#43 Marquette Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Marquette Golden Eagles

Overall Rank: #43
Conference Rank: #4 Big East
#43 Marquette Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
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It was an up and down season in 2012-13 for Marquette. The Golden Eagles struggled at home going 7-9 but had a winning record on the road. This year marks a new journey as well for the program as they are now part of the Catholic school based Big East Conference. This move into a conference that does not have UConn, Notre Dame, and Louisville should still be very competitive but yet save some wear and tear on the Golden Eagles and put them in a stronger position to be in the mix for an NCAA berth.

2012-13 Record: 16-16, 7-9
2012-13 Postseason: WNIT
Coach: Terri Mitchell, 18th season
Coach Record: 326-204 at Marquette, 326-204 overall

The Golden Eagles did a solid job of shooting the basketball and taking care of business on the boards in 2012-13. The top two leading scorers from last season return for Marquette. Senior forward Katherine Plouffe will be the key down low. Plouffe was very consistent in all phases last season as she shot almost 48 percent from the field and was a force on the boards with just under eight rebounds per contest. Junior guard Arlesia Morse will be the key to successful perimeter play for Marquette this season. Morse led the Golden Eagles in three point field goals last year, hitting 52 shots at a 32 percent clip from behind the arc.  If Morse can get this number up into the mid to upper 30 percent range from three point land that will be huge. This will then open up the inside for Plouffe to cause havoc for opposing defenses.

The Golden Eagles struggled to score consistently in 2012-13 totaling just over 63 points per contest. Defensively, they were outscored on average per game by just about three points, allowing just over 66 points per game. This, combined with allowing opponents to shoot over 41 percent from the field, made it tough for Marquette especially in the old Big East conference that had the likes of UConn, Notre Dame, and Louisville. Hopefully, by moving into a newer, less daunting Big East, some of these will balance out.  There are not as many explosive teams offensively in the new configuration of the Big East. In addition, taking care of the basketball is going to be very important as the Golden Eagles turned the ball over almost 20 times per contest in 2012-13. That has to be addressed early and sophomore guard Brooklyn Pumroy will be relied upon heavily to lead the way in reducing the turnovers for Marquette.

Final Projection:
The non-conference schedule will provide some good tests early for Marquette.  A trip to Vanderbilt on November 17th will provide an early read on where Marquette stands before Duke rolls into Milwaukee on November 24th. Also, the annual in-state battle with Wisconsin should be a hotly contested battle as well. The month of January in conference play will be very important for the Golden Eagles as they have an early road trip to play Georgetown on January 4th and St. John’s, another perennial NCAA tournament team, comes to Milwaukee on January 18th. If the Golden Eagles can get a win or two in these games it should give them a huge surge of confidence throughout the rest of the Big East schedule. Overall, if Marquette stays healthy and shores things up defensively, they should be able to finish in the top half of the new Big East Conference and get a postseason bid once again in 2013-14.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Brooklyn Pumroy, Sophomore, Guard, 7.5 points per game
Arlesia Morse, Junior, Guard, 12.4points per game
Apiew Ojulu Sophomore, Forward, 4.5 points per game
Katherine Plouffe, Senior, Forward, 12.6 points per game
Chelsie Butler, Junior, Center, 4.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 63.7 (129th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.3 (270, 13)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.2 (76, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.7 (308, 14)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  4.3 (222, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.9 (127, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.0 (170, 9)
Rebound Margin: 6.0 (32, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.7 (91, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 19.7 (298, 13)


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