Syracuse women’s basketball notably had nearly the entire team transfer. That includes star freshman center, Kamilla Cardoso who averaged over 13 points and 8 rebounds per game for the Orange.
What does this say about the program? What does this say about Coach Quentin Hillsman? Will Syracuse finish above .500 next season?
If you’re unaware, SU women’s hoops has had 12 players leave the program through the transfer portal. TWELVE!! That’s two entire rotations! Absurdity to say the least. Not to mention 5 have gone to other ACC schools thus far. In a piece written in Sports Illustrated Syracuse Coach Q talked about the mass exodus from his team, seeming relatively unbothered by it, “We’re not in panic mode.” How could you not be in panic mode when literally your entire team just up and left? Well the answer is the Orange have already filled 9 of those 12 spots. 5 freshmen are joining the team in 2021-22 along with 4 transfers. It’s got to be a tough sell though right? The biggest thing the Orange can do to market themselves is promise playing time because the rest of the team left!
A lot of this can be attributed to the new transfer portal rules in which players can transfer anywhere and be eligible for play right away. There’s been plenty of talk on our site as well as in the college basketball world as a whole on whether the new rule improves the game or not. The new rule doesn’t excuse the exit Syracuse women’s basketball has seen though, this points to an issue within the program, and would this have happened earlier if the new rule was in place sooner? You got to think it might have.
Regardless, the team will be in an interesting spot come this fall, a spot we haven’t really seen before. There will be plenty of new names and faces to learn, will they be any good? Who’s to say? All we know right now is this puts Coach Q in an interesting spot. Will they come out this season and compete like they have nearly every year under him or will he begin to show signs of slowing down? Keep in mind, Hillsman has a track record of success at SU, as the head coach of Syracuse he’s 319-169 all-time, having made the NCAA tournament 9 times (8 straight), including a national championship appearance back in 2015-16. It’s not like he’s been turning in poor performances of late, he’s a great coach and has been for a while now. That’s what makes this all the more surprising.