Bourama’s Back: Syracuse center announces he will return for a fifth season

Bourama’s Back: Syracuse center announces he will return for a fifth season

Sidibe joins Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard III and Jesse Edwards as only confirmed players from 2020-21 roster returning to SU next season.
Published: April 7, 2021
Bourama Sidibe soars for one of his 10 rebounds vs. Pitt on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.
Bourama Sidibe soars for one of his 10 rebounds vs. Pitt on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.

In the midst of several players ducking out of Syracuse basketball through the transfer portal, senior center Bourama Sidibe announced Monday that he would return to SU for a fifth season. Fans were disappointed as Sidibe was sidelined for most of the 2020-21 season after suffering a knee injury in the season opener against Bryant.

He hopes to continue rehabbing his knee and convince pro scouts that he’s a good fit for the NBA, according to Mike Waters.

“I just want to give myself a chance [to] get healthier and play one more season,” Sidibe said in a article. “I want to get in better shape so I can give myself a better look in basketball.”

During his junior year, Bourama had several promising moments while starting every game for the Orange. He posted 15 rebounds and 17 points in a loss to North Carolina. He became the first Syracuse player to have double-digit rebounds in six consecutive games since 2010-11 during his junior year. That season, he also had at least one block in 23 games.

Sidibe will join Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard III and Jesse Edwards as the only players from this past season who have confirmed their return to Syracuse. The Orange added two players – Symir Torrence and Cole Swider – through the transfer portal and are expected to welcome five-star recruit Benny Williams next season.

Men’s soccer ends season with a pair of cancellations

Syracuse men’s soccer finished the season on a low note after the last two games of the season were cancelled due to COVID issues within the Orange program.

Men’s soccer was among the teams hit hardest by the pandemic. The Orange were unable to finish the fall season, and continued play in the spring. But through 20 scheduled games, seven games were cancelled. Four of those games were scheduled during the makeup spring season.

Syracuse felt the effects of the unpredictable season, mustering a 2-7-4 record through two semesters. The Orange didn’t win any conference games, and the first win of the season didn’t come until Feb. 12.

Men’s and women’s lacrosse drop in rankings after losing weekend

Both men’s and women’s lacrosse teams dropped in the Inside Lacrosse rankings following a losing weekend.

Syracuse women’s lacrosse started the weekend as the No. 2 team in the country but fell to No. 3 after losing to No. 1 UNC, 17-6, on Saturday. The Orange were bumped by Northwestern, the only other undefeated team besides North Carolina. Syracuse now has a 6-1 record entering the second half of the season, in which the Orange will play a game about every three days.

Men’s lacrosse dropped from No. 4 to No. 9 after losing to then-No. 9 Notre Dame, 18-11, on Saturday. The Syracuse men now have an average 4-3 record and a losing record in conference play. SU will have a breather against U of Albany on Thursday before playing No. 3 UNC, No. 4 Virginia and No. 5 Notre Dame in back-to-back ranked matchups.

Swart, Rehfuss bring Syracuse’s Tewaaraton Watch List total to 10

Women’s lacrosse senior Sam Swart and men’s lacrosse’s leading scorer Stephen Rehfuss were added to the Tewaaraton Watch List, an award honoring the best player in college lacrosse.

Swart joins five other SU women’s players who were named to the watch list on March 11. She has started all seven games for the Orange thus far and opened the season scoring eight goals on eight shots. Currently, she is third on the team in goals (17) and has 18 points this season. She was one of only a few players who scored in Syracuse’s loss to UNC on Saturday.

Rehfuss is the fourth men’s player from Syracuse to be named to the list, which ties Duke for the national lead. Rehfuss, one of five captains, has played in every game at Syracuse since transferring from Holy Cross in 2017. He leads the team this season with 34 points, including a hat trick in Syracuse’s loss to Notre Dame on Saturday. He has also led the team in assists in the past three consecutive seasons.

Tiana Mangakahia ends Syracuse career on a high, looks ahead to WNBA

Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse women’s basketball’s all-time leader in assists, was named All-America Honorable Mention by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. She was one of 42 student-athletes who earned honorable mention for this season.

The fifth-year battled back from breast cancer to lead her team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament this year. She led the nation in assists per game (7.2) in addition to averaging 11.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. She closed out her final season with the Orange leading the team in free-throw shooting (84.2%).

Mangakahia was also a top-5 finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which recognizes the nation’s top point guard each season. Her sights are now set on the WNBA Draft on April 15.

Viktoriya Kanapatskaya lead tennis in upset over No. 11 Georgia Tech

Syracuse freshman Viktoriya Kanapatskaya led the Orange to yet another surprising victory over a ranked team with her win over the No. 13 singles player in the country. Kanapatskaya’s win pushed SU to a narrow 4-3 victory over No. 11 Georgia Tech last Friday. This was the highest-ranked opponent that Syracuse has beaten since 2019 when the Orange beat then-No. 9 Michigan, 4-2.

The Orange faltered in the doubles matches but excelled in singles against Georgia Tech. Kanapatskaya came from behind after losing the first set to beat Victoria Flores in three sets. Guzal Yusupova, Miranda Ramirez and Polina Kozyreva picked up the other three wins for Syracuse.

Syracuse tennis completed a weekend sweep with a win against Clemson on Sunday. SU will host North Carolina and Duke on Friday, April 9 and Sunday, April 11 to cap off the regular season.