To prepare for the upcoming 2020-21 season, I am highlighting each player on the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team roster beginning with the predicted starting line-up. I have previously previewed Emily Engstler, Kiara Lewis, and Tiana Mangakahia.
Amaya Finklea-Guity and Digna Strautmane have started every game for Syracuse in the last three seasons. They haven’t received the conference or national recognition like some of their teammates, but Finklea-Guity and Strautmane are equally important contributors for the Orange.
With the new season less than six weeks away, let’s take a close look at Finklea-Guity and Strautmane as they head into their senior season.
Amaya Finklea-Guity | Center | 6-4
Amaya Finklea-Guity came to Syracuse as a five-star recruit from Dorchester, Massachusetts. In her first season with the Orange and White, Finklea-Guity started in all 31 games and averaged 6.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest. Her performance in 17-18 earned Finklea-Guity a spot on the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman Team.
She may have just been a freshman, but Finklea-Guity found herself at or near the top of multiple team statistical categories. She ranked first on the Orange in field goal percentage (.503), second in blocks (27), and third in offensive rebounds (59).
During her second year with the Orange, Finklea-Guity scored in all 34 games and averaged 6.4 points per contest. She ranked third on the team in field goal percentage (.497) and blocks (30), and fourth in offensive rebounds (50).
Last season, Finklea-Guity produced similar results as her first two years at Syracuse. She averaged 6.6 points and 5.1 rebounds while ranking first on the team in field goal percentage (.503) and offensive rebounds (66). She also ranked third in total rebounds (151) and fourth in blocks (32).
Finklea-Guity currently ranks seventh in field goal percentage in the program record book, shooting 50.1 percent through 96 career games. The main questions for Finklea-Guity going into 20-21 are whether she can continue this consistency and if/how her role may change through the season. If the incoming class of freshmen includes one or two high scorers or better rebounders, Finklea-Guity may see a drop in her minutes.
Digna Strautmane | Forward | 6-2
Hailing from Latvia, Digna Strautmane joined the Orange as a five-star recruit. Strautmane started every game in her freshman season and averaged 10.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest. She led the Orange in blocks (58), ranked second in offensive rebounds (73), rebounds (190), and assists (34), and ranked fourth in points and steals (37).
The following season, Strautmane averaged 9.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest. She shot 43.3 percent from the field and 36.1 from three. Strautmane finished in the top-three of multiple statistical categories, including first on the team in total rebounds (169), second in offensive rebounds (58), and third in three-point percentage, points, assists (57), and defensive rebounds (111).
There was a slight dip in Strautmane’s performance in 2019-20, as she averaged 8.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest. She ranked third on the team in points, free throw percentage (.857), defensive rebounds (100), and blocks (40).
Syracuse went just 16-15 overall and 9-9 in conference play last season, which surely affected Strautmane’s performance. The Orange are currently projected as the No. 23 team in the nation by ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25. With the improvement of the team as a whole, I do not believe Strautmane’s stats will fall again this season.
Watch lists and awards do not define a player’s value. Finklea-Guity and Strautmane clearly serve important roles in Coach Quentin Hillsman’s system. Both players have three years of experience under their belt and will continue to produce for the Orange in the upcoming season.