#32 Syracuse Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Syracuse Orange

Overall Rank: #32
Conference Rank: #7 Atlantic Coast
#32 Syracuse Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
Syracuse Team Page


It was a very successful season for the Syracuse women’s basketball team until postseason play came along. The Orange went 11-5 during Big East Conference play, but when it was tournament time Syracuse fell in the second round of the Big East tournament and then lost its first NCAA tournament game. That left a sour taste in the returning players’ mouths, as many of them are back to help avenge the bad ending to last year. One small problem… the top three scorers, all of whom averaged double digits, are missing and that could pose a significant problem. An adjustment to a new conference (the ACC) will also take some time.

2012-13 Record: 24-8, 11-5
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA (lost to Creighton in first round, 61-56)
Coach: Quentin Hillsman
Coach Record: 143-86 overall

When Syracuse plays in the Carrier Dome, it has an aura of invincibility attached to it. Syracuse won 13 of its 14 games played inside the spacious dome last season, and that was due in part to several top 25 rankings in offensive categories such as scoring offense, scoring margin and field-goal percentage defense. The Orange were adept on defense, as evidenced by a seventh-place finish in Division I in terms of steals. Two of those top guards, Brittney Sykes and Rachel Coffey, are back to help the Syracuse defense remain strong. Syracuse held opponents to 57.4 points per game, good for the top fifth in the nation.

This is where the team could have a huge problem. Kayla Alexander, Carmen Tyson-Thomas and Elashier Hall are all graduates, and with them over one-half of the Orange’s scoring went out the window, not to mention Alexander’s ability to block shots. She was ninth in the nation in terms of individual blocked shots. How the Orange replace those three players will be key to the way the season goes. The Orange assist-to-turnover ratio was tilted toward the turnovers as well, so Syracuse has to watch out there.

Final Projection:
There are five freshmen coming onto the roster, including 6-foot-4 freshmen twins Briana and Bria Day (Raleigh, N.C.) That height alone should help balance the roster as they immediately become the tallest players on the team. It may take a while for the Day twins to make an impact. Also out there for discussion is how the Orange will adjust to life in the Atlantic Coast Conference. There are some strong programs in the ACC, and Syracuse’s non-league schedule will afford a bit of time for the team to adjust. Until the new starting five has time to adjust on the floor, get ready for a few hiccups here and there.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Brittney Sykes, Sophomore, Guard, 8.9 points per game
Rachel Coffey, Senior, Guard, 5.7 points per game
Brianna Butler, Sophomore, Guard, 7.2 points per game
Cornelia Fondren, Sophomore, Guard, 2.3 points per game
Shakeya Leary, Senior, Center, 3.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.0 (18th in nation, 2rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.4 (73, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.1 (107, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 34.6 (18, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.1 (66, 5)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 29.5 (183, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.3 (102, 4)
Rebound Margin: 5.5 (41, 4)
Assists Per Game: 15.3 (39, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.3 (138, 9)


See All Top 44 Women’s Basketball Previews