SU Women’s Basketball Player Intros: Christianna Carr
By Stephen Sklar
CitrusTV Women’s Basketball Beat Reporter
For the Syracuse Women’s basketball team, picking up the pieces after this disaster of an offseason isn’t going to be easy. It sort of feels like that scene out of Moneyball when Brad Pitt, who plays Oakland Athletics General Manager, Billy Beane, is sitting in the war room with his scouts and he says to them, “we’re being gutted, organ donors for the rich.” After a great playoff run that was ended by the eventual league champions, all the A’s star players left for other teams. It was Beane’s job to build the team back into competitive shape.
Just to be clear, nobody should start writing a Hollywood script about the 2021 Orange. But the similarities are there. Like the A’s, Syracuse has a successful crop of new players that they should be excited about.
This week, the spotlight is on guard, Christianna Carr.
The Kansas State transfer burst onto the scene when she was just a freshman. Carr was a high-profile player coming out of high school and backed up all the talk by playing her way onto the 2019 Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Then, after platooning a little bit in her sophomore year, she went on to average career highs in minutes played and scoring in her junior year.
Carr’s scoring ability made her one of the most coveted players in the transfer portal. She averaged 15.2 points per game in 2020, which would have ranked first for the Orange last season. Her shots per game (13.6) would have ranked second and her three-point percentage (35%) would have ranked second as well.
Acting Head Coach Vonn Read should make it a point of emphasis to get Carr open shots from behind the arc. Shooting the three has been somewhat of a passion of Carr’s. In all her years at K-State, she never ranked below the 95th percentile in three-pointers attempted per game, and over the last two seasons she’s embodied the phrase “lethal shooter”. From her sophomore year to her junior year, she went from 1.9 3PM per game (94th percentile) to 2.3 3PM per game (97th percentile). Her 3P% jumped almost seven points during that time as well.
During the recruitment process, she sat down with former head coach Quentin Hillsman and he raved about her shot and promised her he would make things easier for her at Syracuse. Vonn Read has the hard job of fulfilling that promise, but he’s had tremendous input on SU’s offensive game plan ever since he got here. From an on-the-court perspective, not a lot changes from Hillsman’s offense to Read’s offense.
Someone is going to have to step up and become a featured player for SU this year. Luckily, a high-usage role isn’t anything new for the 2021 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. Her usage rate from last season was at 28.9% (94th percentile).
Syracuse hasn’t had a player reach that high of a threshold in a few years now. That the last Syracuse Women’s Basketball player to eclipse that mark was Tiana Mangakahia in 2017 with a usage rate of 29.8%.
Ever since the offseason controversy unraveled a lot of the great acquisitions for SU have flown under the radar. At this point, it’s time to move on and look ahead at the here and now. These may be disastrous times, but Christianna Carr is certainly not the one to blame. Her elite scoring ability has the potential to turn her into a star.
Carr will get a chance to introduce herself to Syracuse fans on November 10th, when SU opens their season at home against Monmouth.
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