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Opinion

The roster review series : Sydney Uni Flames

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Roar Rookie
14th November, 2020
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The Sydney Uni Flames finished in sixth place with a record of 7–14.

This was a growing season from the young players and a chance for the new veterans to gain chemistry with the team. This was highlighted by the improvement of Lauren Sherf, who was in the top ten in rebounds.

Alice Kunek was named to the All-WNBL second team while leading her team in scoring at 18.9 PPG.

Additions

Anneli Maley
Maley made the move from Southside to Sydney to join close friend Lauren Sherf in the Sydney frontcourt. With Southsides stacked line-up minutes were hard to come by and the move likely happened for a larger role on the team. The do-it-all forward can legitimately play 1–4 and did so in her NBL1 year with Diamond Valley.

While many have pegged Maley as a rebounding machine, year on year she adds more to her game and has recently become a good outside shooter. An underrated pick up for the Flames giving them some depth at multiple positions.

Lauren Mansfield
Look for Mansfield to take the next step with Sydney. A prolific scorer and distributor, Sydney will hand her the keys to the offence and ask her to produce. Mansfield is in for a big season and will be one of the reasons Sydney will be in the playoff hunt.

Subtractions

Alice Kunek
The loss of Kunek will be somewhat offset by Maley. The versatile forward, who played in the 3×3 Australian team, will be missed for scoring and usability in almost any role.

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Ally Wilson
As stated in previous reviews, any time a team loses an Opal it will get a mention. The versatile guard will be missed for her passing and leadership as well as her long-range proficiency. However, it will be somewhat offset by the addition of Mansfield.

Summary
The core is still intact for Sydney and very few teams can match up well with Lauren Sherf. They have a lot of new pieces and this will take time to get everyone on the same page. The additions of Mansfield and Wilson will both be huge later in the year as both starters will bring large contributions.

They will lose some early games to top teams and then right the ship down into the back end of the season. However, the damage will be done, and they will miss the playoffs by one or two games.

Prediction
Sydney will take some time to gel but will come together well and end fifth on the ladder (6–8).