Pitt guard Aysia Bugg was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, according to an announcement from Panthers head coach Lance White on Thursday. The news comes after Bugg was sidelined for 26 of Pitt’s 31 games in the 2018-19 season due to bloodclots. During the season prior to that, Bugg redshirted due to injury.
”Receiving another year means the world to me,” Bugg said in a statement. “Not only do I get the chance to play a full year for such a great staff, but I get the opportunity to play the sport I love while representing an amazing university. I am truly blessed to be here today, and it’s the support from my coaches, teammates and family that made this process so much easier. I am so grateful, and with God in charge, I fear nothing. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for me next.”
Prior to being sidelined in 2018, Bugg was Pitt’s leading scorer, as she averaged 14.0 points per game. She also averaged 3.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds over a span of 29.6 minutes per game. Bugg was expected to fill the void left behind by Yacine Diop, who was Pitt’s leading scorer in the 2017-18 season with 15.7 points. Pitt lost Diop to a transfer to Louisville.
”We are so excited for Aysia that the NCAA granted her a sixth year of eligibility,” White said. “She is such an outstanding representative for Pitt women’s basketball, and I know this is an opportunity Aysia will not take for granted. Aysia is a tremendous player and leader who we will lean on this season to guide this young and talented squad.”
With the addition of Bugg, the Pitt women’s basketball team appears to have a solid core in place for the 2019-20 season, as the Panthers added All-American junior college guard Gabbie Green from South Plains College as well as 6’4” center Marcella Lamark dos Santos from Texas Tech. Green contributed 14.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game last season, and Lamark dos Santos adds some much-needed size to the Pitt roster. Both will be eligible to play immediately at Pitt.
As for Bugg, she will undoubtedly be the centerpiece of the Pitt offense as the only returning player in the ACC with at least 700 points, 300 rebounds and 350 assists.