#15 Syracuse Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Syracuse Orange
Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank: #4 ACC
Syracuse was one of the most surprising teams in college basketball last year. The Orange were supposed to be good, but they went 13-3 in the always tough ACC. And they were nowhere near done. After cruising to the Sweet Sixteen with wins over Army and Albany, the Orange reeled off huge program building wins against South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington to reach the national championship game. The Orange were no match for Connecticut in the final, but getting there was an impressive feat.
2015-16 Record: 30-8, 13-3
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Quentin Hillsman
Coach Record: 219-116 at Syracuse, 219-116 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Brianna Butler, Guard, 13.2 ppg
Cornelia Fondren, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Maggie Morrison, Guard, 5.4 ppg
Taylor Ford, Forward, 3.6 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Alexis Peterson, Senior, Guard, 16.0 ppg
Brittney Sykes, Senior, Guard, 10.3 ppg
Briana Day, Senior, Center, 9.8 ppg
Isabella Slim, Senior, Forward, 1.4 ppg
Abby Grant, Sophomore, Guard, 2.8 ppg
Julia Chandler, Sophomore, Forward, 2.3 ppg
Bria Day, Senior, Center, 2.0 ppg
Key New Players
Chelayne Bailey, Freshman, Guard
Gabrielle Cooper, Freshman, Guard
Davida Dale, RS Freshman, Guard
Desiree Elmore, Freshman, Guard
Caroline Rowe, Freshman, Guard
Isis Young, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Florida, not eligible
Miranda Drummond, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from St. Bonaventure, not eligible
Jasmine Nwajei, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Wagner, not eligible
With four starters returning, the Orange have more Final Four dreams. Losing Brianna Butler is a big blow though. She was a huge reason why Syracuse ranked first in the ACC with 8.8 three-pointers made per game. Butler alone took 415 three-pointers. That is a lot of three-pointers. Alexis Peterson, Brittney Sykes and Abby Grant will keep the outside shooting going in 2016-2017. So will incoming freshmen Desiree Elmore and Gabrielle Cooper. Peterson and Sykes, who averaged double digits in scoring, will do plenty of scoring attacking the basket as well. The frontcourt could be even better with Bria Day and Isabella Slim leading the way. Day averaged 9.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks and is a dominating force in the paint. This year may not go quite as well as last year, but this is still a very good Syracuse team.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.5 (41st in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.1 (92, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 37.4 (272, 13)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.7 (176, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (12, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 29.5 (244, 12)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.0 (250, 10)
Rebound Margin: -0.8 (195, 10)
Assists Per Game: 13.0 (165, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.8 (44, 1)
Madness 2016 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#78 Desiree Elmore
#93 Gabrielle Cooper