For better or worse, Sharon Versyp is planning on returning next season as head coach of Purdue women’s basketball. It will be her 13th season at the helm, but our once proud program is a shell of itself. Versyp’s teams have not moved beyond the second round of the NCAA Tournament since 2009. She has yet to win a regular season Big Ten championship and they have not won the Big Ten Tournament since 2012. The “Second Round Sharon” moniker is apt, as Purdue has only made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2017.
This past season was wildly up and down. Purdue finished 20-14 with a third round loss in the women’s NIT to Indiana. It was the third loss of the season to the Hoosiers, which is completely unacceptable. Purdue also lost home games to the likes of Ball State and Ohio, but still had memorable upsets at No. 10 Maryland, at No. 13 Michigan, and at No. 18 Iowa.
The 2018-19 season needs to be a big one for Versyp, as almost the entire team returns. Andreona Keys was the lone senior, and sophomore Dominique Oden averaged 14.1 points per game. Four of five starters return, and Purdue added a pair of transfers that will help.
The first is Jenelle Grant, a 6 ’guard from London. She comes to Purdue from Pacific, where she averaged 7.5 points per game and 7.2 rebounds for a team that went 15-16. She shot 27.4% from three, but looks like a player that can add needed depth. Unfortunately, she will likely have to sit out a year due to transfer rules.
The second transfer is Lyndsey Whilby, a 5’11” guard who played this last season at Texas Tech as a freshman. She was a highly rated guard out of high school, but is transferring due to the Lady Raiders finding a new coach. She would also have to sit out a year, but might be immediately eligible due to the coaching situation if she can get a waiver. She led the team in 3-point shooting and scored 7.2 points per game. Here is what Viva the Matadors had to say about her.
Fantastic pickup for y’all if she can reach into her potential. Taller guard that can get baskets if needed and is still young. Struggled at times this year, but mostly due to the coaching turmoil & the fact that she was a freshman. She’ll make a fine Boilermaker *sheds tear *— Viva the Matadors (@vivathematadors) May 7, 2018
So it looks like coach Versyp got a pair of solid players. Will it matter now?