Lindsey Horsting: 22-7 - Of the top ranked 25 women’s basketball teams in the nation, 1/5 of them belong to the ACC. The latest poll has Syracuse at number 23, but they are preceded by Florida State (7), Louisville (8), Duke (14), and North Carolina (22). It will be a tough season, but with their star player back, healthy, and a bench twelve-deep the Orange will be hard to beat.
WNBA hopeful Brittney Sykes only played 3 games last season before injuring her knee forcing her to sit the rest of the season. She is back this season, strong, and ready to hit the ground running. This will make a difference for the Orange in the close ACC games this year.
The Orange are returning four starters from last year’s squad, which will be important so Syracuse doesn’t have to spend time getting to know each other on the floor this season – they already do. They have NCAA tournament experience and they know what it takes to get there.
Freshman Julia Chandler is going to provide versatility and will prove to be a match-up problem for opponents. Syracuse bench is deep and they are ready to press and push the ball.
Zachary Franchis: 23-6 - For my money, the ACC is the best conference for women’s basketball with Duke, UNC and Notre Dame. Throw Syracuse in the mix, and you have four teams that can beat anyone in the conference on any given night. It also means the Orange face one of the most difficult schedules in the country.
They face 11 tournament teams from last season including Tennessee and Washington in the first four games of the season. After an easier stretch across December, the conference season starts up, and that start won’t be any easier for the Orange, facing Duke and UNC in the first two ACC games. But because of senior leadership from Butler and a returning Sykes, the Orange should do fine and surprise some people.
Then look at the post play of the Day sisters and the Orange can stack height with anyone in the conference. I expect the Orange to be competitive in every game this year, maybe pulling an upset or two along the way. The Orange should stay in the top five in the ACC this season and contend for a top six seed come tournament time.