As you know, the 2021-22 Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team will look a lot different than last year’s squad.
Last season, Kamilla Cardoso and Priscilla Williams were an incredible freshmen duo, at one point claiming four-straight Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Week accolades between the two of them. Cardoso, who also earned ACC Freshman & Defensive Player of the Year honors, transferred from ‘Cuse this offseason to pursue a new opportunity with South Carolina. Though Cardoso will be missed, Syracuse fans have an exciting chance to watch another set of freshmen standouts next season.
From ruling the Canadian basketball scene to committing to Syracuse, Lattimore and Day-Wilson have found frequent success together. Earlier this offseason, I did a brief overview of the 2021 recruiting class. Now, I want to dive headfirst into a detailed analysis of Lattimore and Day-Wilson’s college potential.
Here is why and how Lattimore and Day-Wilson will be the next stars of Syracuse women’s basketball.
Lattimore and Day-Wilson hail from Crestwood Secondary High School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Lattimore, a 6’4” forward, and Day-Wilson, a 5’5” point guard, are two of the country’s highest recruited basketball players. Lattimore, a four-star recruit, is ranked No. 38 nationally and No. 6 in her position by ESPN and No. 3 overall and No. 1 in her position by CROWN Scout. Day-Wilson, also a four-star recruit, is ranked No. 41 nationally and No. 9 in her position by ESPN and No. 1 overall and No. 1 in her position by CROWN Scout.
Lattimore and Day-Wilson, who have been friends since junior high, led Crestwood to back-to-back Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association High School Championships. The duo committed to Syracuse after receiving over 100 NCAA Division I offers.
“We have a very tight relationship, through thick and thin,” Day-Wilson said in a 2020 interview with OSBA. “Latasha and I have been playing together for five years. Every team you are supposed to have a guard and a big, and they always have that chemistry. That’s what we have, Tasha is like my sister.”
After watching her film, I see a lot of similarities between Lattimore and Cardoso. Like Cardoso, Lattimore has the length and the athleticism to play both ends of the court successfully. At 6’4”, Lattimore is a nightmare match-up for opponents. She can easily finish an offensive possession at the rim or get up high to reject an opponent shot. Despite her length, Lattimore is able to move up and down the court quickly.
Here's what the experts are saying about Lattimore:
ESPN Recruiting Expert Dan Olson: “Athletic front court performer brings superior length, wingspan, defensive presence in the paint; rebounds and initiates the fast break, runs the floor like a guard and finishes the play in traffic; soft touch in the paint, plays near the rim; continues with a dominant interior game; a difference maker on both ends of the floor.”
CROWN Scout: “Lattimore has a massive wingspan that does a great job collecting rebounds wherever they may be, and along with her leaping ability blocks shot at a high level rate. Not enough has been said about this feature of her game and how it alters her opponent’s shooting, impacting how many more blocks she may have been able to gain. Not only dominating on the defensive end, she also makes a major impact on the other end of the floor. Mastering the pick-and-roll with Day-Wilson is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of her scoring, as she is also a very good back-to-the-basket finisher. Couple that with her ability to shoot from the short corner and drive from the perimeter and it becomes clear how all of this coming in a 6’4” package can be a really big deal.”
More on Lattimore from OSBA: Profile on Latasha Lattimore
Day-Wilson brings to Syracuse a much needed hot shooting hand. Her accuracy from multiple spots on the court will be a major threat to opponents. After watching film, I feel that with time Day-Wilson’s court vision could develop into being nearly as good as former Syracuse All-Star Tiana Mangakahia’s.
Here’s what the experts are saying about Day-Wilson:
ESPN Recruiting Expert Dan Olson: “Athletic floor-leader with a scorer’s mentality in the back court; a penetrator, collapses the defense and distributes with flair; elusive floor game, 1 on 1 creator with offensive game beyond the arc; best in uptempo; a disruptor, gambler on defense.”
CROWN Scout: “Day-Wilson is a dynamic player that can be classified as special. She has a high level motor to go along with dozens of moves in her toolkit, to not only score, but do so at a rate that gets her defenders off balance and continually guessing. Her ability to react on the fly to opponents subtleties, in the level that she does, is very rare, but necessary for a player of her size to be as successful as she is. One of the other key elements of her game is a mental one, her will to win. She is an ultra competitive leader that will get everyone involved and will make everyone around her better.”
More on Day-Wilson from OSBA: Profile on Shayeann Day-Wilson
Potential in Central New York
Looking at the Orange roster, there is clearly an opportunity there for Lattimore and Day-Wilson to find success early in their Syracuse careers. On paper, Lattimore and Day-Wilson have the potential to help push ‘Cuse over the middle-of-the-pack rankings they have found themselves in since the 2016 NCAA Finals run. Don’t be surprised when Lattimore and Day-Wilson are in the starting line-up for the 2021 season opener.
Of course, only time will tell how good these Canadians really are. Will Lattimore and Day-Wilson live up to the hype? How will their chemistry mesh with the rest of the team? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!