The Seton Hall women’s basketball team lost its top three scorers from a year ago, and normally, this would be a terrible situation for any coach. Tony Bozzella, however, will have plenty of options, both from the outside and within, to look to this season.
Last season, Donnaizha Fountain led the Pirates in scoring at over 15 points per game before she left. After her departure, it was up to JaQuan Jackson and Taylor Brown to carry the load, combining at a bit over 20 points per game for the season.
This year, though, none of the three will be on the roster, so it will be a team effort to find some scoring leadership.
Bozzella is still not worried.
“Our goal is to get to 80 points; if we get to 80 points, you win 80 percent of the time in basketball,” Bozzella said. “That’s a statistical fact.”
Bozzella’s plan to hit 80 points each game, even after losing his top scorers, sounds crazy, but it is actually quite feasible. In the first regular season game against Wagner, Seton Hall put up 95 points.
“We have to obviously play at a high pace offensively, we had 108 possessions [against Jefferson], which is fantastic,” Bozzella said. “We want to have no less than 80.”
He will be focusing a lot on guard play this season to ensure that his team succeeds offensively.
The Pirates have plenty of guards and forwards that can play quickly and increase the tempo at any given time. Nicole Jimenez and Shadeen Samuels, who each averaged at least five points per game last season, will take up a large role, as will Inja Butina. Bozzella also brings in Victoria Cardaci, a graduate transfer from Clemson who hit six three-pointers in the exhibition win over Jefferson.
Butina and Jimenez believe that the team’s chemistry will have a huge factor in the team’s success this upcoming season.
“I think it helps that our chemistry is better, we can bounce off of each other,” Butina said. “We trust each other way more than we did last year. We know each other better”.
The team chemistry could be the difference maker for a Seton Hall team that struggled with turnovers all of last season. With Butina and Jimenez on the same page, it could mean for a lot more quality offensive possessions.
In total, there is no reason for Bozzella to stress over his team’s scoring prowess this season.
The Pirates continue their season with the Seton Hall Tip-Off on Nov. 10 against Kennesaw State and Nov. 11 against UTSA.
Mat Mlodzinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Mlodzinski_15.