightening out process transpires, it would appear that MU will be able to rely on Myles to help out with what appears to be a Duffy staple: High quality rebounding. As a freshman, HerHoopStats.com has Myles as a top 300 rebounder in terms of rate on both ends of the court. She fell back a little bit on the offensive end this past season, but she was still top 200 on the defensive glass, vacuuming up over 21% of opponents’ missed shots while she was on the floor. Add in some nice passing out of the post (1.3 assists is nothing to sneeze at) and active hands on defense (she was actually top 100 in steal rate as a freshman) and Myles has a lot to offer the Golden Eagles over the next two years beyond her offense.
She also appears to be a good fit off the court with Marquette’s roster. Myles was part of Illinois’ contingent on the Big Ten’s Anti-Hate & Anti-Racism Coalition. Marquette’s women’s hoops team was not shy about their stances on both of those topics this season, and while I can’t guarantee that helped pave the way for Myles’ arrival in Milwaukee, it probably didn’t hurt, either.
Onwards to the scholarship chart, which has now been updated for the third time in two days!
Okay, so full transparency here: I’m putting Myles into the chart as a junior for the 2021-22 season. Yes, right now the NCAA transfer redshirt rule still exists. However, there’s going to be a vote on eliminating it at some point in April, and it is expected to pass seeing as most NCAA governed sports don’t actually have to adhere to the rule. If it doesn’t pass, we’ll edit the chart as needed.
No matter how that goes, adding Myles to the 2021-22 roster means that Marquette is completely full up on scholarship players for next season as she is taking the last available spot and puts MU at 15 total. In addition to the 15 players that count towards the NCAA’s scholarship limit, there’s also Lauren Van Kleunen pushing MU’s active roster to 16 women. That’s wild, and we still don’t know for sure whether Selena Lott will return for her COVID bonus season or opt in to the 2021 WNBA Draft.
Adding Myles to the roster as a junior next season moves Duffy back to six women in that class as I adjusted Nirel Lougbo backwards by one class as well here. Lougbo did not play at all in the 2020-21 season although she was clearly with the team on the bench the whole time. Until we hear otherwise from the team, we’ll call that a redshirt season and note her as a redshirt sophomore for 2021-22.