Marquette Wire

Lott’s defensive expertise provides glimpse of future potential

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

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Freshman Selena Lott is one of the youngest players on Marquette’s women’s basketball team. On the court, the 5-foot-11 guard from East Greenbush, New York, fits right in, especially on the defensive end.

“She’s very capable of being one of the best defenders in the league,” head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “Her ability to impact on the defensive end is really elite as a freshman. Most people that come in, that’s the side of the basketball that they have to learn to play.”

Lott was an avid sprinter in high school, although she no longer has time to pursue that particular passion. “If I could still run track, I would,” Lott said.

Even though Lott’s speed is Division I ready, the pace of next-level basketball took Lott aback at first. “I would just say the tempo of the game just is a lot faster,” Lott said. “There’s just bigger girls, too. So it’s like I’m really small compared to everybody else.”

Despite that feeling, Lott is still able to effectively guard and pressure her opponents.

“She’s adding a defensive on-ball presence that we didn’t have,” Kieger said. “She’s creating havoc for the ball-handler … when she comes in we’re definitely crushing more than we do when she’s not in the game.”

Speed is not Lott’s only helpful physical trait. Her height and length prevent opponents from getting good looks at the basket.

“She’s got amazing size for a guard. She’s strong, she’s got long arms, she’s a great athlete, she anticipates well,” Kieger said. “She’s got the total package to be a really great defender.”

The biggest point of improvement for Lott is her shooting, which has been subpar this season. She’s shooting only 27.3 percent from the field and averages 2.3 points per game. However, if Lott can start to carry some of the scoring load, Marquette’s offense can become even more lethal than it already is.

“She has to be more confident on the offensive end,” Kieger said. “She’s shooting well from the three right now, but we’re trying to work on her ball handling and moves off the dribble.”

For now, Lott is bringing value to the team on the defensive side of the ball, where Marquette has drastically improved. In four of its last five games, the Golden Eagles have held their opponents below the BIG EAST median of 68.25 points per game. Lott has played at least 15 minutes per game in all of them.

“The thing about her is that she loves playing defense,” Kieger said. “She makes everyone around her work harder on the defensive end.”

She may only be a freshman, but the possibilities that Kieger sees for her are endless. “For me, I don’t care if she’s a freshman,” Kieger said. “If she’s going to play that hard and bring us that much, we’re going to play her … If she keeps developing and keeps getting competitive and keeps getting confident, the sky’s the limit.”

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