Orange Fizz


How Far Can Syracuse Women’s Basketball Go?

Photo Courtesy of SU Athletics

Even though the Syracuse Men’s season has come to an end, there’s still NCAA Tournament buzz around Central New York. After missing the Big Dance in both 2022 and 2023, Syracuse Women’s Basketball was awarded a six seed, and it will take on either Auburn or Arizona pending the result of a First Four game Thursday evening.

It cannot be understated how remarkable the position the Orange find themselves in is. Two years ago, things could not have gone much worse in the team’s lone year under Vonn Read. SU had more transfers out than you could count in the wake of a coaching scandal, and it stumbled to an 11-18 record, featuring a winless trip to the ACC Tournament. Not exactly a successful season. But Felisha Legette-Jack came in and brought them to the NIT last season. Syracuse was projected to finish 9th in the ACC, and it came in 3rd despite not doing so well in Greensboro a few weeks ago. It really is remarkable.

You can’t talk about the story of this team without mentioning Dyaisha Fair. Few coaches wanted the 5-5 point guard out of high school, and boy has she proven the doubters wrong. Fair is one of the best scorers college basketball has ever seen on both the men’s and women’s side. She’s currently fifth on the all-time women’s scoring list, and depending on how far the Orange go it’s not out of the realm of possibility that she cracks the top three.

But Fair can’t do it all by herself, and secondary scoring has been a bit of an issue this year. SU has plenty of capable scorers behind Fair, but it doesn’t have a consistent one. Georgia Woolley, Alyssa Latham, Alaina Rice, Kyra Wood, Izabel Varejão, and Sophie Burrows among others have all had excellent scoring outputs this year, but they’ve all had some not-so-great numbers as well. You’d certainly like someone to step up and take some of the burden off Fair.

So how far can the Orange go? The two weeks off is a little bit concerning after they laid in egg in the ACC Tournament on over a week’s rest. Coach Jack was adamant that wouldn’t happen again in a press conference after SU was awarded a six seed. Syracuse can absolutely beat either Auburn or Arizona, but then the job gets really tough. It would presumably be UConn in Storrs, then beyond that probably either Duke or Ohio State in Portland, Oregon. SU has competed with some of college basketball’s best this year, knocking off Notre Dame twice, fending off Louisville, and coming oh so close to beating NC State in Raleigh.

Overall, anything less than one win would be a disappointment, anything more than one win would be a major success. The only ask is that you give Syracuse Women’s Basketball the support it deserves. Coach Jack is a wonderful human being and this team fights its butt off, so enjoy the ride.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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