First of all, if we're gonna talk about Syracuse Orange women's basketball, we're gonna talk about the outfit Quentin Hillsman wore of the St. Rose exhibition game Tuesday night. Does someone have photographic proof of this thing? Any time Coach Q styles and profiles, I want to see it with my own two eyes.
The Orange come into the 2011-2012 season with solid expectations. They received some votes in the AP Poll and have been picked to do well in the conference. Hillsman's 2011-2012 squad returns three starters and 10 letterwinners from a 25-10 team that made it to the WNIT quarters.
Coming off a season with the most-wins in a single year and on the backend of three consecutive postseason appearance, the program continues to improve and reach new heights. And if the Class of 2012 meet expectations, Coach Q's team might reach heights thought unreachable before now.
September also brought us Pachiyanna Roberts, a three-star center is considered the 35th-best center by ESPN.
Ford plays for defending state champion Nazareth Regional in Brooklyn where she'll be joined this season by Brianna Butler. All Butler has going for her is she's the No. 13 prospect in 2012 by ESPN. Butler and Ford will cotinue to be teammates now that Butler has decided to play her college ball with the Orange as well.
"I really connected with the coaching staff," she said of Syracuse, "and they have a really good business school."
"I'm ready," said Butler, who also had also considered Kentucky, Ohio State and Penn State. "It will help me develop more offensively and take my game to another level. It will continue the track I've been with Apache (Paschall, her coach at Nazareth and Exodus)."
She is, without a doubt, the highest-profile recruit that Coach Q has ever hooked and she'll be expected to make an impact immediately. The 5'11" guard chose SU over Ohio State, Penn State and Kentucky.
Finally, don't forget to mention Newark's Brittney Sykes, who verbally-commuted to the Orange a few days ago over Georgetown, Notre Dame and Penn State.The 5'9" guard with a four-star rating originally committed to Penn State but decided to look around. Smart move.
That makes it five commits (1 three-star, 4 four-star), three of which are ESPN 100 Recruits. ESPN hasn't updated its class rankings in a while but the Orange will certainly be among the top ones once things shake out.
This season should be a good one for the Orange, but all eyes are on 2012 when the SU women's program is expected to begin its march to elite status.