New coach Lance White begins rebuilding project with Pitt women’s basketball
After winning six ACC games the past two seasons combined under Suzie McConnell-Serio, the Pitt women start anew with coach Lance White, who spent 15 seasons on the bench at Florida State as an assistant. White inherits a team led by five seniors.
“Whenever you come into a program, and you have five seniors, that could go either way,” White said. “They could say, ‘I am done. I will give you a little bit but not more than that.’ I think they want a chance to go out differently.”
Three players to watch
Aysia Bugg: The senior is back to run the point after missing last season with an injury. She led the Panthers with 3.4 assists per game as a junior in 2016-17.
Alayna Gribble (Norwin): The junior is the team’s second-leading returning scorer (7.7 ppg). She proved to be one of the Panthers’ most potent long-range threats after shooting 38.9 percent from three last season.
Danielle Garven: She has been one of the stars of the preseason. The junior averaged 6.5 points in 20.3 minutes a game (25 appearances, 17 starts) last season.
The season will be a success if …
… the Panthers simply improve. And it might not take a miracle: Pitt gave up an average of only four more points a game than it scored last season.
“I am much more concerned about moving our program ahead,” White said. “There’s going to be some smaller victories every game that we have to focus on, too.”
The season will be a flop if …
… well, it’s hard to imagine 2018-19 being a flop after only two wins in the ACC last season. Pitt has nowhere to go but up.
12-18 overall, 6-10 ACC
Chuck Curti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at email@example.com or via Twitter @CCurti_Trib.