NEW GOLDEN EAGLE ALERT!
Given the state of the Marquette women’s basketball roster following the departures of Makiyah Williams and Julianna Okosun and the end of Chloe Marotta’s eligibility, it felt somewhat obvious that head coach Megan Duffy would be doing a little something in the transfer portal this offseason. That feeling turned out to be true on Monday, as Frannie Hottinger announced her commitment to play for the Golden Eagles in 2023-24.
Hottinger, a 6’1” guard/forward from Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, spent the past four seasons at Lehigh. After 27 appearances as freshman off the bench for the Mountain Hawks, she started in 15 of their 16 games in the 2020-21 season, averaging 14.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Injury limited her to just 20 games as a junior, but when available, Hottinger was usually starting and added 10.5 points and 5.4 rebounds on average. This past season, she started all 30 games for Lehigh, narrowly missing averaging a double-double on 20.4 points and 9.7 rebounds a night, plus she added just over an assist and a steal as well. Those numbers, including breaking Lehigh’s single season scoring record, even for a 16-14 team that went 13-7 in the Patriot League, was good enough to earn her PL Player of the Year honors.
I think we can rely on Hottinger to be able to rebound for the Golden Eagles, which is a mission critical item for head coach Megan Duffy. She’s been a national top 300 rebounder in terms of rate according to Her Hoop Stats in her last two healthy seasons, and as a senior for Lehigh, Hottinger snuck into the top 400 in offensive rebounding rate as well. She’s also been fairly surehanded for her entire career, never finishing a season with a turnover rate north of 17%. If you’re the kind of person who puts stock into such things, Her Hoop Stats has Hottinger top 200 in the country in Win Shares per 40 minutes this past season. That’s a nice mix of contributions across the board, which should go a long way towards a successful MU season.
If Hottinger can regain her shooting form from her sophomore campaign, where she hit 34.5% of her 3.4 three-point attempts per game, that’s going to go a long way towards opening up Marquette’s offense next season. She hit just 26.8% of her tries this past season and only 32.2% as a junior, although that was her injury season. Hottinger was amongst the nation’s leaders in usage the past two seasons, including ranking 32nd as a senior. She’s not going to have to do that at Marquette, not with Jordan King and Liza Karlen there to help carry the weight. If that allows her to be a little choosier with her shot, that should, in theory, lead to a higher conversion rate.
In fact, playing with Karlen might be particularly beneficial. The two have an existing relationship, as the MU forward celebrated the newest Golden Eagle on Instagram:
North Tartan was Karlen’s club team during her prep days, and as you can see, the same can be said for Hottinger.
Scholarship chart time!
For the time being, we’ll leave Nia Clark and Kennedi Myles up in the air in terms of returning to Marquette for their bonus seasons of eligibility, or at least what I believe is a possible bonus season for Clark at least. Neither woman was honored on Senior Night which seems to go a long way towards indicating that they will be back, but also Clark was conspicuous by her absence from the team photo at Sunday night’s team banquet.
In any case, even if Clark and Myles both return, that still leaves Marquette with three available scholarships for next season, maybe four depending on how MU is counting taking care of Nirel Lougbo after her medical retirement. Hottinger might not be the only transfer that we see join the team, as adding someone — or multiple someones! — with more than one season of eligibility remaining might benefit Marquette long term. The Golden Eagles could be looking at losing seven seniors after the 2023-24 season, and if Duffy gets things to the scholarship limit of 15, that would still mean turning over half the roster. Having people in the program and ready to contribute big time in 2024-25 could be important, but that’s up to the coaching staff — now without assistant coach Kelly Komara — to decide how they want to handle the future of the roster.