#20 Syracuse Women's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Syracuse Orange
Overall Rank: #20
Conference Rank: #4 ACC
Syracuse Logo
Syracuse comes into the 2018-2019 season as a team on a bit of a mission as they had a quick exit from the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament, losing to Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State respectively. The Orange return all five starters and 94.5 percent of their offensive production from last season as well. Also, Syracuse brings in a very strong recruiting class which should position the Orange to contend for a top four finish in the ACC if they can stay healthy.
2017-18 Record: 22-9, 10-6
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Quentin Hillsman
Coach Record: 263-136 at Syracuse, 263-136 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Jasmine Nwajei, Guard, 2.7 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Tiana Mangakahia, Sophomore, Guard, 17.5 ppg
Miranda Drummond, Redshirt Senior, Forward, 14.9 ppg
Gabrielle Cooper, Junior, Guard, 10.4 ppg
Digna Strautmane, Sophomore, Forward, 10.1 ppg
Amaya Finklea-Guity, Sophomore, Center, 6.7 ppg
Isis Young, Redshirt Senior, Guard, 6.7 ppg
Raven Fox, Senior, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Chelayne Bailey, Junior, Guard, 0.7 ppg
Key New Players
Emily Engstler, Freshman, Guard/Forward
Kiara Lewis, Redshirt Sophomore, Guard
Veronika Vorackova, Freshman, Shooting Guard
Marie-Paule Fopposi, Redshirt Freshman, Forward
Kadiatou Sissoko, Freshman, Guard
Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi, Redshirt Freshman, Forward
The schedule is loaded right from the start of the season as Syracuse will head out to Eugene to take on Oregon in the second game of the year. DePaul and Minnesota are also on the non-conference slate in the month of November so a nice goal for the Orange will be to go 2-1 in those three games. Miami, Louisville, and Notre Dame highlight the conference schedule and they only must play each of those teams once and that will help Syracuse in their quest to win the ACC. Tiana Mangakahia and Miranda Drummond are the top returning scorers from last season as they combined to average 32.4 points per game. Mangakahia is also a clutch free throw shooter as she made 87.5 percent of her free throws in 2017-2018. Drummond is an excellent outside shooter and made 40.2 percent of her three-point shots last season. Gabrielle Cooper and Digna Strautmane are going to need to continue to develop offensively. They need to get their field goal percentages over the 40 percent mark to help the Syracuse offense grow. Bottom line, with a strong culture of consistent winning in place thanks to the leadership of Coach Quentin Hillsman and a veteran team, you can expect about 22-25 wins this season and another NCAA tournament run.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.1 (47th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.6 (205, 12)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.4 (164,10)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.0 (227, 13)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.8 (9,1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.5 (173, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.4 (59, 3)
Rebound Margin: -0.4 (193, 12)
Assists Per Game: 15.7 (47, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.5 (95, 5)
Madness 2018 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#19 Emily Engstler
#79 Kadiatou Sissoko