Year one of the Sylvia Crawley era in BC women's basketball has come to an end, and it's safe to say that the future is bright.
We saw, this year, a young, exciting, developing team - a team with much better physical and mental toughness than they had one year ago, more scoring threats than they had one year ago, and certainly more fun to watch than they were one year ago.
Next year's starting lineup could look a lot like this year's, with one more year of vital experience - Thoman, Picco, Brown, Murphy, Swords. Of course, it could include freshman Jasmine Gill, who really came to life during the NIT - or one of Crawley's highly-touted new recruits. Thus, I feel pretty confident that next year, the Eagles will be playing in the 'other' tournament.
Still, it's disappointing to see this year's run come to an end. They were right there with South Florida for most of the game, and in fact led by 6 when it all started to come unglued with about 11 minutes to go. SF turned a 6 point deficit to a 10 point lead in the blink of an eye, with some deadly 3 point shooting combined with spotty BC foul shooting and just a few minutes of getting the Eagles off of their game. BC successfully pounded it inside to Swords early in the game, with a good mix of outside shots keeping the Bulls honest. But in the 2nd, SF was able to lock down on Swords. SF did a great job limiting Murphy, as well, holding her to 3 points, and the outside shooting was never quite enough to get them back into it.
I'm really sad to see Corey Rusin's career end. She truly is one of my favorite BC athletes, a hard worker, and a great person. I wish they could have made it to the final for her and Brittany Johnson and Victoria Jones.
But the season was what it was - a stepping stone. Get used to seeing BC playing in late March and maybe even early April. This program is on the rise.