How have you changed as a basketball player throughout your time here at Pitt? McManus: "I can definitely say I've improved conditioning wise since freshman year. I remember struggling during my first summer of Pitt basketball conditioning, but now as a senior I can lead the freshmen through those difficult moments during workouts. Also, I'm stronger on the block. I'm able to go against bigger and stronger opponents. Even though I'm undersized, I've found I can still battle with the competition." As you look back on your journey here at Pitt, what about yourself has surprised you the most? McManus: "As a freshman, I definitely didn't imagine that I would be in the role I am now as a senior captain. I love helping my teammates out and keeping them
encouraged through all the missed shots. "This journey has been amazing, and I would do it all over again. Bri Kiesel and I joke all the time that we have 'started
from the bottom and now we're here'. The two of us came here on our official visit at the same time when we were 17-18 years old, and here we are now at 22 still together on this team. It's been great.
How have you managed to be a successful student and a Division I athlete? McManus: "Over the years, you learn to
really get into the swing of things. The academic center helps a lot, and Jenn (WBB Academic Counselor) has done so much with us whether it's scheduling classes or study hall. Freshman year was definitely an adjustment - I'm not going to lie about that, but I was able to finish my first degree in three years. Now I'm finishing my second degree as a senior. I've really been able to take advantage of what Pitt provides student-athletes, and I've used the resources to achieve my
Probably the most soft-spoken of the Panthers, sophomore
Cora McManus is definitely not a quiet presence on the court. She has earned
the start in the past three games and made the most of the opportunity,
averaging seven points and six rebounds over that span.
Last season, McManus spent most of the season on the
sidelines due to an injury and season-ending surgery. The Seattle native -- who
began playing basketball in the sixth grade because her team needed more
players -- is ready to be more of a vocal leader in 2013 on and off the court.