Posted: 12:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013
Mired in a deep slump, women's basketball coach Agnus Berenato was let go after last season. New hope was given to the program under its new hire, Suzie McConnell-Serio, but things haven't changed just yet.
Heading into this weekend, the Panthers were a mere 4-4 with losses to teams including Buffalo, James Madison, and Lafayette. There was hope that, after a 3-0 start, including a 30-point blowout win over California (PA), that the team would take a step forward this year. That may happen under McConnell-Serio, but so far Pitt proved they still have a while to go.
There is hope, though. The recruiting class for next season was a top 15 one as rated by ESPN and that's pretty remarkable considering how down Pitt has been. 6'11" Redshirt freshman Bubbles Anderson has also shown some progress after redshirting last season. She has a while to go as her team-high 19 turnovers will attest, but is third on the team in scoring with 7.1 points per game and leads the Panthers in blocks with 16, averaging two per game.
Pitt will get better in the future - that much is certain. There's really nowhere to go but up with the way the team has played the past couple of years, averaging a meager 8 1/2 wins per year and failing to win even a single Big East game. But with all three of their freshmen (true or redshirt), Anderson, Chelsea Welch, and Frederique Potvin, playing heavy minutes (and Anderson and Welch getting starts), and sophomore Loliya Briggs and Brittany Gordon playing a lot as well, the team is relying on a lot of youth. Point being that there are still going to be growing pains this year.
The Panthers, though, did get off to slightly better starts over those two dismal seasons for what it's worth. Progress will come under McConnell-Serio, but there may not be much of it this year.