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Syracuse women’s basketball: the ‘Cuse takes on ACC Media Day

Hear from the Orange as the 2022-2023 season looms.

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NCAA Basketball: ACC Basketball Tipoff Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The road to putting the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team back on the map has begun.

Yesterday, members of the team represented the ‘Cuse at the 2022 ACC Media Day, which was held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack, Dyaisha Fair, and Teisha Hyman took the stage for the Orange as the season begins in just a few weeks.

In her remarks, Legette-Jack spoke on many of the positives on the current women’s basketball roster, especially the influx of new talent and former Buffalo players joining her in Syracuse. Both Legette-Jack and the ACC Network analysts highlighted the upside Dyaisha Fair brings to the new and improved Orange.

While Syracuse will enter this season with a few returning players from last year’s roster, the team will be embracing a number of transfer players who are expected to play significant roles. As mentioned, Fair seems to be the player to watch for with the Orange.

She was ranked 25th on The Athletic’s most intriguing players to watch for in collegiate women’s basketball. Last season, she scored the fourth-most points per game in the NCAA, while flashing improvement as a defender, energizer, and vocal leader.

At the ACC Tipoff, Legette-Jack said she hopes her team embraces a “blue collar” mentality, similar to the culture and mindset she set during her tenure with the Buffalo Bulls.

“That’s what we’ve done in Buffalo and that’s what we’re going to do wherever I am,” said coach Legette-Jack. “I think we’re going to try to lock into who we are. We’re not gonna think about losing. It’s either we win the game or win the lesson.”

Bringing maximum effort was the biggest point of emphasis for coach Legette-Jack. Most of the reason behind hiring coach Legette-Jack centered on her ability to build a competitive and winning culture, something the Orange lacked for most of last season.

Syracuse fans are hoping the coach’s emphasis on effort translates to the basketball court, particularly on the defensive end. Last season, the Orange gave up the most points in the ACC. The team also struggled with defensive consistency, second-chance points, and forcing opponents into difficult shots down low. Expect Legette-Jack to make that a point of emphasis for the Orange this season.

Syracuse guards Dyaisha Fair and Teisha Hyman were the player representatives for the Orange at ACC Tip-Off and here’s what they had to say.

The top returner from last year, Hyman, said she feels there’s a lot of excitement from the players on the team.

“Making it to the tournament is one of my big expectations, along with winning,” said Hyman. “I don’t like expecting to lose, so (I’m) expecting to win the ACC Tournament and the National Championship. I think we really have a chance this year.”

Meanwhile, Fair talked about her decision over the break to join the Orange and how well she fits in Syracuse. Fair also talked about doubts over her game given her lack of size. Fair appeared to shrug off anything about height impacting her ability to be effective on the court.

“They just don’t know my game,” said Fair. “A lot of people look at my size and overlook me, or even don’t look at all. My game is big, and I don’t make them recognize.”

With the anticipation building up, the Orange are set to kick off their 2022-2023 campaign soon. The Syracuse women’s team will suit up in the JMA Wireless Dome this Friday for Orange Tip-Off.

The Orange officially begin their season on November 3rd with an exhibition game against Le Moyne at home. Based on the energy brought by the representatives in Charlotte, the arrow for Syracuse appears to be heading up.