Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: JSU struck gold by hiring Pietri
by Mark Edwards
Feb 15, 2014 | 3641 views |  0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JSU women's coach Rick Pietri has his team sitting at 11-15. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
JSU women's coach Rick Pietri has his team sitting at 11-15. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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A year after posting a 17-13 record a third straight winning season, South Alabama sits at 7-15 in women's basketball.

The slumping Jags lost by 26 to Western Kentucky on Saturday for their third straight loss.

That 17-13 record a year ago earned Rick Pietri a pink slip, but South Alabama's loss is Jacksonville State's gain, as the Gamecocks snapped up Pietri and are putting together an incredible turnaround.

A year after going 1-27, JSU is 11-15 so far under Pietri, even though the roster is mostly the same.

In the past six games, JSU has won five times, which is as many as the Gamecocks won in the previous two seasons combined.

With three regular-season games left and the Ohio Valley Conference tournament remaining, it isn't unlikely JSU could tack on two or three more wins -- maybe more.

Considering how well the Gamecocks are playing lately, who can rule them out of a big run in the league tournament?

They're a half-game out of fourth place, which would give them a bye through the first round and into the quarterfinals.

Since joining the OVC, JSU has made the women's tournament six times, winning only two games total.

A championship run would require at least three victories, but it wouldn't be a total shocker if JSU could pull it off. After all, who expected them to have more than five wins this year in the first place?

So ... do you think South Alabama might regret firing head coach Rick Pietri this past March?

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.
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