What’s the future of Syracuse Women’s Basketball?
By Adam Cohen
Citrus TV Women’s Basketball Beat Reporter
The Syracuse University Athletics Department announced on Friday that it would begin a search for a new head coach for the Women’s Basketball team. The Orange completed the 2021-2022 season under Acting Head Coach Vonn Read who led the team to an 11-18 overall record.
“It’s been good for me, it’s a new experience. I’ve never coached these young ladies before, so you’re trying to learn everything on the fly as far as their personalities as far as what they can do as a team. Usually, you have some type of experience coaching some of the players, but that wasn’t the case. You’re just trying to adjust and put them in the best situation you can.” Coach Read said after the team’s final regular-season game on February 27th.
Coach Read had previously spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach to former disgraced head coach Quentin Hillsman. After the 2020-2021 season, reports came out alleging many instances of misconduct and bullying from Hillsman. The program’s all-time winningest coach resigned on August 2nd in the midst of the university’s investigation. Vonn Read was named the acting head coach two days later.
Following the 2020-2021 season an unprecedented 12 players transferred from Syracuse for undisclosed reasons. This left Coach Read with a pretty much gutted roster that included only three scholarship players. He was able to sway transfers Alaysia Styles, Naje Murray, Chrislyn Carr, and Christianna Carr to join the program before the beginning of the season. Those four made up 80% of the starting lineup that Coach Read rolled out game after game.
Unfortunately, two of them are graduate students, who used their final year of eligibility this past season, and the other two are seniors, who still have to decide on coming back for what could be their final seasons. This leaves just All ACC honorable mention, Teisha Hyman, as the only remaining starter with more than a year of eligibility.
The Orange have gone through a tumultuous year and a half that leaves this program in a not-so-good state. They are in desperate need of some stability and that will come with finding a new head coach and getting recruiting back on track. The transfer portal both hurt and helped the team last offseason, but who knows what this year will bring.
Looking ahead to another daunting offseason, they will search for a new head coach, and once that vacancy is filled, they will get to work on the recruiting trail. The transfer portal has shown its ability to be a double-edged sword, but it remains to be seen if SU can use it to their advantage. At the end of the day, the team needs to establish some sense of stability if they want to get the program back to its glory days.