#22 Syracuse Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Syracuse Orange

Overall Rank: #22
Conference Rank: #5 ACC
#22 Syracuse Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
Syracuse Team Page


It was a great season for Syracuse, at least when it came to playing games inside the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won 12 of 15 games at its home court and used that hot home hand to propel to a fifth-place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference. With the loss of two of the team’s five starters, Syracuse will have some issues heading into the season, but a pair of transfer players and some solid incoming freshmen should help the Orange to another solid year. Can Syracuse overcome some other top teams to win the ACC? That remains to be seen.

2013-14 Record: 23-10, 10-6
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Quentin Hillsman
Coach Record: 167-98 at Syracuse, 167-98 overall

Syracuse has three of its five starters returning, including Brianna Butler and Brittney Sykes. The two averaged over 30 points and close to nine rebounds a game and they should help the Orange overcome the loss of two starters and five letter winners. The best part is these starters are juniors, so they will have at least two more years with Syracuse before moving on to other things. Butler and Sykes are part of a lineup that only has three seniors on it, with the rest all juniors, sophomores and freshmen. With so many newcomers, the team can build up some more strength and hopefully find a way to replace the missing pieces from last season’s NCAA tournament team. There is plenty of scoring to be had all around, and that should help the team win games. Going 10-6 in its first ACC season didn’t hurt, either. Two transfers, seniors Diamond Henderson (Tennessee Tech) and Maggie Morrison (Vanderbilt), will help out wherever needed.

The Orange averaged 41.5 rebounds per game last season, but 7.4 of those came from Shakeya Leary, who has graduated. Syracuse needs to replace that rebounding power, although having Sykes and Briana Day on the roster will help out a great deal. The team also needs to replace over one-fourth of its assists as Rachel Coffey also graduated and took her 5.9 points and 126 total assists with her. Syracuse will need help pounding the boards and getting the ball inside, and not having these players here will hurt a bit.

Final Projection:
If Syracuse can overcome the loss of Leary and Coffey and find someone to rebound the ball and dish it off to others, then the Orange should do just fine. It has some easy opponents on the schedule before things get heated up a bit. Just before Christmas, Syracuse heads off to Florida to face Baylor and Michigan State in two big matchups, and then it starts off ACC play with two big contests against Notre Dame and Duke. Through December and January, nine of the team’s 15 games are in the Carrier Dome, so if Syracuse is going to make a move it better be during these big months.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Brianna Butler, Junior, Guard, 14.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game
Brittney Sykes, Junior, Guard, 16.6 points, 5.1 rebounds per game
Isabella Slim, Sophomore, Forward, 3.0 points per game
Briana Day, Sophomore, Forward, 5.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game
Bria Day, Sophomore, Center, 1.7 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.6 (68th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.5 (80, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 39.4 (217, 14)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.8 (103, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.2 (50, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.0 (180, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.1 (65, 5)
Rebound Margin: 2.0 (117, 10)
Assists Per Game: 13.8 (141, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.2 (69, 3)


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