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Syracuse women’s basketball: Lewis to enter WNBA Draft, Wilson enters transfer portal

Monday proved to be a headline-heavy day for the Orange.

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

Coming off the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team’s nail-bitting loss to Columbia University on Friday night, there’s already some off-season news in the early days of the offseason.

Starting forward Dariauna Lewis announced in a Monday evening Instagram post that she will be declaring for the 2023 WNBA Draft, becoming the Orange’s first (and likely only) player to declare for this year’s draft. Lewis averaged 9.8 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, and 1.3 blocks per game in 32 games in her first season with the Orange. As a fifth year player, Lewis’ departure was expected.

Lewis transferred to Syracuse for the 2022-2023 season as a graduate transfer. She began her career at Missouri State, where she played one season before she transferred to Alabama A&M for the next three seasons. This year, Lewis finished second in the ACC in rebounds per game while breaking Felisha Legette-Jack’s single-season record. She was also seventh in blocks per game in the ACC. Lewis finished with 14 double-doubles this season, including an impressive 16-point, 13-rebound performance against Columbia in the Orange’s final game in the 2023 Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

In the Instagram post, Lewis thanked coach Felisha Legette-Jack and the coaching staff for giving her the opportunity in Syracuse.

“Despite my unique college journey, you welcomed me with open arms and gave me a fair chance,” Lewis said in the post. “Orange Nation fans are one of a kind. I appreciate all the love and support that you gave me this year and I will always remember this season.”

Syracuse will need to fill in the hole left behind by Lewis, who was easily the Orange’s best rebounder, defender, and energizer in her lone season with the program.

Speaking of filling in roster spots, sophomore guard Nyah Wilson announced Monday afternoon on Twitter that she be leaving the program and entering the transfer portal. After appearing in 20 games during her freshman year season in 2021-2022, Wilson played just 5.7 minutes per game in 20 games this season. She finished this year averaging 1.6 points per game on just 22 total shot attempts in 2022-2023.

Wilson’s tweet was intriguing to say the least. Here’s what she wrote to conclude her announcement:

“With the guidance of God and my family, I’m looking forward to being recruited and finding a coaching staff who wants to get to know me, believes in me, and will develop me on and off the court,” Wilson said in the Monday tweet. “I want my next coaching staff to have confidence in me and show me through their actions.”

It appears Wilson’s lack of a defined role with the Orange, especially with Dyaisha Fair’s return and Georgia Woolley’s improvement, signaled the end of her Syracuse career. We wish you the best of luck, Nyah.

Lastly, incoming class of 2023 Syracuse signee Alyssa Latham will compete in the 2023 WHO’S NXT? All-American Game later this week in Dallas during the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four. The game typically features nationally ranked high school seniors and Latham is one of seven future ACC players who will compete, and the games can be found here.

Got that all? Good, because the offseason is only just beginning for the Orange.