An itch started in the back of my head when Baylor women’s basketball and new head coach Nicki Collen announced on June 7th that Tony Greene was joining her staff. That meant that Greene was leaving the Marquette staff, and thus a question began to form out of that itch in the back of my head:
What does this mean for Marquette women’s basketball signee Kendra Gillispie?
The top 60 Class of 2021 prospect withdrew a verbal commitment to Ole Miss back in the day because Greene was no longer on staff there. Once he started on Megan Duffy’s staff at Marquette, a scholarship offer was not far behind, and Gillispie committed to MU in September and then signed in November.
But it was clear from the get go that it was Greene who did the heavy lifting to get Gillispie to Marquette, and now he was in Waco. What would the future hold for Gillispie relative to the Golden Eagles?
As it turns out, nothing.
On Friday afternoon, Baylor announced that Gillispie was signed to play for the Bears starting this fall.
I don’t remember exactly when I looked, but I know that I saw Gillispie’s name on the Marquette roster at some point this spring in between Duffy hiring two new assistants, Marquette losing two transfers, and the Golden Eagles adding two transfers as well. But Greene only just left a month ago. Things move fast sometimes, and Duffy made the smart PR decision to not hold Gillispie to her letter of intent and let her follow Greene to Baylor.
It is what it is.
It does mean that we need a new scholarship chart for women’s hoops, though.
As you can see, Gillispie opting for Waco means that Marquette 1) has three scholarship spots that could be used this coming season and 2) only one incoming freshman in Makiyah Williams. Having that many scholarship spots open isn’t that big of a deal, and technically it might not even ben three spots. I’m not counting returning super senior Lauren Van Kleunen as using a scholarship as NCAA rules for the COVID-bonus season state that MU can go over the limit with her still on the team and on scholarship. Marquette’s budget might say otherwise, and even if you count her, there’s still two open spots. In any case, Marquette is going to have 12 women available and in uniform this fall, and that’s a pretty solid number anyway.
Williams as the only freshman on the roster isn’t an issue by itself, although it does throw Marquette’s roster imbalance into further chaos. With Emily La Chapell as the only Class of 2022 commitment right now, we’ll have to see what Megan Duffy does this summer to fill that class out. She has the flexibility to add as many as four more players now that Gillispie isn’t projected to hold a scholarship in 2022-23, but five freshmen is a lot at once....... but Marquette is also looking at having four seniors as well. Rolling scholarships over to 2023 just leaves more spots available down the road, but like I said earlier, filling up the roster to the NCAA limit of 15 just to do it means you have some women who just aren’t really playing at all.