The end of Northwestern women’s basketball’s season came earlier than most had hoped, but there remain plenty of individual and team performances to look back on from the 2021-22 season. With March officially over and this year’s college basketball action behind us, it’s time we take a look at the impacts each member of Joe McKeown’s squad made during their 17-12 run. Moving forward with the starters, we dive into graduate student Lauryn Satterwhite’s season.
The following stats are from herhoopstats.com.
Satterwhite only started 16 of 27 games, but the stats don’t indicate how dramatically her role increased as the season progressed. After struggling to secure a consistent spot in Joe McKeown’s rotation in early Big Ten play, she played at least 20 minutes in each of her last 14 games. In half of them, she put up double-digit point totals. She only averaged 7.4 points per game on the year, but she was often Northwestern’s second or third scoring option behind Veronica Burton through the crux of the team’s conference schedule.
The numbers do show that Satterwhite’s biggest offensive contributions came from beyond the three-point line. The graduate student shot 33 percent from beyond the arc, which ranked second behind Laya Hartman among Wildcats who appeared in at least 15 games. Averaging almost four three-point attempts per game, Satterwhite developed into a solid perimeter threat who cleared the paint for Burton by taking away some defensive attention.
Satterwhite’s best performance of the season came during NU’s senior night win over Purdue, when she scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. It was a fitting capstone for the co-captain, who spent most of her time in Evanston gradually ascending the depth chart. Satterwhite went from appearing in four matchups during the 2018-19 season to averaging 22.2 minutes per game this year.
Here are Satterwhite’s advanced metrics, also through Her Hoops Stats.
It was clear Satterwhite wasn’t afraid to shoot from long-range. Her 47.4 percent three-point rate ranked in the NCAA’s 78th percentile, and she scored almost half of her points on threes. Satterwhite’s efficiency translated to her points per play and effective field goal percentage marks, both categories in which she came above the NCAA average.
For a perimeter-centric guard like Satterwhite, it’s not surprising that she didn’t get fouled often. Satterwhite only scored 11.5 percent of her points on free throws. It’s a somewhat low rate given that her two-point attempts almost match her three-point shooting volume.
The Wildcats shot and converted fewer threes than their opponents averaged two seasons ago, so the team needed Satterwhite to provide perimeter scoring. As previously stated, her shooting ability helped her earn more starts as the season drew on. Because of that, the graduate student complemented Burton and gave her more space to operate offensively.
That appeared to be Satterwhite’s primary role, but she may have excelled most as a passer. She was second on the team behind her WNBA-bound teammate with 2.1 assists, and her 1.13 assist-to-turnover ratio ranked in the top quarter of all NCAA players. Satterwhite actually improved her ball security against Big Ten opponents, raising that ratio to 1.38. As the guard took on more minutes, she became Northwestern’s key playmaker when Burton was off the floor.
It’s not often you see a three-point specialist shoot inefficiently from closer range, but that’s what Satterwhite did. She made just 41.5 percent of her two-pointers in 2021-22. And when Satterwhite earned free throw attempts, she couldn’t capitalize. Her 62.2 percent clip isn’t effective for a guard, and it fell in the 21st percentile among all players. Satterwhite’s inconsistency early in the year spurred McKeown to take away most of her minutes from around mid-December to mid-January.
She also struggled defensively. Although she ranked just under the NCAA average in most steal-based stats, her defensive rating and win share totals fell in college basketball’s bottom quarter. Satterwhite also didn’t contribute much on the boards, as she averaged just under two rebounds per game.
The Bottom Line
Satterwhite took leaps and bounds as a playmaker and a three-point shooter during her time in Evanston, and the 2021-22 season was her best. While she struggled to find playing time during early Big Ten play, she eventually became a solid offensive weapon who helped take the load off Burton. Satterwhite’s late-season success played a huge part in bringing the ‘Cats back into the bubble conversation after their four game losing streak in January. The Arizona native’s final season in Evanston proved worth the wait, and energetic presence on and off the court will be missed come November.