Nov. 15, 2013
PITTSBURGH - Pitt first-year head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio announced on Friday the signings of Aysia Bugg (Bolingbrook, Ill.), Stasha Carey (Middleburg Heights, Ohio), Yacine Diop (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Naje Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa.) to National Letters of Intent. The talented quartet will join the Panthers women’s basketball program next fall.
"This is an amazing group of young women – on and off the basketball court," said McConnell-Serio of the class ranked both No. 15 by espnW HoopGurlz and BlueStar Basketball. "We are very excited as this is our first recruiting class at Pitt and we are confident that they will make an impact on our program. We are looking forward to seeing this special group – together - in Pitt uniforms next fall.”
Bugg, a 5-9 guard, averaged 17 points, five rebounds and four steals per game her junior season at Bolingbrook High School. The All-Southwest Suburban Blue team selection also averaged three assists and four steals for the Raiders last season. Rated the No. 18 position player by HoopGurlz. Bugg received a four-star rating from ProspectsNation.com. She played club basketball for the Bolingbrook Panthers' AAU squad this past summer.
“Aysia is a quick guard with a tremendous nose for the ball," McConnell-Serio notes of Bugg. "She has tremendous ability to control the game and can do it all - shoot the ‘3’, create off the dribble, assist and defend. Aysia is – to put it simply - a playmaker.”
Carey is a 6-3 post player out of Midpark High School, a suburb of Cleveland. Rated No. 12 by position by HoopGurlz and a top-100 pick overall, Carey, also a ProspectsNation four-star pick, averaged 17 points and eight rebounds as a junior for the Meteors. Carey’s club team is the SMAC Lady Ballers.
“Stasha is great addition to our inside game,” says McConnell-Serio. “She runs the floor well, can catch and finish; rebounds well and can extend the defense. We love Stasha’s versatility as she can play inside and out.”
A 5-10 guard originally from Dakar, Senegal, Diop is rated the No. 84 prospect overall in espnW Class of 2014 and No. 77 by All Star Girls Report. The U18 national team member for her native country transferred to Seton La Salle from Oak Hill in Mouth of Wilson, Va. after their girls’ program folded. She will suit up for Seton La Salle – the alma mater of both head coach McConnell-Serio and associate head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller – this winter. Diop plays for the AAU team Western PA Bruins coached by Ron Mumbray.
“Yacine is as hard as worker as you will find in a high school player,” McConnell-Serio said of the off-guard. “She is long and athletic and gives us a boost at the wing position. Yacine is very explosive off the dribble and can create for herself and her teammates.”
Diop will be reunited at Pitt with her high school teammate, Naje Gibson. Gibson, the highest rated player in Pitt’s touted class with a No. 59 overall rank, averaged 13.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game for Seton La Salle last season. The 6-0 forward helped lead the squad to a 27-3 overall record and a perfect 12-0 mark in league play. Gibson – ranked No, 57 in the class of 2014 by Blue Star - is also a member of the WPA Bruins.
"Naje is another long body who not only gives us an option on the perimeter, but also inside,” McConnell-Serio says of the local product. "Naje defends and rebounds well, but it also a threat on the other end of the floor to score and find her teammates with her great court vision.”
Atlantic Coast Conference teams represented five of the top-15 spots in the espnW HoopGurlz class rankings. The Pitt ranking marks the highest recruiting class in program history.