Syracuse women’s basketball head coach Quentin Hillsman is going to have fun this season. He’s put together one of his most talented rosters in his now 15-year tenure at the helm of the program.
The Orange returns senior guard Kiara Lewis (17 ppg), its leading scorer from a group that went 16-15 overall and 9-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference last year, as well as three other starters. Lewis will share the backcourt with fellow All-ACC preseason selection Tiana Mangakahia, who is back in the fold after missing a season fighting breast cancer. And Hillsman brought in the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation this offseason, according to ESPN.
That seven-woman group is headlined by 6-foot-7 center Kamilla Cardoso, the highest-rated signee in program history and a McDonald’s first-team All-American.
“We are the best Syracuse team I’ve seen since I’ve been recruited here when I was 14,” junior guard Emily Engstler said previously.
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Hillsman and Co. begin the 2020-21 season on the road against Stony Brook on Sunday at 2 p.m. They’ll return to Central New York for their home opener versus Lincoln (Pa.) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. before starting ACC play at Miami on Dec. 10. And they’re eager to prove that they’re better than their No. 23 preseason ranking.
“It’s completely disrespectful,” Engstler said. “We’re a top-five team, it’s so simple. It’s not even just about who we have on our team. I mean, they do this to us every year. We could have the (Incredible) Hulk, and we would be the 30th team in the country.
Here’s a player-by-player preview of what you should expect from Syracuse’s roster this season.