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Syracuse women’s basketball: the Orange add center Maria-Eleni Triantafylli for upcoming season

Syracuse lands some much-needed height and depth at the center spot.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team added its fourth new player for the upcoming season, and this one might be the biggest. Literally.

Coach Felisha Legette-Jack announced on Saturday that the Orange have added Maria-Eleni Triantafylli - a six-foot-five center from Athens, Greece - to the team for the 2023-2024 season.

Triantafylli played for the EFAOZ women’s basketball team in Greece’s first division of the ESVA league. She averaged 7.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 4.5 blocks, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 blocks per game in 21 minutes per contest as the youngest starter on the team, according to the press release from Syracuse. She also was a pre-selection for Greece’s U14, U16 and U18 women’s national teams, helping to lead the U16 and U18 teams to a combined 13-5 record as a sophomore and junior.

Coach Legette-Jack praised Triantafylli’s reputation as a multi-skilled center with a nice blend of athleticism, capability as an outside shooter, and defensive energy with her shot-blocking. Triantafylli will look to help shore up the Orange’s poor defense from last season, which ranked well on the perimeter with forcing turnovers but struggled in the paint against the taller, more-athletic forwards and centers of the ACC.

Syracuse gave up the second-most points per game (67.9) in the ACC as well as the highest field goal percentage. Nationally, the Orange ranked 266th in both opponent points per game and opponent field goal percentage.

Triantafylli’s skill as a shot-blocker will give Syracuse something they desperately needed last season. For context, she’s at least three inches taller than the Orange’s forward and center rotation from 2022-2023, including Dariauna Lewis, Asia Strong, and Saniaa Wilson.

Triantafylli will bolster the Orange’s depth at the forward and center spots alongside incoming freshman forwards Sophie Burrows and Alyssa Latham, who also provide the two-way upside Syracuse was looking for this offseason.

In addition to trio of forwards Legette-Jack acquired over the break, the Orange also added transfer guard Dominique Camp from Akron to bring more depth alongside Syracuse’s eight returning players from last season’s roster.