The spring grassroots/club circuit events are well underway in the basketball world these days. That means it’s time to do some recruiting, and that means new scholarship offers. Marquette women’s basketball is on top of it, as head coach Megan Duffy and her staff — including new assistant Khadijah Rushdan — have issued offers in each of the next three recruiting classes over the past two weeks.
We’ve got four young women to talk about, so let’s just get to it, going in recruiting class chronological order.
Class of 2024
As always, I find it helpful when the prospects put their notable information right there in their bio. In this case, Johnson has advised us that she stands 5’10” and attends Wilmot High School, which is down in southwestern Kenosha County in Wisconsin. The Hudl page that she has linked in her bio marks Johnson as a point guard.
Scholarship offers have been flying in for Johnson since late April. An offer from Purdue Fort Wayne got things started, and since then, she has used Twitter to announce offers from Milwaukee, Iowa State, Green Bay, Belmont, Evansville, Wisconsin, and perhaps most notably for our purposes here, Arkansas. The Razorbacks are a little bit outside the regional offer list there, and they went 24-13 last season including a trip to the WNIT quarterfinals.
Wisconsin Sports Network comes through for us as always when we’re talking about prospects from Wisconsin. In 24 games logged by the site this past season, Johnson scored 26 points a game for Wilmot, shooting just 36% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc. She also added 10 rebounds a night to go with 2.0 assists and 2.7 steals. I have many questions about Johnson’s status as a point guard if she’s averaging 2.0 assists per game as the Panthers went 7-18, but I’m not the scout here. Johnson was the only player on the roster who attempted more than 150 shots..... and she attempted north of 570 of them. Draw your own conclusions here.
Shouts to the folks at Courtside Films for this minute long highlight reel from late April!
Class of 2025
Blessed to have received an offer from Marquette university. Thank you to coach Duffy and the coaching staff for the opportunity! pic.twitter.com/lQeMKcWAHC— Agot Makeer (@makeer_agot) May 24, 2023
Same as McKenna Johnson, Makeer gives us some tips right off the top in her bio. She’s a 6’1” point guard/combo guard, which probably means she’s really more of a combo guard. She’s playing with Kia Nurse Elite on the EYBL club circuit, which is pretty good, but the former UConn star is from Canada, and so we’re not surprised that Makeer is Canadian and appears to be attending St. Ignatius in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Marquette is Makeer’s most recent scholarship offer, but the Golden Eagles are far from alone here. Iowa State, Memphis, and Michigan were all on the board with an official offer just days before Megan Duffy extended her offer.
I don’t know if being in/from Canada is putting a ceiling on the level of information about her, but that’s about all I can dig up on Makeer. I’ll say that if Michigan is involved to a notable degree, then I’ll trust Kim Barnes Arico’s evaluation and say that Marquette won’t be the last team to give Makeer a call this summer.
Class of 2026
Very grateful to have received an offer from Marquette! Thank you Coach Duffy, Raterman, Taylor, Rushdan, and Tsipis for believing in me!— Adaline Sheplee (@AdalineSheplee) May 18, 2023
Go Eagles‼️ @MarquetteWBB @TW_fanning @vcteamwi pic.twitter.com/v9lOAdKScv
Yes, we’re talking about young women who are just finishing up their freshman years of high school here. Always Be ‘Crootin.
Sheplee is a Wisconsin player, hailing from way up north in Rice Lake. You ever wonder if people from Rice Lake would say “no, we’re not WAY up north, that’s Hayward and Cable,” when we talk about their city?
In any case, Sheplee’s a fascinating athletic prospect. Sure, there’s the scholarship offer for basketball before she’s even done with her freshman year of high school, that’s a big enough clue. However, she’s got a Twitter follow from not only Marquette WBB assistant Justine Raterman but also Marquette volleyball assistant Abby Gilleland. On top of that? Right on top of her Twitter page as I type this up over Memorial Day weekend? Sheplee qualified for the state track & field meet in the high jump — while setting a school record at 5’7”, a number that’s just short of MU’s all-time indoor or outdoor top 10 — along with the 4x100 meter relay and the 4x200 meter relay. Not too bad at all.
We have to scroll a little bit to learn a thing or two about Sheplee, but hey, look at that. She did us a favor and posted some YouTube highlights from her first year of high school basketball, and the preview image on the tweet 1) tells us that she’s 6’3” and 2) lists her as a guard, even at that height.
Let’s just skip right to the video, which runs a bit over three minutes, and uh, yeah, she’s wildly unfair at 6’3” as a freshman:
If you’d like some numbers, Wisconsin Sports Network is here for us. Can I interest you in 12.8 points per game, and that’s while shooting a bit over two three-pointers a game and only hitting 24%? Sheplee also chipped in 8.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 steals per game as well as just under a block a night for the Warriors as they went 10-15.
A little bit of Twitter detective work tells us that Williams hails from Ankeny, Iowa.... although the detective work was just clicking through on her tweets and retweets about track and field this spring. She’s a 5’10” combo guard, and it appears that she’s currently one of the best prospects in the state in her recruiting class. Given the number of Division 1 programs in Iowa, I think it’s a safe bet that her recruiting will be heating up sooner rather than later if it hasn’t already.
I snagged that height and position info from this RT on her profile, as it appears that she has a very involved and proud mama:
As freshman season came to an end there is a lot to reflect on…one thing I am 1000% sure of is how proud I am of @jbball1022 and how maturely she handled adversity! Controlled what she could, dominated when given the chance & always a positive teammate! #2 in the state #proud pic.twitter.com/F7OQUuupas— Jenny Hoyt-Williams (@lvsprtz) March 9, 2023
That’s also where we get this quick highlight clip from late April. Part of this clip is talent, part of it is skill, part of it is instinct, and again, we’re talking about a young woman who’s just wrapping up her freshman year.
When volleyball spiking comes in handy as an assist in basketball My fav series from @jbball1022 tournament this weekend! Step back 3, a deflection and assist! These ladies were so FUN to watch!! #kingdomhoops #usjn #bluestar #windycityclassic pic.twitter.com/WyFASmZS8o— Jenny Hoyt-Williams (@lvsprtz) April 25, 2023
I found a site that has stats for Ankeny girls’ basketball, although I’m not sure how complete it is. In any case, it does list Williams as playing in 23 games this past season, so if there’s numbers for every game, that’s a good sample size. 11.0 points per game as a freshman is pretty dang good, especially since it’s second best on the team. She also added team highs in rebounds (5.9/game) and steals (2.2/game). She’s going to have to work on her shot, as under 25% from long range just isn’t going to hack it at the Division 1 level, but again: Freshman year.
Scholarship chart time!
The offer to McKenna Johnson is perhaps the most interesting one on this rundown, although that is a by default kind of situation. Johnson could sign a letter of intent as early as November, and since Marquette is facing down the possibility of losing both Jordan King and Rose Nkumu after next season, they’ll very much be in need of point guard options. It’s not a great sign that MU’s getting in the race this late on a prospect in a position of potential need, but it is what it is at this point.
Past that, I don’t think we can make any definitive statements about fit on the roster. With Nkumu joining Claire Kaifes and Liza Karlen with a potential COVID bonus season in 2024-25, we don’t know what exactly the Golden Eagles will truly be needing to replace in the fall of 2025. Fall of 2026 is a bit more firmed up with four seniors projected to be leaving, but who really knows what happens with the roster between now and then. Take this offseason as an example where the Golden Eagles have seven returning players, five newcomers, and three open scholarship spots anyway.