The Marquette women’s basketball roster makeover has officially come to an end for 2023-24. On Tuesday, Marquette head coach Megan Duffy announced the addition of junior college transfer Abbey Cracknell. The 5’11” Australian will join the roster damn near immediately, travel with the team on their upcoming overseas trip, and be enrolled and in uniform this fall.
Cracknell has been at Gulf Coast State College for the past two seasons, and if that sounds slightly familiar to you, then you’ve been following Marquette women’s hoops for a while now. Yes, GCSC used to employ former MU assistant Vernette Skeete as their head coach back in the day, and GCSC is also her alma mater, as she graduated in 2003 before moving on to Alcorn State for her four year degree.
Anyway, as a freshman, Cracknell averaged 7.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. She shot just 28.4% from long range on four attempts per game, which is not great. This past season, Cracknell was a bigger part of the Commodores’ game plan, starting all 30 games and averaging 11.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.6 steals. She also raised her three-point shooting average up to 31.6% on over five attempts per game. That’s still not good, so we’ll have to wait and see how Cracknell fits into the offense.
Here’s what Megan Duffy said about Cracknell in the press release:
“We are excited to officially announce our final addition to the 2023-24 roster,” said Duffy. “Abbey will give us depth and can play multiple positions. She will bring a great work ethic and selfless winning nature to Marquette.”
That does sound an awful lot like “we’re not going to rely on her to win games for us, but we’re going to need minutes from her at the very least.” It’s also worth wondering how much of Cracknell’s addition to the roster has to do with Charia Smith suddenly sporting a knee brace over the summer.
Onwards to the scholarship chart!
Since Cracknell is coming to Marquette after two years in the junior college ranks, that means she has two years of eligibility remaining. That’s somewhat beneficial to the Golden Eagles, as it provides a little bit of roster balance with Cracknell joining Duke transfer Lee Volker in the current junior class. I would also imagine that Cracknell’s playing time this season could have a downstream impact on the bonus year decisions coming from Claire Kaifes, Liza Karlen, and Rose Nkumu following this upcoming season. At a glance, it seems that Kaifes would be the player most possibly affected by Cracknell’s entry to the rotation, but of course we’ll have to wait and see what happens once the games start counting in November.
Cracknell projecting as a senior in 2024-25 means Marquette is “down” to “only” five available scholarships for that season right now, and that’s with three freshman committed to sign letters of intent in November. It’s possible that three of those spots are being held for Kaifes, Karlen, and Nkumu, so I don’t think I’m expecting any new 2024 commitments.