Five years ago, D.C. native Lacie Hall passed up nearby Georgetown to play for the Orange. 1,039 points later, it's turned out pretty well for No. 21/18 Syracuse.
Do you enjoy reading about how Jim Boeheim's team is better than Georgetown? But wait, there's more. Why enjoy being better than the Hoyas in just one gender of college basketball, when you can have two?
Then just set it, and forget it!
I'm sorry, what was I talking about?
Ah yes. With the women's basketball team developing into a strong program, you will start to see some of the perks we've mostly only seen on the men's side. One of them is winning the recruiting battles with the most hated of rivals. Remember Rakeem Christmas? Or Kris Joseph?
Now meet Lacie Hall.
She is a 5-foot-11 senior guard and is Syracuse's second leading scorer with 10.3 ppg. Hall is from Washington D.C. and went to high school just outside the city at Eleanor Roosevelt H.S.
"When I saw her play when she was young, she was always vocal, very aggressive, very physical," Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman said. "I thought that she could grow into a player for us that could be a leader and she’s done that."
But Georgetown came calling and Lacie was listening. So why did she ultimately decide to forgo the opportunity to attend Georgetown, the No. 21 school according to U.S. News and World Report?
"Academics (of the Whitman School of Management), and I thought I wanted to major in communications and obviously Newhouse is number one in the country," Hall said.
Hall could have chosen an easy route and picked a less demanding major that wouldn't conflict with the time responsibility of being a Division I athlete.
"I chose accounting initially out of high school," Hall said. "I love numbers and I took a class in high school and I was like ‘oh this is really cool’ and I’ll major in it."
That wasn't enough for Hall. She's also majoring in real estate.
"Real estate came along and I had time to pick up another major so I thought (it) seemed cool and I really like it," she said.
According to SU Athletics, Hall made the 2010-11 and 2009-10 BIG EAST All-Academic Team and has been a member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll in the 2010 Fall and Spring semesters at SU. Hall says she would like to work in real estate when her playing days are over.
Looking back, Hall says she also chose Syracuse because of the facilities available. The Carmelo K. Anthony Center, the practice facility for both the men's and women's basketball teams, opened in September 2009--the beginning of her freshman year.
"(I chose SU because of) the amenities I felt that I would receive here versus being home and just the experience of getting away and growing up," she said. "We can come in here (Melo Center) any time in the day or night, unless men’s basketball is practicing and we have free reign over the weight room and the training facility."
Coming into the season, Syracuse was 0-5 against Georgetown in Hall's three years. On Jan. 12, the Orange hosted the Hoyas, but this time Syracuse was the favorite. Hall scored nine points and SU blew out Georgetown, 86-56.
Fast forward to Feb. 12. The Orange traveled to D.C. and Hall had one last chance to win back at home.
"My family was there and we had a lot of support. We wanted to finish out the two-game sweep."
Hall scored 14 points, second on the team behind Brianna Butler (16). The Orange won, 69-60. Now all that is left for Hall is to make her first NCAA Tournament appearance and help Syracuse win the first NCAA Tournament game in team history. It's hard not to look ahead.
"We’re having a great season so the tournament is definitely in the back of my mind."
Either way, Hall says her four years "On the Hill" have been great.
"I’ve tried to take advantage of as much as I could, academically and athletically. I’ve had a great time and I don’t regret coming here or being a part of this program or team."