WBB: Coach Q & Isabella Slim Compete in FIBA U19s in Lithuania


Syracuse women's basketball coach Quentin Hillsman and freshman guard Isabella Slim are competing for the Netherlands in the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Lithuania. Slim scored 18 points in a key win for the Dutch on Tuesday.

Okay guys, get all of your Orange/Oranje jokes out of the way first.

Excellent, now that that's settled...

Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman, freshman guard Isabella Slim and the Dutch U19 team are 2-3 in the FIBA World Championships as of Tuesday. Hillsman is in his third year as assistant coach for the Dutch team. Slim, an 18-year-old guard from Amsterdam, will join Syracuse next season. In five tournament games, she is averaging 10.8 points per game, 5 RPG and 1.6 APG.

On Tuesday, she scored 18 points (!) and shot 6-15 in a 72-65 win against Lithuania. The Netherlands went into the game with a 1-3 record and desperately needed a victory to extend any hopes of advancing to the next round. Slim made four three-pointers, added five rebounds and had four steals. A win on Wednesday against China could propel the Netherlands into the tournament quarterfinals.

Slim began the tournament by scoring five points in just 16 minutes of play in a 81-58 loss to France. In the second game, the 6-foot shooting guard added 16 points, but the Netherlands lost to Canada, 69-67. The Amsterdam native had an efficient scoring game against Senegal. She shot 5-13 for a total of 15 points, including a pair of threes. Netherlands picked up its first win of the tournament by defeating Senegal, 84-51.

In a game against the United States on Monday, the competition level increased and Slim's production level, as expected, took a decrease. Slim shot 0-13 against the high-flying Americans, who improved to 4-0 with a 102-42 win. UConn's Breanna Stewart, of Cicero-North Syracuse High School, played for the U.S. and had ten points and six rebounds.

But Slim didn't carry her struggles into the next game. Against hometown Lithuania, Slim had personal tournament highs in points (18), scoring efficiency (40 percent) and minutes (35:19). There are certainly a few positives to take away from her tournament performance so far. She's been able to do a little bit of everything, which Syracuse will particularly need due to the graduation of Carmen Tyson-Thomas and Elashier Hall. CTT was in the top ten in the Big East in offensive rebounds and played many different roles in Syracuse's guard-heavy offense.

In Slim's 16 point performance against Canada, she grabbed six offensive rebounds, had two assists along with a pair of steals. She is also a perfect 9-9 at the free throw line in five games.

While Syracuse's offense last season ranked in the top 20 in the NCAA, it was not predicated on outside shooting, an element that Slim may be able to offer. SU shot just 29.5 percent from behind-the-arc, good for 183rd in the NCAA.

Whether Syracuse gets more of the player who was an offensive liability on Monday or the one who dominated parts of the game against Lithuania will have a lot of bearing on the dynamic in the ACC this winter.

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