Brittney Sykes hasn't played a game this season, but her knee injury hasn't hurt her ability to rack up the accolades.
The junior guard is one of 50 finalists for the Naismith Trophy Watch List, based on her potential rather than production. Sykes became one of ten athletes on the list from the ACC, which was more represented than any other conference in the country. The list gets narrowed to 30 in February, with the winner announced on April 6.
Sykes is still recovering from preseason surgery, after tearing her right ACL and meniscus in March. The team hasn't said when she's coming back, but players and coaches have indicated that it will be sometime soon.
"She's doing great," Quentin Hillsman said last week. "She's in all of our non-contact drills. She's getting up and down the floor and, in transition, jumping up and smacking the backboard, which I don't really get. She's in practice and jumping like she's never been injured. Half of the comeback from that type of injury is mental and mentally, I think she's doing just fine."
Last season, Sykes led Syracuse with 16.6 points per game, while also ranking near the top in assists, rebounds and steals. But Syracuse's offense hasn't suffered too much without Sykes, as the team is 6-1 about a month through the season.
Hillsman predicted that Sykes will play sometime during non-conference play, which ends on Dec. 30.
But how much?
He joked that Sykes won't get any preferential treatment when she returns.
"She'll be our 15th man and she can work her way up the roster," Hillsman said. "No, I'm really kidding."