BIG EAST Women's Basketball

5 Things to Know About Creighton's Morgan Maly

5 Things to Know About Creighton's Morgan Maly

Here's what you need to know about Creighton women's basketball player Morgan Maly.

Nov 29, 2023 by Briar Napier

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From a key role player to All-BIG EAST, Morgan Maly has evolved to become a huge part of some of the best teams in Creighton women’s basketball history.

Now, the homegrown Bluejays guard/forward is a bonafide standout for what could be Creighton’s most dangerous team yet. 

Maly is earning her spot on watch lists and preseason teams as the Bluejays look to unseat UConn at the top of the BIG EAST pecking order and once again make a deep NCAA Tournament run with a core group that has seen success the past two seasons. 

No one in that group, however, is more important than Maly, and after a productive offseason full of accolades on an international stage, her first games of the 2023-24 season have shown she's pushing to new heights. 

That’s bad news for the rest of the BIG EAST.

Get to know the senior starter for the ranked Bluejays as BIG EAST women’s basketball is streamed all season long on FloHoops:

Crete To Creighton Women's Basketball

An in-state recruit from the nearby city of Crete—located about an hour and 15 minutes southwest of Omaha—Maly was a prep superstar and superb scholar-athlete who won 13 varsity letters as a four-year standout in basketball, softball and track, while also being named her senior class valedictorian. 

But hoops is Maly’s best sport, and it was proven during a spectacular career with the Crete High School Cardinals on the hardwood. Maly was named Nebraska’s Miss Basketball, the Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year and the Lincoln Journal Star Multi-Sport Athlete of the Year for 2020 as she finished her decorated high school career with 14 school records to her name. 

Having committed to play for the Bluejays since before the end of her junior season, Maly’s choice to stay home with Creighton has worked wonders for both her and the program as she’s evolved into the Bluejays’ most important player in a historic stretch for women’s basketball at the school. Filling up stat sheets on a nightly basis back home in Crete, however, was the beginning of her rise to stardom.

From Bench To All-BIG EAST

Though a breakout junior season with a spot on the All-BIG EAST First Team turned her into a near-indispensable piece of Creighton’s starting lineup, Maly wasn’t always picked to trot out with the first five early on in her college career. 

In fact, she first made a name for herself at Creighton while mainly coming off the bench. Maly started three of 54 games played across her first two seasons in Omaha, but that’s not to say she wasn’t a valuable piece of the roster. She averaged 7.7 points per game as a true freshman, then bumped that mark up to 12.3 during her sophomore campaign in 2021-22 to earn herself that season’s BIG EAST Sixth Woman of the Year award. 

Her best scoring performance as a sophomore—a 21-point outburst against Iowa State in the Sweet 16—ended up being a sign of things to come. Scoring 14.6 points per night in her junior season for a new career best, Maly knocked down a team-high 69 3-pointers and 191 rebounds as the Bluejays once again made the NCAA tourney behind her hefty amount of production.

Morgan Maly Plays For Team USA's U21 3x3 Team

If you were catching up on reading about her Creighton teammate, Emma Ronsiek, you would know that Maly contributed to the Bluejays winning a 3x3 National Championship in the summer in Colorado, winning the event’s MVP award for her play. 

However, Maly’s time balling out on the worldwide 3x3 scene didn’t stop there—and, in fact, she upped her game even further on a global scale. As a member of the U21 3x3 Team USA squad participating in FIBA’s 3x3 Nations League, she led the Americans both to September’s championship round in Mongolia and to the tournament title while there, with Maly earning MVP honors. 

While 3x3 and 5x5 offer two different disciplines, the swiftness and sheer ferocity of the half-court version almost certainly contributes to Maly's college game. Through 188 minutes this season (third on the team) she's only given up four turnovers, leading to a turnover percentage of 4.2 percent so far this season according to Her Hoop Stats, which is an incredible improvement from last season's 13.9 percent.

She's On The Katrina McClain Award Watch List

The only BIG EAST team with multiple players on the Katrina McClain Award (given to the best power forward in women’s college basketball) watch list in preseason was Creighton. After the honor was given to a BIG EAST player a season ago (former Villanova superstar and Dallas Wings draft pick Maddy Siegrist), Maly will be among those trying to keep it within the league. 

Maly made the list with Ronsiek, and both are deployed in a variety of roles in coach Jim Flanery’s system--Maly, in particular, can impact games as a deep threat, interior presence and/or distributor. 

That effectiveness and efficiency for a strong Creighton team throughout much of last season earned her the right to be placed on a list of names to keep an eye on nationally with the likes of LSU’s Angel Reese and UConn’s Aaliyah Edwards.

Key To Creighton's Success

It only took Maly two games to put up one of the best performances of the season from a BIG EAST player—and further indicate that she’s going to be one of the best and brightest players in the league over the next several months. 

Already projected to be an All-BIG EAST performer once again as she was named to the Preseason all-league team along with teammates Ronsiek and Lauren Jensen, Maly exploded onto the scene against South Dakota last week in an 81-55 Bluejays rout by recording a massive 30-point, 10-rebound double-double as Creighton improved to 2-0. 

Going 10 for 19 from the field with six made 3-pointers, Maly put up maybe her most complete outing in a Bluejays uniform. It was the first 30-point double-double of her college career and she did it without turning the ball over once in 29 minutes of play, all while she’s been the main scorer and reason behind why the Bluejays haven’t yet trailed for a single second yet this season. 

A truly special season could be on the horizon for Maly and Creighton, and as the Bluejays have so much returning firepower (10 players) back from that tournament team a season ago, the cohesion and chemistry is already in place for Creighton to achieve new heights. If they do, Maly will almost certainly be behind the charge.