Women's basketball looks to surprise

With a crop of new young talent and seasoned veterans, the SU women's basketball teams sets sights on reaching the NCAA tournament

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team took the first step of their season and participated in media day at the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center.

This team could prove to be the perfect blend of young and old, freshmen playing styles mixed with the upperclassmen experience. The chemistry and blend is what brings the whole thing together, creating what could be a very threating team.

“With the class with that we’re bringing in we have enough to be very competitive so I’m very excited about the balance and the depth we have at each position this season,” head coach Quentin Hillsman said.

The team has five freshmen this season and one thing Hillsman is concerned with is how the team is getting along, which will ultimately effect how well they play together. He is aware that without the right mix and chemistry, the team won’t reach their goal of making it to the NCAA Tournament.

The Orange have the sixth best recruiting class this season, with freshmen guards Brianna Butler and Brittney Sykes leading the way.

“We all get along very well and the older girls are always willing to help us so that’s good,” Butler said. “It makes the transition a little easier.”

What is not going to be easy is for other teams to defend them this year.

The Orange have a very unique skill set and are adding more outside shooting this year. The team is hoping that will spread the opposing teams’ defense allowing two time All-Big East center Kayla Alexander with enough room to roam the paint.

“I think that now with the depth with have at the guard position and the shooters that we have, it’s going to really open the floor up for Kayla, she’s a big key to our success so we’re all excited to see how things turn out,” Hillsman said.

Along with Alexander, the Orange have three other starters returning this year. Rachel Coffey, Carmen Tyson-Thomas and Elashier Hall have their sights set on making this a productive season. They are all helping lead the team in their own way.

“Seniors are stepping up like they’re supposed to, at the same time freshmen are leading in ways that I was excited and impressed to see too,” Alexander said. “We have some natural born leaders out there.”

A week into practice Alexander feels good about where the team is now and encouraged by their potential for the future.

“I’m really excited to just get out there and play, we’re like banging each other during practice all the time, so I’m just anxious to go out there and face different teams and show them what we got,” Alexander said.

The Orange will get a change to display their skills in their first game of the season, Sunday Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.


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