When the preseason rankings came out on Wednesday morning, Seton Hall women’s basketball was ranked last in the 10 team conference.
In response to this, first-year head coach Anthony Bozzella stood in front of the podium on Big East media day and said, “Why not Seton Hall?”
Bozzella and company are not nearly as concerned with the rankings in the preseason as they are about the final standings. And although everyone is even right now, there is plenty of work to be done in a tough new conference.
Bozzella said that he really believes in his team and the program.
“We have to stay healthy.” Bozzella said. “We have a core that we need to play every game. And we have to win some games early on to get our confidence level up.”
The Pirates are led by red-shirt junior guard Ka-Deidre Simmons and senior center Brittany Webb, who both accompanied Bozzella to the media day at Chelsea Piers, N.Y.
“I’m just working on getting in shape so that I can be all that my team needs me to be,” Webb said. “And becoming tougher mentally so I can continue to help my team and be there when the game gets tough.”
Simmons was recently named to the 2013-14 Preseason All-Big East Team for her performance last season. She averaged 11.5 points per game, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
Simmons led the team last year with 63 steals and finished second on the team in scoring. She finished last year’s season scoring in double-digits in six out of the final seven games.
Seton Hall will face off with new Big East contenders this season in Creighton, Butler and Xavier. The “newbies” add quality depth to the conference from top to bottom. In order for the Pirates to compete this year, they need to stay focused and work together.
“We gained confidence as the season went on last year, and they’re starting to believe in themselves,” Bozzella said. “Our team chemistry is good right now and is still growing every day.”
Mike Romano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org