Believe it or not, we’re just about a month away from basketball season. That’s right, both men’s and women’s basketball games are right around the corner. To kick off our coverage of the 2021-22 coverage of the women’s team, we will preview each player on Northwestern’s roster. Next in the lineup is Lauryn Satterwhite, a guard hailing from Avondale, Ariz.
Who she is
Graduate student; point guard; 5-foot-7; Avondale, Ariz.
8.5 minutes per game; 1.8 points per game; 0.7 assists per game; 1.0 rebounds per game; 29.7 FG%; 26.8 3P%; 52.6 FT%.
Many speculated the 2020-2021 season would be Lauryn Satterwhite’s last as a Wildcat when she was honored on Senior Night. However, something within the Arizona native decided it wasn’t time to shut the door on her collegiate career just yet. Maybe it was the fact that her playing time increased as the postseason came around, or maybe Joe McKeown convinced her that Northwestern couldn’t succeed without her perfectly timed bursts of energy — who knows? All that matters is the grad student still has some unfinished business at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Satterwhite was a constant in McKeown’s 2020-2021 rotation off the bench — an important change from years prior where her playing time was much more limited. Her stat-line drastically improved from previous seasons as well. She continued to be a sniper beyond the arc and made five times more baskets than in her 2019-2020 go-around. Nonetheless, Satterwhite continued to bring up the rear in a very talented point guard room including Veronica Burton and Jordan Hamilton. That being said, Hamilton did graduate and transfer to Stanford in June, opening a potentially attainable spot for Satterwhite in McKeown’s starting five.
As previously mentioned, Satterwhite has an affinity for three-pointers. The guard took just under 60% of her shots from beyond the arc last season, and she also happened to make 30.2% of them — the second best three-point percentage on the roster, just behind Burton. She also notched 18 assists, which placed her behind only Burton and Sydney Wood on the current roster.
What is unique about Satterwhite, though, is her ability to completely revive a tired Northwestern team from a rut. Her energy off the bench last season was crucial for boosting the morale of a squad that wasn’t performing up to the expectations of many Wildcat fans and NCAA fans nationwide. As her minutes increased toward the end of the season, Satterwhite used her energy to hit shots in crunch time that inevitably propelled the Wildcats to victory in many contests where it didn’t look like victory was plausible. As a veteran and a leader, her energy will be just what this Northwestern team needs to kickstart their season in high gear.
While she may be a stud from downtown, Satterwhite’s achilles heel is finishing shots in the paint. She shot just under 33% near the net, hitting on just 23-of-72 attempts. This shot percentage was the worst on the team and arguably one of the reasons McKeown chose not to utilize her as much as he could have, especially during a season where the Wildcats were struggling offensively.
Her defensive play was not a strength either, as she collected only seven steals and 28 total rebounds. Compared to the rest of NU’s regular rotation, Satterwhite’s totals here sit near the bottom. To cement herself as a reliable point guard amongst her teammates, her play will need to remain solid on both ends of the court.
This season will be Satterwhite’s last in Evanston, so there’s no better time to leave it all on the floor. Without the added pressure of having to compete with two stellar guards at her side, the grad student should use her seniority, maturity and familiarity with NCAA play to her advantage.
Nonetheless, where Satterwhite pulled her weight last year was predominantly in the three-point category, which was one of NU’s primary sources of offensive struggle. If she can combine both that and her infectious energy with improved defensive play and an increased field goal percentage, she will be an important asset to this Northwestern team.