When college sports shut down last spring, the Boston College women’s basketball team was on the cusp of potentially making the NCAA Tournament for the first time in years. Last season’s success was ensured in no small part by the then-sophomores/now-juniors.
This year’s junior class is made up of guard Makayla Dickens, guard Marnelle Garraud, guard Cameron Swartz, forward Taylor Soule, and center Clara Ford.
Dickens can be counted on to provide some consistent scoring for the Eagles, particularly if she’s able to get herself to the free throw line. She made 71% of her free throws as a freshman, and 80% last season - and she attempted 70 free throws last year, so it’s not like she just took a few and that inflated her stats. And although she is skilled from the free throw line, most of the 10.4 points per game she averaged last year were field goals. Dickens can also be counted on to set up plays for her teammates - she led the squad with 121 assists last season. She also averaged about 1 steal per game.
Garraud, the team’s local junior (she hails from Lynn), can contribute to BC’s success on every level of the game. She was right up there with Dickens on setting up plays for her teammates (she picked up 119 assists last season), she led the team with 62 steals, and she had a solid 312 points and 95 rebounds (most of which were defensive rebounds). Garraud also recorded 10 blocks last season. She shot 40.8% on field goals and 75% on free throws. Garraud is a flexible and skilled player across the board, and as she continues to mature her impact should only grow.
Swartz, who transferred to BC from Colorado last season, was a huge get for the Eagles and should continue to make an impact in her second season with the team. She averaged 9 points per game and recorded 1 steal per game. Her aggressive style of play should help her defensive stats to rise this season while she continues to be a consistent contributor on offense.
Soule will almost certainly not just be a star player for BC this season, but also a star player in the ACC in general. She was a two-time ACC Player of the Week last season and earned end of year Most Improved in the ACC honors. She recorded an impressive 10 double-doubles over the season and averaged 14.5 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game. She also had 20+ points in 8 games last year. With 14 blocks, 38 steals, and 148 defensive rebounds in addition to her scoring prowess, she’s proven strong on both ends of the court.
Ford came off the bench in 20 games last season, and her height (6’3”) makes her a useful bench player for BC to have. She managed to average 1.1 points and 1.4 rebounds in her 3.4 average minutes per game, and also picked up 3 blocks and 2 steals.