UNIVERSITY PARK (WTAJ) — Despite having one of the top guards in college basketball, Penn State women’s basketball underwhelmed in 2021, finishing just 11-18. But with Makenna Marisa back for her senior season, and a healthy Alli Campbell expected to make an impact, there is excitement around Carolyn Kieger’s program.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited for a group,” she said Wednesday during the team’s media day. “And I know this team really wants to hear our name called and March and we’re hungry and we’re ready to put this team back on the map.”

Marisa gained national attention in 2021 as she averaged 22.2 points-per-game. She 25th all-time at Penn State with 1,244 career points. She’s on the preseason Nancy Lieberman watch-list for best point guards in the country.

“I can’t wait until she gets the national recognition that she deserves because she no doubt is one of the best guards in the country,” Kieger said, “and deserves to be in those All-American conversations.”

If Marisa is the president of the Lady Lions, Allie Campbell is her VP. A Naismith National High School All-American from Bellwood-Antis, Campbell began her career at Notre Dame before transferring to Penn State last season. But battling an injury she didn’t see the court in 2021, but could bring size and skill to the Lady Lions’ offense.

“She can play the four, step out and stretch the defense and hit the three or she can play the guard and be coming off the ball screens. You’re going to see her in different roles,” said Kieger. “We have very high aspirations for her, and she’s really locked in mentally and physically right now to do whatever she can for this team to win.”

Penn State opens up a five-game homestand to start the season November 9th against Norfolk State.