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Suzie McConnell-Serio opens up about Brenna Wise transfer

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Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, Pitt basketball star Brenna Wise decided to transfer out of the Panthers' program. While the men's transfers were mostly expected, Wise's departure was a pretty big shock since she'd been the face of the team.

At the time, I looked into the carefully-worded statement from head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio since it seemed like there was a little more there than the usual, 'We wish player 'X' much success as they leave the program' type of deal. McConnell-Serio talked a little more about that and, well, it's clear that there's a little bit of friction there, per this Pittsburgh Sports Now article:

"I think what she said in the paper, what she told me, is that for her to accomplish her goals, that she needs to go somewhere else. Ironically, when you're the face of the program and you're a team's leading scorer, leading rebounder, I'm not sure what those goals are specifically. She would have to answer to that."

...

I want people here that have two feet in. I want people that buy into our system, believe in us as coaches, have two feet in and want to be here at Pitt."

There's a lot more there in the link so it's worth a full read. McConnell-Serio does go on to talk more about Wise doing a lot of things the right way and working hard, so this isn't a total slam job. But as I said before, the initial press statement that talked about finding team-oriented athletes was just an odd one if there was no friction.

Personally, I didn't have a problem with the initial statement or with these follow-up comments. She didn't completely slam Wise, but at the same time, wanted to make it clear that she thought that Wise hadn't bought completely in. It's not up to me to decide if that's true or not but I don't have a problem with a head coach making those kinds of statements in general.

Now, if it happens several times, then maybe that's an issue where you look at the coach and wonder if they know what they're doing. But at the end of the day, I'm still pretty sold on McConnell-Serio despite these two down years they've had. I'm not saying Wise wasn't a good teammate, etc., at all. Who knows? But this may have just been a case where a coach and player didn't see eye to eye.

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