How Does Hetzke Do It?

margot hetzke

There is no question, Siena freshman Margot Hetzke is having a sensational season. She has established herself as a strong favorite to win Rookie of the Year after having been named the MAAC Rookie of the Week for the ninth time on Monday. That is the third most of any player in the history of the conference. Still when watching her play, one can’t help but ask, “How does she do it?”

Hetzke is not afraid to admit, she is not the fastest or most athletic player on the court. At times one can’t help but wonder how the 5-11 forward is able to get some of her shots off in the post let alone put them in. She is often playing against taller opponents but somehow she finds a way to score, in a variety of ways.

“The best thing about Margot is that she’s Margot,” said Siena assistant coach Stephanie McCormick. “She’s going to do what she does. Margot’s unconventional. You can’t scout it. You really can’t. The things she does you can’t have a game plan on.  She goes under you. How do you stop a kid from going under you in the post? She’s just determined. She’s got the mentality of a scorer. She always has.”

Scoring is something with which Hetzke is quite familiar. Prior to coming to Siena, she tallied an incredible 1,924 points while playing for Penfield High School in western New York. As a Saint, she is currently the teams leading scorer with 14.0 points per game (5th in the MAAC). She also is first on the team in rebounding pulling down 7.4 boards per game (4th in the MAAC) and ranks in the top 15 in the conference in field goal percentage, free throw percentage and blocked shots.

“The good thing about her, she’s probably one of the most humble kids I’ve known,” said McCormick. “She understands. She knows that none of it could be done without her teammates.”

After kicking off her collegiate career with a 29-point, 11-rebound performance at Buffalo, there was understandably good reason for caution. Things like that don’t happen too often. Even after winning Rookie of the Week for the first 3 weeks of the season, her coaches warned that it would be interesting to see how the other teams would game plan for her moving forward.

“The one thing with Margot early on was once teams scout us, do you think she’ll be able to score the same way?” McCormick wondered.

Still the weekly awards kept coming. But more important for Hetzke, was that the Saints (16-11, 9-9) who were picked to finish 10th in the preseason, kept on winning. They have already secured the program’s first winning season in 11 years. Currently alone in fifth place, they could lock down a first round bye in the upcoming MAAC Tournament with wins in their final two regular season games this weekend.

“In my opinion it’s one of the greatest things that a freshman can receive and she’s gotten it nine times. That’s pretty incredible,” said McCormick of Hetzke’s ROW’s. However, the second year Siena assistant tells of how Hetzke is more than willing to share the recognition with her teammates.

“I think about the seventh one she had gotten she was humble enough, she was like, ‘Oh man I really wanted (fellow freshman) Kollyns (Scarbrough) to get it.’ I looked at her and I’m like that’s the most unselfish thing I’ve ever heard a kid say. Just to say I wanted to step back this time and let someone else see how nice this is because they deserve it. She knew that Kollyns had worked really hard and had put up good numbers that week.”

So, while remaining humble Hetzke also remains determined and she continues to do things her way. So far, her way seems to be working.

“I respect the kid so much because she is who she is and you’re not gonna change that and I love that about her,” McCormick said. “She’s very coachable. She tries to adjust in situations where you need her to adjust but at the same time she’s going to go and she’s just reactive. She’s a kid that understands the game. She gets it. You give her a scouting report and she’ll be on the floor yelling what the play is. It’s fun to see a freshman be able to take that on. That’s big. Most kids can’t pick that up so quickly.”



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