I don’t know what it is, but apparently the Marquette women’s basketball staff — which is currently just three people, Megan Duffy, returning assistant Justine Raterman and new assistant Kelly Komara, but that’s a different story — is super fired up to recruit players who have not even started high school yet. Back in April, we learned about a scholarship offer for a young lady who was in eighth grade at the time, and now we have another scholarship offer for that exact same recruiting class.
In this case, it’s much closer to home, as Megan Duffy has offered a scholarship to J.J. Barnes from Racine, Wisconsin.
Class of 2025 PGE guard JJ Barnes (Racine, Wisconsin) has received a NCAA Division I scholarship offer today from Marquette University in the Big East Conference and Head Coach Megan Duffy.#TheFuturePlaysHere @MarquetteWBB @CoachMeganDuffy @BlueStarBB @BlueStarMedia1 @USJN— Wisconsin Playground Elite (@WIPGEGirls) June 12, 2021
Bouncing around in the PGE Twitter [read as: “I did an advanced search”], I found two other offers for Barnes that they’ve mentioned in the past. She picked up her first ever Division 1 offer from North Dakota back in May 2020, and then Illinois popped in with an offer back in April of this year.
Dropping J.J. Barnes’ name into Google’s search engine provides us with a PGE roster page for her. That lets us know that, at least as of last summer, she stood at 5’7” tall. Again, she’s only just now finishing up eighth grade, so who’s to say how tall she may or may not be by the time that she actually reaches college four years from now. It’s worth noting that PGE is listing her as playing for the 9th grade team last year, which would be playing up at least one grade. Clicking through to move things along to this summer, there isn’t a height listed for Barnes — nor a picture like on the 2020 page, so maybe one thing explains the other there — but it does say that Barnes will be attending St. Catherine’s in the fall.
Playground Elite’s roster page for Barnes from the 2020 grassroots campaign has a whole bunch of highlight videos if you’re so interested in that kind of thing. I’m not putting a lot of effort into sifting through any of them to see how useful they are, as most of them are going to be Barnes playing against other middle schoolers, and uh, well, I’m not going to take an awful lot away from any of that.
Scholarship chart time!
Again, we’re talking about 2025 here. Marquette’s lone current 2022 commit, Emily La Chapell, is currently projected as the only “current” Golden Eagle who will be on the roster at that point. It’s essentially impossible for anyone to make any strong statements about what particular type of player is of most interest and use to the team for that far down the road. But, if Duffy sees a high major Division 1 future in Barnes — and if she’s playing up and succeeding for PGE, then you can see some of what Duffy sees — then it makes all the sense in the world to get in the door early for a prospect that is just down the highway from Milwaukee.