Orange U Glad They Got Nicole

By Jeff Lippman - October 23, 2007

Last season, Syracuse finished 9-20 overall and 3-13 in conference, including going only 2-10 at home, so how much media attention can they get?

That question is of course a rhetorical one, yet that is an excellent segue into the point of this blog post. The Orange had a lone bright spot on last year's dismal roster and that was freshman - and Rhetorical Studies major - Nicole Michael.

Named to the Big East All-Freshman Team, Michael - a native of Queens, N.Y. - averaged 17.3 points and 8.6 rebounds to lead the Orange in both a lot.

Michael was to Syracuse what Kevin Durant was to Texas last year. Namely, without the 6-foot-2 guard/forward, Syracuse might not have won a game.

The whole nation knows about Connecticut's Tina Charles, who won the Big East Freshman of the Year award, but what they probably don't realize is that Michael outperformed Charles in both scoring and rebounding and led all Big East frosh in those categories.

Of course, it's hard to really wow your critics when your team only won two games after the calendar hit January.

This year will be an excellent opportunity for Syracuse to improve and for Michael to create a Big East buzz surrounding herself for All-Big East and even All-American honors.

They return their second and third leading scorers - both seniors - from a season ago in 6-foot-4 center Vaida Sipaviciute and guard Fantasia Goodwin. And more impressively, bring in four talented freshmen highlighted by McDonald's All-American guard Erica Morrow.

With an actual supporting cast surrounding Michael, and one that will continue to improve as the youngsters gain experience, the Orange might be able to do some damage in the Big East as soon as this season.

They can't get much worse, can they?

Does that count as a rhetorical question? Nicole! Can I get a ruling from the expert?

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 10:43 AM on October 23, 2007

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