Day sisters highlight deep, improved frontcourt for Syracuse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ In its last two recruiting classes, the Syracuse coaching staff has stockpiled a deep pool of ultra-talented guards.With Cornelia Fondren, Brittney Sykes and Alexis Peterson — not to mention transfer Maggie Morrison and incoming recruit Danielle Minott — the SU backcourt is set for the next three years.Frontcourt recruiting has lagged behind though. Before relying on fifth-year senior Shakeya Leary this season, SU had four-year starter Kayla Alexander. Slowly, though, SU has started to bulk up its frontcourt. This year, the team brought in 6-foot-4 sisters Briana and Bria Day. After Syracuse’s win over Virginia on Sunday, head coach Quentin Hillsman praised the Days for contributing early in their Atlantic Coast Conference careers. The Day sisters are making strides as freshmen and, in flashes, are giving SU a look at its future frontcourt.“I thought it was very good for Briana Day to go and experience that, because she understands what she has to do to be a dominant player in this conference,” Hillsman said. “And she will be because she is an unbelievable player. And Bria’s going to be the same.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They’re really going to help us in the future.”While Syracuse has routinely used three and four guard lineups this season, Hillsman said Wednesday, he envisions future lineups with multiple post players. Hillsman talked about the potential the Days have playing on the floor together — something they didn’t do much of at Millbrook High School in Raleigh, N.C. While Briana has played with her back to the basket, she has the ability to play the stretch-4 position. Before the team’s game against Virginia, she routinely hit shots from beyond the free-throw line and even connected on a 3-pointer.“I think that it depends on the both of them,” Hillsman said. “Briana can grow more and get her confidence back and play on the perimeter, which she can do. Bria can get inside and start making post moves and making shots for us.”Bria Day has always lived in the shadow of her twin sister. She was born after Briana, and has played behind her in Syracuse’s rotation. While Briana ranked as the No. 15 forward and ranked No. 57 overall in the 2013 class by ESPN HoopGurlz, Bria was ranked as the No. 36 overall forward.But last Sunday against Pittsburgh — with Briana and starting center Leary in foul trouble — Bria came in and played 11 minutes and grabbed five rebounds.“I liked seeing her do her thing out there,” Briana Day said. “She was playing really well. If she deserves to play, she deserves to play, and that’s all I see.”Hillsman said Bria has been getting better over the course of the season. But there’s also no doubt her vocal encouragement is heard from the bench. “The hard part about her situation, right now, is kind of like Shakeya’s was a couple of years ago, sitting behind Kayla,” Hillsman said. “She’s sitting behind Shakeya and Briana. I think that as the season goes on and definitely into next year, she’s going to be a major part of what we do.”In a three-year span, the torch of the Syracuse center position will have been passed from Alexander to Leary and most likely to Briana Day. But since the twins’ careers will unfold simultaneously, Hillsman will have to utilize both 6-foot-4 centers.“Obviously we’re going to be together for a long time,” freshman point guard Alexis Peterson said. “So I think if we’re not going to be great now, we’ll definitely be great by our senior or junior year.” Comments Published on January 29, 2014 at 1:36 am Contact Josh: [email protected]last_img

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