WBB Enthusiast; ND Alum, Fan
- Nov 6, 2015
Mel Greenberg, who covered all things Pennsylvania for a very long time, has this take on Serio and, indirectly, Pitt in his most recent newsletter (which I linked to above). He's in violent agreement with you on how tough it is to get a program started in the ACC.Sure is. For Lance White over at Pitt, it will take quite some time, but they can't pull the trigger after 3-5 years IMO. He has a major rebuilding project at Pitt and rebuilding in the ACC ain't an easy thing when you are getting hammered by Louisville, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Florida State, etc. night in and night out. Pitt also doesn't have the prettiest of campuses, so it can't be too easy to recruit there.
As far as the Penn State job, if it was a few years earlier, we might have seen Suzie McConnell-Serio as a candidate, particularly after her Sweet 16 appearance. She is a PSU alum and had great success there in her playing career, but her coaching career at Pitt turned into a dumpster fire.
"Suzy McConnell Serio, one of the original (PSU) superstars, now unemployed after let go at Pitt in her native city. But, but you say, but the Guru says being Suzie McConnell at Penn State trying to win in the Big Ten is a bit easier — not knocking the conference — than trying to contend in the ACC. At the time of the Portland departure, she took the vacancy at Duquesne and signals were sent that connections to the previous era were a barrier. But that was then and this is now.
"Barbour (PSU AD) got the coded question about Penn State connections and said always helpful in hires, as resources for hires or delving in background checks."
Having driven through Pennsylvania more times than I can remember on my way to Notre Dame, I always think of the state as having distinct eastern and midwest connections and characteristics. I think those can factor into the types of players one can interest and/or recruit. As such, my mind is drawn to more than a few midwest, mid-coaches as ready for prime time:
- Tricia Cullop has done stellar work at Toledo (after Evansville), bringing in talent from the midwest and abroad. Very good at community work, as well.
- Shauna Green at Dayton. Has kept that program humming. Young, but highly thought of there. She did a stint at Providence as recruiting coordinator, so she could/should have connections in the east, too.
- Katrina Merriweather of Wright State. Excellent point guard at Cincy during her playing days and member of "The Family" basketball enterprise in Indy. She's led WSU well in the Horizon League and they just beat Green Bay to get an NCAA bid.
- Megan Duffy of Miami of Ohio. My Domer pick, if not for this now, than a P5 gig (and soon). Just two seasons in, but two 20-win+ seasons on a team that was not loaded when she got there. Spent years with Kim Barnes Arico at both St. John's and Michigan (where she coached Katelyn Flaherty) and was very responsible for recruiting the players to GW during Jonathan Tipsis' best years. Energetic, focused, tough. (You might be able to guess where I hope she ultimately ends up...)