(State at Syracuse, Sunday, January 1st, 7 p.m., Regional Sports Network-Bally Sports if you will)
State's record against Syracuse is 9-4 which includes a current 5 game winning streak and a 4 game losing streak. State's last win was a 95-53 win in Raleigh on February 20th of 2022. State lost those four in a row from January 25th 2015 to January 14th 2017. Two of those four losses were at Syracuse, one at Broughton High School in Raleigh and one in Greensboro during the ACC Tournament. State's first game against Syracuse, a 104-69 win, was played in 1996 in San Juan Puerto Rico.
Looking at warrennolan stats, Syracuse has an overall record of 10-3, a conference record of 1-1, a Live RPI of 54, a NET of 68, an ELO of 79 and an SOS of 139. Syracuse's quad 1 record is 0-3. Syracuse's best win was their 67-58 home win over NET 70 Wake Forest.
State's stats form the warrennolan site are an overall record of 11-2, a conference record of 1-1, a Live RPI of 5, a NET of 9, an ELO of 6 and an SOS of 5. State's quad 1 record is 2-2. State's best win to date is the 94-81 win at NET 17 Iowa.
Syracuse is led in scoring by five-five senior Dyaisha Fair who is averaging 19.1 points per game while shooting 370 from the floor and 333 from the arc. Fair followed former Syracuse star and first year Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack from the University of Buffalo. Second in scoring for Syracuse is five-eight redshirt junior Tisha Hyman who is averaging 14.8 points per game while shooting 459 from the floor; 321 from the arc. Six-one Alabama A&M transfer and graduate student Dariauna Lewis leads Syracuse in rebounding averaging 10 per game. Fair also leads Syracuse in assists averaging 4.2 per game while Teisha Hyman leads Syracuse in turn overs averaging 3.8 per game. Syracuse's volume arc shooter is Dyaisha Fair who has attempted 84 to date and made 28 of those.
In Syracuse's loss to Louisville, Syracuse besides the above mentioned players started five-eight senior Alaina Rice and six-foot sophomore Georgia Woolley who also followed Coach Legette-Jack from the University of Buffalo. Players getting significant minutes off of the bench in the Louisville game were Wichita State transfer six-two graduate student Asia Strong and five-nine junior Cheyenne McEvans who also followed Coach Legette-Jack from Buffalo.
Team wise Syracuse shoots 429 from the floor; 286 from the arc. Syracuse assist to turnover ratio is 0.9.
Nolan predicts State to defeat Syracuse 77-63 with an 88% win probability. Her Hoop Stats picks State if the game is played at Syracuse to win by a score of 82.4 to 63.1 with a win probability of 92.3%. If the game was being played in Raleigh the prediction would be 86.8 State to 60.1 Syracuse with a 96.8% win probability for State.
Her Hoop Stats Ratings for Syracuse are 13 Value and 82/361 Rank while for State they are 43.5 Value and 6/361 Rank which is a drop from 4/361 before the Duke game. Her Hoop Stats Simple RPI is 33/361 Rank for Syracuse and is 3/361 Rank for State.
I like State in a close game with Diamond and Jada playing because it is always hard to play at Syracuse. In view of State's performance against Duke, I cannot positively pick State to win if Diamond does not play.
I have read some comments that State did not play hard against Duke. Sitting court side for the game, I disagree with such comments. I thought the team played very hard but seemed lost on offense especially against the press and at times confused on defense leaving open arc shooters-especially Duke's Taylor. I am perplexed with regard to State's handling of Duke's full court press as Clemson used a similar press. Diamond would have made a difference in the Duke game against the press, but note that she did not play against Clemson and State handled that press reasonably well.
Two other conference games worth watching on Sunday are Louisville at Duke at 12 p.m. (RSN) and UNC at VaTech at 4 p.m. (ACCN)