It’s springtime, and generally speaking, that means transfer season for college basketball. Every so often, though, it means it’s time for a team to welcome in an unexpected new freshman for the coming fall. That’s what happened with Marquette women’s basketball earlier this week when Class of 2022 guard Kenzie Hare announced her commitment to play for Megan Duffy starting in November.
I am SUPER excited and grateful to announce that I have committed to Marquette University to continue my academic and athletic career!! Huge thanks to my family, friends, coaches, and teammates for their support!! @MarquetteWBB pic.twitter.com/Xb6sf5FPf8— Kenzie Hare (@kenzie_hare12) April 13, 2022
Hare’s commitment to the Golden Eagles was unexpected as recently as the middle of March, as the 5’9” guard from Naperville, Illinois, had signed with Saint Louis in November. However, two weeks after SLU’s 65-50 loss to George Mason in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament, the Billikens elected to move on from head coach Lisa Stone. At 9-18 overall and 5-9 in conference action, it was Saint Louis’ first losing season since 2018-19 when they finished 15-16, and their first year under .500 in A10 play since 2014-15, but they also never reached an NCAA tournament since she took over before the 2012-13 campaign. A little harsh, perhaps, but athletic director Chris May is the one who hired Stone, so it is what it is.
In any case, the end of Stone’s tenure at Chaifetz Arena meant that Hare asked for and received her release from the Billikens. As you can see from the pictures in her tweet, it would appear that she visited Milwaukee at some point in the intervening weeks, and now, right as the spring signing period starts, she’s made her commitment to the Golden Eagles.
Here’s what SLU wrote about Hare when she signed in November, because I am nothing if not willing to make use of the research that someone else has already done:
A two-time unanimous conference player of the year … three-time member of the All-Conference first team and All-Area first team … has been named to the IBCA All-State first team and third team … named to the News Gazette All-State first team … named the Daily Herald Player of the Year … tied for 10th in Illinois history with 119 made three-pointers in a season … ranked 16th all-time in Illinois with 288 career three-pointers … has scored 1,822 points in her career … averaged 30.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 steals as a junior.
And here’s what Stone said about Hare:
“Mackenzie might be one of the finest guards in the Midwest who can score in multiple capacities. She can shoot the deep ball, drive to a pull and get to the basket in creative ways. Mackenzie will make an immediate impact in our program. We are happy to have her and her family join our Billiken family.”
Hare spent her first three years of high school at Bartlett High in the west Chicago suburbs, where she snagged those two POY awards. This past year, she was at Naperville North, a little bit more south in the Chicagoland area, and “only” averaged 20.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.1 steals, and 3.1 assists an outing, but that was still good enough to get her First Team All-State honors in Illinois’ Class 4A division from both the coaches and the Associated Press. After Naperville North lost to Benet Academy in the sectional finals, Hare finished her four years of high school basketball with 2,494 points, which seems good.
Blue Star Basketball had Hare ranked as the #198 prospect in the Class of 2022 when they attached her to the Billiken program. They also only listed her at 5’7” as opposed to the 5’9” height that SLU marked her at in their press release last November or the 5’10” that the AP reported in their All-Illinois teams. I feel like that might make a difference, at least a little bit. For comparison’s sake, Emily La Chapell is the only one of the three MU signees listed by Blue Star, and they have her at #148.
Hare’s Twitter bio very helpfully links to a nearly four minute long highlight reel from her junior season:
Hare’s addition to the recruiting class gives Megan Duffy four incoming freshmen for this fall and 13 active players out of 15 scholarship spots allowed by the NCAA. That gives Duffy two spots to work with if she’s interested in adding transfers, and I wouldn’t rule it out. There’s an awful lot of question marks about next year’s roster given what this past year’s rotation looked like at the end of the season, and if the coaching staff elected to solve for that equation with a transfer, it wouldn’t be surprising. One way or another, we’re going to see a lot of action from players who haven’t done a lot of heavy lifting in the past for the Golden Eagles.
Here’s the scholarship as it stands right now.