Tia Elbert of Tartan, Minnesota’s number three-ranked senior, is headed to Marquette, but you knew that. Before choosing Marquette, she gave consideration to a number of other schools. “I didn’t have a top five,” she said, “but I did have a cluster of about seven schools that I liked—Boston College, Creighton, Columbia, Washington State, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech and Denver,” and others.
Why Marquette? “There are many reasons why I chose Marquette,” Tia said, “so it’s hard to name them all. I just love it! The academics are great, which is very important to me.”
“The coaches are amazing,” she added. “Not only do they care about your athletic successes, but what they care most about are your successes outside of the court in life, which says something about their character.” Head coach Terri Mitchell is now entering her 18th year with the Eagles, and she’s compiled a 326-204 record (.615), including nine 20-win seasons and 14 trips to the post-season.
“And, I have visited the school many times for different reasons, and I like it more each time!” Tia said.
Tia describes herself as “a guard that can get the job done. Small, but makes up for it in toughness.” She can score in a variety of ways, she says, “drive to the basket, pull-up jumper, and the deep three.” Her stroke on her pull-up is one of the prettiest in the state, and most effective. She was the top scorer in the state of Minnesota last year, averaging 36 points per game.
She also “passes the ball really well,” she says, “and tries to be a vocal leader on the court, helping her team with leadership and intensity.”
What are the things that she hopes to get better at? “Defense,” Tia said, “especially on the bigger and longer guards.”
Right now, she’s got her final year at Tartan ahead of her. “My goals are to win the Classic Suburban Conference and also advance to the State tournament,” she said.
As a freshman at Marquette in 2014-2015, she’ll be joined by Minnesotans Kenisha Bell and Hannah Grim. “I know that we all can play!” she said of her teammates-to-be. “I have been teammates with Kenisha on our AAU team since seventh grade. Kenisha is super quick, a good ball handler, and a monster on defense.”
“Hannah and I have always played against each other,” Tia said. “She is a pretty good ball handler and can easily shoot the three.”
“I think that we will fit great together!! We will use our quickness to make it a hard match for any team on defense. I also think that we have all the pieces of a great guard group, the passing, the scoring and the defense.”
In addition to head coach Mitchell, Marquette associate head coach Michelle Nason is in her 17th year at the Milwaukee, WI, school, while the full-time assistants are Christina Quaye and Tyler Summitt, son of Tennessee coaching legend Pat Summitt. One of the graduate assistants is Matt Narveson from Chatfield, MN. Together they’ve grabbed half of the top half dozen Minnesota guards in the class of 2014. We’ll have to wait and see if this becomes a trend,