By Sullivan Burgess ’20
In the beginning of October, the Big East unveiled the coach’s poll preseason rankings for all Big East women’s basketball teams for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. While DePaul University was unanimously voted first, the Providence College Women’s Basketball Team came in fifth, tied alongside Villanova University. Both teams are coming off of trips to the 2019 Women’s National Invitational Tournament.
Following this news, the team looks to carry on the success from the 2018-2019 season and play to the strengths of each player.
Last season, the Friars posted a 19-16 record, which earned them sixth overall in the Big East standings. The team made it to the second round of the Big East Tournament, where they lost to St. John’s University.
The Lady Friars earned themselves a spot in the WNIT, where they made a run to the Sweet Sixteen, losing to Georgetown University. The 19 wins were the most overall wins the team has had since 2009-2010, which, coincidentally, was the last time they had made it into a postseason tournament.
The team had to say goodbye to three seniors who graduated from PC last spring, including Clara Che ’19, a 2019 Big East Weekly Honor Roll selection, Maddie Jolin ’19, the winner of the Rev. Robert A. Morris O.P. ’46 Memorial Award, and Jovana “Yoyo” Nogic ’19, a fan favorite and the Providence College Female Athlete of the Year.
Last season marked numerous career highs for Nogic. She was ranked 12th on the most points per game in the Big East at 13.8 points, and averaged 19.3 points in the WNIT.
While the Friars lost three seniors, they also gained some new faces in the locker room: Hevynne Bristow ‘23 from Brooklyn, NY, Fatima Lee ’23 from Queens, NY, and Lauren Sampson ’23 from Waltham, MA. All are ready to answer the call for the team and bring their skills and strengths to make a difference both on and off the court this upcoming season.
Four of the starters are back this season in the lineup for the Friars, including reigning Big East Freshman of the Year, Mary Baskerville ’22.
Last season Baskerville finished as one of the leaders for rebounds per game at 7.3, leaders for blocked shots at 1.5, and even field goal percentage at .580 percent. Her breakout season made her the ultimate candidate for a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Big East Team.
Herself and other Friar favorites like Kaela Webb ’22 and Chanell Williams ’21 are ready to give it their all and do great for the team.
In his fourth season with the Friars, Head Coach Jim Crowley is ready to lead his ladies into battle and give everything he has for the team to repeat the success they earned last season and once again make it into the postseason rankings.
The biggest threats the Friars face this season are rival teams DePaul University and St. John’s University. DePaul retains their title this season as the most successful Big East program for women’s basketball, posting a 91-17 record since the 2013-2014 season and has numerous returning starters this year.
The Friars hope to turn things around against the DePaul Blue Demons after losing last season’s series to the team 0-3 including a loss in the quarterfinal of the Big East Tournament.
When it comes to St. John’s, the Red Storm is expected to make a big jump from 2018-2019, with the return of a group of starters who lead in scoring, steals, and even assists.
However, this season, the Friars are ready to eliminate all who stand in their way by constantly practicing and grinding their way to the top. They are ready to show the world whose time it is and where they stand in the Big East.