Quinn’s versatile play key to filling Leer’s void



Mitchell Berrang

Coaches dream of having the opportunity to coach talented hybrid centers who dominate down on the block and inside the post, but can also drain threes from beyond the arc. For the past few seasons, Head Coach Harry Perretta and his women’s basketball team have utilized such multitalented centers to produce points in the paint and carve up opposing teams from beyond the perimeter. Most recently, the passing of the torch, if you will, has been from last season’s standout senior center, Emily Leer, to this season’s promising redshirt sophomore center, Megan Quinn.

Quinn is a local product out of Berwyn, Pa. and played her high school basketball at the Episcopal Academy. While there, Quinn earned a plethora of awards and recognitions. Most notably, the talented center is the all-time leading scorer in EA’s history. When asked the reasoning behind choosing to play for Villanova women’s basketball program she said, “I’ve always been a big Villanova basketball fan…  [my family and I] travelled to see a bunch of schools and it has always been that Villanova is just home. I also wanted to play in the Big East for [Coach Perretta].”

Quinn admitted that her freshman year was challenging. “I really had to learn my place as to what my role was, which was really difficult coming out of high school where you get to dominate all the time,” she said.

After Leer’s graduation, Quinn has effectively stepped up and has taken on full responsibility at the team’s versatile center position. Thus far in the season, the gifted center leads her team in rebounds with 6.3 boards per game. Additionally, Quinn currently sits fourth in scoring,  averaging 9.2 points per game, but always holds the potential to have a breakout 20-plus-point game, which has transpired multiple times this season. 

Quinn attributes her success both on and off the court to her predecessor, Leer. “[Emily] was a great leader in the classroom and on the court,” Quinn said. “Her working hard last year and battling with her to realize that I need to fulfill what [Emily] has done, which continues to be a motivator.” 

Quinn’s game strongly mirrors that of Leer’s with a few distinctions. Both Leer and Quinn are categorized as versatile centers who display long-range and mid-range game, and also establish an offensive presence in the paint. However, Quinn establishes more of a defensive presence by crashing the boards more often. 

During Leer’s tenure with Villanova, she had set high career statistics, including membership in the 1,000 point club. Quinn has high hopes of surpassing Leer’s records and setting a bar of her own. When asked if she [Quinn] will break Leer’s career statistics, Quinn said, “Oh yeah… one hundred percent, but it all starts on the defensive end.” This defensive focus is an aspect of Villanova’s game that Perretta continues to instill in the team, and he emphasizes defense as the team’s mantra. Quinn admitted, “I got to get better on the defensive end… ‘They say defense first’ then worry about the transition and the flow of offense.” Clearly, Quinn is an offensive minded player, but her relentless emphasis and effort to improve her defensive skills speaks to the diligent work ethic that Quinn brings every day to her team.

“I do want to dominate offense,” Quinn said with an inflection in her tone of excitement and eagerness. “With the end of the season coming up and the Big East tournament approaching, I definitely have to step up.” 

After arguably a career game against Providence, Quinn remained humble and focused on improving herself continually as well as helping the team win. “Yeah I scored a lot, but going forward against [Big East teams] I need to rebound the ball, score the ball, and really defend,” she said.

As a hybrid center, Quinn knows that she carries the responsibilities of both frontcourt and backcourt. This added responsibility would be a burden to some players, but Quinn sees her role as distinctive among other centers in the Big East. “I love to handle the ball and dribble the ball…get a good feel,” Quinn stated. “It helps me offensively with being aggressive, which is something I try to capitalize on.”

While Quinn’s impressive skillset on the court is helping her transform into a promising potential Villanova legend, her personality and demeanor off the court, outside of basketball realm, speak to her humble and genuine nature. Quinn’s biggest influence in her life is her mother. “[My mother] is my biggest supporter… one hundred percent. She comes to all my games and always wants to see me succeed and the team succeed. She’s just the best,” Quinn said. 

Academically, Quinn is considered a junior, but in terms of NCAA eligibility Quinn is considered a sophomore, due to her redshirting last year. Most athletes who opt to redshirt do so for injury related reasons, although Quinn’s reasoning for redshirting was more so for academic purposes. 

“Redshirting sophomore year allowed me the opportunity to stay for my Masters and play a fifth year,” Quinn claimed. As a junior in Villanova’s School of Business, Quinn is a finance major and already has committed herself to staying an additional year to obtain her Masters in Finance. 

Quinn’s dedication both on and off court distinguishes her from other athletes. Villanova University is lucky to be called home for Quinn. She is a multitalented and promising basketball player, but she is an even better human being. 

Whether it be helping her Wildcats make a NCAA Tournament run or potentially working on Wall Street, one can be confident betting on Quinn to achieve any goal she sets forth.