We’ve had some Marquette women’s basketball recruiting news float through the atmosphere lately — hello KK Arnold, good-bye Kendra Gillispie — but it’s been nearly a month since we had a new scholarship offer from Megan Duffy and her staff to talk about. That changed on Tuesday and Wednesday, as the Golden Eagles made three offers that got out into the public sphere within shouting distance of each other. They’re all slightly long-term offers, with one in the Class of 2023, one in the Class of 2024, and one in the Class of 2026.
No, that last part was not a joke. We will address it when we get there as we’ll go in chronological order by recruiting class.......
#TeamMXIV 2023 Lenee Beaumont (Benet Academy) picks up an offer from Marquette University.— Team M-XIV Girls (@M14Hoops_Girls) July 13, 2021
The sky is the limit for this kid. All she does is WORK‼️ Congrats @leneebeaumont30 pic.twitter.com/th3vpFNMh7
Beaumont hails from the Chicago area, where she attends Benet Academy out in Lisle in the west suburbs. I’m seeing both 5’10” and 5’11” listed as heights for her, and considering that one is from the Chicago Tribune last summer and the other is her MaxPreps page, it’s entirely possible that both are true, or at least were at the time.
It seems that she hasn’t quite busted through on the high major recruiting scene quite yet. I tracked down a site that lists offers for Beaumont, and it’s mostly mid-majors with the exception of Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Providence. To continue that idea, from a skim through her tweets, Saint Louis is the most recent offer that she has received. One offer that isn’t listed for some reason is one that’s mentioned in that Chicago Tribune article I linked to earlier, and that’s from DePaul. That one came back when Beaumont was in eighth grade, and given Doug Bruno’s history of success with the Blue Demons, that’s a pretty strong vote of confidence.
Midwest Hoops Spotlight wrote up a spring/summer preview of Beaumont’s M-14 club team back in March, and here’s the scouting report on her:
The playmaking guard is a skilled shooter with range who can shoot lights out from the perimeter. She is also a reliable passer who loves attacking the defense to distribute and get her teammates involved. Beaumont is rising to be one of the top sophomores in Illinois and has caught the interest of several Div. I schools and has offers from DePaul and St. Thomas.
Here’s two-ish minutes of her freshman season at Benet:
And here’s nearly three minutes of spring highlights with M-14. It’s worth nothing that the first thing it says is that it’s the U17 team. If Beaumont is a typical sophomore, which is the year that the Class of 2023 just finished up, then she’s 16 right now. That would mean she’s playing a year up and still excelling.
Thankful to receive an offer from @MarquetteWBB ! Thank you to @CoachMeganDuffy and the coaching staff for this opportunity! #alwayswarriors @coachkent02 @TheOneRC @LADYATTACKELITE pic.twitter.com/YoJ96hRMMT— Blanca Thomas (@blancathomas34) July 14, 2021
Can I interest you in a 6’5” post player who is currently ranked in the top 10 in her recruiting class? That’s Blanca Thomas, who currently sits at #8 in the country according to ESPN. She actually made a list of “top recruits to watch this summer” that the World Wide Leader published, complete with this scouting report:
Thomas is a true big with length and the skills to make her potentially elite. She has good hands and can move well laterally. She plays the game with an awareness and with the intention to leave her mark.
In the paint, she changes a lot of shots with her presence as a shot-blocking threat. She runs the floor well and has shown she can sprint, catch and finish. Coming off a season in which she averaged 18 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks, this summer will serve as an opportunity to improve her rebounding efforts out of area and defensive techniques off the ball, as well as play with some contact offensively.
I’ll repeat it for you: 18 points, 14 rebounds, and seven blocks per game, all of which led her team. That’s great stuff there, no matter what the competition level is/was. Thomas attends Charlotte Catholic High School in North Carolina, where she was a freshman this past season putting up those kinds of numbers.
This has led to no shortage of high major offers for Thomas. In reverse order from her Twitter with MU as the most recent offer: Illinois, Clemson, Louisville, Georgia, Mississippi State, and NC State just to hit the last six. It’s clear that Thomas is going to have her pick of colleges to attend when she finally gets around to just trimming the list down to a manageable number.
I don’t have any video to embed here, but Thomas does have a Hudl page. It was last updated on March 7, 2021, so it’s pretty up to speed on what she’s capable of at this point.
Jenica Raine Lewis
Stick with me here, y’all: Jenica Raine Lewis is in the Class of 2026. That is the class that will be in the eighth grade when school starts two months from now. To put it another way: Megan Duffy has offered a scholarship to someone who has just finished the seventh grade.
And she is not the first one to do so.
Part of the reason that Raine Lewis is getting this level of attention before even starting the eighth grade has to do with what she’s doing on the club scene. According to her own Twitter bio, she is playing with a U16 squad. I believe that means she’s playing three years up, and thus is playing on a team and against other teams loaded up with Class of 2023 prospects, and maybe even 2022 recruits depending on when their birthdays are and what the rules are about the classification. Those are the players that are really under the microscope for this spring and summer, and if Raine Lewis is playing with them and succeeding, then that’s how you get noticed this early.
I’m not going to put a lot of effort into trying to find video for you because 1) a literal half-a-decade is going to pass before Raine Lewis starts college so the video is pointless, 2) I can’t find anything from 2020 or 2021, and 3) did you really want to watch her destroying a bunch of middle schoolers that badly?
Scholarship chart time!
For 2023 and 2024, Marquette is looking at losing two really large senior classes. Forget about the talent level involved for a second, particularly in the case of Blanca Thomas, because Megan Duffy will need incoming high major Division 1 players to replace what she’s losing. Sure, there’s a chance that both classes could have women return for their COVID-bonus season, but I remain doubtful that many of those are going to get used down the road. Anyway, the point is: If Duffy and her staff see an upside that they can help Beamont and Thomas reach at Marquette, then there’s definitely a spot for them in Milwaukee.
As far as Raine Lewis goes in the Class of 2026? Man, I got nothing for you. Even Emily La Chapell, MU’s current only 2022 commit, won’t even be in uniform for the Golden Eagles any more at that point.