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Syracuse Orange women’s basketball 23-24 player profiles: Alaina Rice

A look at one of the Orange’s most familiar names.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Syracuse at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball season is fast approaching, and we’re continuing our player profiles for each scholarship player. Up next for the Orange is guard Alaina Rice, a veteran looking to continue her role as a do-it-all starter in her third season with the program:

Position: Guard

Class: Graduate student

Vitals: 5’8”

Stats (2022-23): Rice averaged 6.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals for the Orange in 33 total games, 24 of which were starts. Rice emerged as a reliable starter towards the back half of last season due to her ability to space the floor, rebound well given her size and defend at the top of the key.

Strengths/Weaknesses: Rice is not a primarily creator on offense either as a passer or scorer, but she’s a willing three-point shooter (career 2.4 three-point attempts per game, 2.6 attempts per game last year) who hits enough to be a reliable floor spacer for Dyaisha Fair, Georgia Woolley and company. Her limited height is made up by her effort with defense, rebounding and getting out in transition. The biggest question is this: if the jump shots aren’t falling, can she contribute enough in other areas to deserve 25-28 minutes a game?

Ceiling: Rice evolves into roughly the fourth-best scorer on the team, courtesy of a slightly improved three-point clip and more opportunities with the ball in her hand. She solidifies her role in Felisha Legette-Jack’s rotation and starts every game this year.

Floor: Rice’s defense and rebounding continue to shine, but the outside shot continues to wax and wane depending on the day. She still plays north of 20 minutes, but her standing as a clear starter comes into question if Legette-Jack needs some more offensive firepower.

Let’s get a good look at ya: