Lack of confidence hinders Pitt's Kiesel
Pitt junior point guard Brianna Kiesel has a lot to learn, or at least that what she often says.
It's better than having a player who thinks she knows it all, but heading into the 2013-14 season, Pitt first-year coach Suzie McConnell-Serio wants Kiesel to believe she already knows enough to be successful. After two college seasons without a conference win, Kiesel is long on talent but short on confidence. McConnell-Serio hopes that changes quickly.
Pitt opens its season Friday hosting Bucknell in the fifth annual School Day game.
“The one thing I was surprised with is her lack of confidence at times in herself,” said McConnell-Serio, who replaced Agnus Berenato as Panthers' coach in April. “I don't want her to think that we're not confident in her, because I have a ton of confidence in her out there on the floor as a playmaker and a scorer.”
Kiesel has been a bright spot for the Panthers. A unanimous selection to the Big East All-Freshman Team in 2012, she earned an All-Big East third team nod last season after leading Pitt in virtually every statistical category.
She has led the team in scoring each of the past two seasons, averaged 14.9 points per game as a sophomore and led the conference last season in minutes played (38.8 per game).
“She just wants to win,” McConnell-Serio said. “I think that's what it comes from, because she can play her heart out, and it's very disappointing when you don't win. When you're a part of a team, it doesn't matter what success you have individually. If your team is not successful, then you're not living up to your expectations.”
McConnell-Serio said she wants Kiesel to have the ball in her hands and be the decision maker in late-game situations.
“She's quick, fast with the ball, athletic and she can shoot it,” McConnell-Serio said. “I just need her to believe in herself more.”