Changing of the guard for Duquesne women
Share with others:
Duquesne women's basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio is a victory shy of her 100th win with the Dukes.
But on Friday, she hadn't even remembered.
Right now her main goal is the wide-open lineup her players are competing to fill before the team's first game Nov. 9 against Liberty.
"It'll probably come down to right before the first game," McConnell-Serio said at the program's media day. "They come every day, know it's wide open, yet they're still teammates and competing.
"You see them get after it, they're genuinely happy for each other. They're positive even through they're going head-to-head, not knowing. It's the way we like to play."
The Duquesne women are coming off a 20-12 season that ended in the first round of the WNIT against Cincinnati.
It was the fourth consecutive 20-win season for the Dukes, and one of several reasons McConnell-Serio's contract was extended in May through 2017-18.
She has nine returning players, and two new point guards.
"One thing I said to our team, you're making it very difficult to choose a starting lineup, which is a good thing," McConnell-Serio said. "One thing I'm excited about is our depth."
The only sure thing for that lineup is forward Wumi Agunbiade, who returned from arthroscopic surgery on her knee ahead of schedule.
She averaged 14.7 points a game last year and 6.4 rebounds.
"I'm looking forward to winning our conference and making history and going to the NCAA tournament for the first time," Agunbiade said. "I want to be a part of that."
She sounds as sure as a college junior can sounds that this year is the year her team has the talent.
"Without a doubt," Agunbiade said.
The two new point guards -- freshman April Robinson (5-8) and junior transfer Oditte Odisho (5-6) -- have been learning the system.
"It's been interesting having two brand-new point guards learn our system," McConnell-Serio said. "Our foreign tour [this summer] gave them some time to learn the system. They're being thrown into the fire ... "
Agunbiade agreed, saying each newcomer will help in different ways.
"Having two brand-new point guards is going to be a little difficult in the beginning, especially," Agunbiade said. "But I feel like both our point guards bring completely different types of games and they'll complement each other real well."
First Published October 20, 2012 12:18 am