5 Keys to the Women's Season

By Steve DiMiceli

In spite of the loss of Suzie McConnell - Serio to Pitt, times are still exciting for the Duquesne women's basketball program. Her replacement Dan Burt provides a familiar face who could help the Dukes avoid a major transition to a new coach and completely different system allowing them to compete for an A-10 title again this season. Here are 5 keys to the women taking another step forward this year. 

1. Adjusting to Dan Burt

While I don't think the adjustment to Dan Burt will be as severe as it might have been compared to a complete outsider taking over the program, inevitably he will make changes and his team will need to adjust. Hopefully, this happens quickly and does not cost the team early. 

2. Orsi Rebounding

I stand by the sentiment that Orsi Scezi is incredibly talented player even if she had a 2012-13 season she'd prefer to forget offensively.  If she is able to play to her ability and Coach Burt provides a little more structure on offense, I think she can flourish and become one of the top players in the league again. 

3. Odi or Belma Filling in for Floyd

With the bell ringing and parades that have followed Scezi and Wumi since they've arrived at Duquesne, I think many underestimate the value that Jocelyn Floyd had. She was the Conference Defensive Player of the Year and one of the Dukes most consistent threats from the perimeter. She will be missed almost as much on offense as she was on defense. While neither Odisho Oditte or Belma Nurkic project to fill her shoes on defense, one or both will need to improve their consistency to replace her scoring. Both disappeared for long stretches, but helped carry the team at times too.

4. Which Recruits Arrive

It sounds like the only casualty of the coaching change was Chelsea Welch. While losing her was certainly a blow, the Dukes still might have their deepest and best incoming class ever. 

5. Robinson Taking Steps

By the end of last season, I began to fully appreciate what kind of a player April Robinson could develop into for Duquesne. She has outstanding vision and makes precise passes. Her ball handling is very good as well. If she can take her game to the next level, she'll be a real asset for this team.