On Friday, May 21st came confirmation that former Rice University guard/wing Lauren Schwartz is transferring to the University of Washington to play for ex-Rice head coach, now UW Huskies Head Coach, Tina Langley.
As a sophomore transfer to Washington, the 5’11″ Schwartz — a product of Kentucky — officially reunites with Coach Langley and 6’9″ center Nancy Mulkey in Seattle.
In a statement issued by UW Athletics, head coach Tina Langley commented:
We are so excited to welcome Lauren and her incredible family to Washington,” said Langley. “The values and character that Lauren possess make her such a great fit for our program, and will propel her to high levels of success both on and off the court. Lauren’s toughness, skill level and passion for the game are tremendous. She’s a fierce competitor with a true love for the game and her commitment to grow and develop is elite. She has such a bright future ahead of her, and we can’t wait to see all that she will accomplish both during her time at Washington and beyond.
Offensively, Lauren Schwartz was Rice’s second-leading scorer, after Mulkey, with 13 points per game.
In watching game film, Schwartz was a standout from three-point range — particularly, catch-and-shoot transition threes — as well as, moving without the ball to get scoring opportunities from backdoor cuts or flashes to the basket.
Schwartz shot a very impressive 42% from beyond the long distance arc, which should be reasonably transferable to the PAC-12.
Although, keep in mind that PAC-12 guards closeout to three-point shooters aggressively and quickly, so expect a dip in Schwartz’s 3-point shooting percentage.
It will be interesting to see if Schwartz can score around the basket regularly (e.g., on cuts) against PAC-12 competition, because she doesn’t appear to have athletic explosiveness to finish consistently against larger defenders.
At times, this was demonstrated in the 2021 NIT championship game against the large front court players of Ole Miss.
Schwartz was a wing at Rice; however against PAC-12 competition, expect her to play guard in the Huskies offense due to her 5’11” height and average athleticism (by PAC-12 standards).
As a combo guard, Lauren Schwartz should be able to compete well against PAC-12 competition by shooting from deep; with transition threes; as well as, using her three-point shot to setup a fake and drive (“show-and-go”).
But do not expect Schwartz to become the Huskies’ starting point guard, since her quickness does not rise to level of most PAC-12 starting point guards.
Schwartz is a solid all-around player with a high basketball IQ that should demonstrate leadership in many ways that should improve the on-court performance of the Washington Huskies.
“I am blessed and grateful that Coach Langley and the staff at the University of Washington gave me this opportunity,” Schwartz said. “I’ve heard so many great things and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
The arrival of Schwartz, now along with Mulkey, gives Coach Langley two experienced players that are familiar with Langley’s coaching style and strategies.
The Huskies still do not have an experienced true point guard on the roster to replace former point guard Tameiya Sadler (transfer to Colorado).