SU Women’s Basketball Player Intros: Everybody Else
By Stephen Sklar
CitrusTV Women’s Basketball Beat Reporter
As we inch closer to the start of the Syracuse Women’s Basketball season, it appears as though not all the players have been recognized in one of these player introductions. There are 11 players rostered, but only four have had the spotlight. And of the seven that remain, only one played any kind of significant minutes for the Orange last season.
In a season where Acting Head Coach Vonn Read is almost exclusively relying on players that have never played for him, every single one of the players deserve a proper introduction. So, for the last article in the player introductions series, meet everybody else.
Here’s a name you should have heard of. As a freshman, Williams joined the starting rotation after coming off the bench for just the first game. In her first career start, Williams was arguably the best player on the court. In 27 minutes — the most of any player on the team that day — she went 8 of 11 from three and finished with 24 points. Williams was good for 7.9 points, 3.3
rebounds, and .9 steals per game last season. On average, her offensive output took a leap when it came time for conference play. One of her many highlights from last season was a 14 point second-half effort in a conference game against Boston College. Unfortunately, her season was ended early by an upper-body injury and Williams never got to play in the NCAA tournament.
Ava Irvin is the only other player on this roster that played more than a minute for last year’s squad. However, every appearance the incoming sophomore made was at end of a blowout. In her senior year at Greater Atlanta Christian School, she put up around 12 points and 5 assists per game. She’s more than capable of running the point, but it’s hard to see her playing much behind all of the great guards the Orange brought in through the transfer portal. It’s suspected that Irvin is at least behind Christianna Carr, the Kansas State graduate we previewed earlier in the series, and likely a couple more.
Of the three scholarship players that return from last year’s scholarship chart, Teisha Hyman is the only one that didn’t see the court. She tore her left ACL and medial meniscus back in her junior year of high school and former coach Hillsman felt it was best to redshirt her. The last time she played for the Orange was in a 9-point loss to NC State on February 27th, 2020. That was the end of a solid freshman season for Hyman, who averaged 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game off the bench. She could be a great scoring option off the bench this year as well.
Najé Murray played for two different D-1 schools before landing at Syracuse. First, she was at San Diego State where she set the school record for three-pointers made in a single season (81) back in 2019-20. Then, for last season only, she went on to play for Texas Tech, where she averaged 7.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists (83rd percentile), and 0.5 steals per game. When it comes to free-throw shooting, often the most undervalued aspect of the game, she was shooting at above a 75% clip.
Before transferring to Syracuse during the offseason, Alaysia Styles also played for two different D-1 schools. The first stop was with the California Bears. She played there for three seasons and started for one, only to transfer over to the University of Maryland. The graduate transfer went back to the bench for the Terps and averaged 4.9 points and 2.8 rebounds. Despite her low usage percentage, she still placed in the 99th percentile for field goal percentage. At 6’ 3”, Styles is one of two forwards The ‘Cuse have on their roster this year. The Orange desperately needs height and size in that lineup, which should allow Styles the see the court plenty.
If you’re looking for someone to anchor the frontcourt for this team, it’s Eboni Walker. Her last season at Arizona State, she averaged 7.4 points and 5.2 rebounds (79th percentile). Her offensive rebound to defensive rebound ratio was nearly 1:1 last season as well. The 2019 Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year has come of the bench for nearly every game of here career, but SU lacks any sort of forward depth. She’s going to have to adapt to a starter role very quickly.
If someone on this roster were to be labeled as an “X-factor” it would be Chrislyn Carr. She started her career at Texas Tech but decided to transfer to Baylor in the middle of last season. As a result, she only played in four games so it will be interesting to see how the layoff affects her game. But Syracuse is hoping she picks up right where she left off. Carr’s a former Big-12 Rookie of the Year and was a Big-12 Honorable Mention in her last full season. She’s only missed two starts her entire career and her worst season scoring-wise was in 2019-20 when she averaged 13.9 points per game. Add her to the list of potential big-time scoring options for the Orange.
Syracuse kicks-off the season against Monmouth on November 10th. Follow my Twitter @StephenASklar for coverage throughout the season.
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