Women's Basketball

Sykes helps Morrison adjust as transfer

Shea Kastriner | Staff Photographer

Brittney Sykes has led Syracuse to a strong start this season. She's also helped Maggie Morrison adjust to SU after transferring from Vanderbilt.

Since hosting Maggie Morrison on a visit to Syracuse last April, sophomore guard Brittney Sykes and the Vanderbilt transfer have become inseparable.

When Morrison first came to campus, she attended the ‘Cuse Awards with Sykes and the rest of the SU team. She and Sykes clicked instantaneously, despite their contrasting personalities.

Midway through this season, their closeness persists both on and off the court. They’ve become what they call “brodys,” and shown that opposites do attract.

“Maggie is like a family member that I’ve always wanted,” Sykes said. “She’s in my family. I talk to her mom almost every day. She talks to my mom. We’re pretty close.”

“Brody” is a term originally coined by Sykes. She was watching TV one day a few years ago and saw a show with the name Brody in the title. For whatever reason, it stuck. And years later when she and Morrison began to form their bond, Sykes soon began to call her, “her brody.”

“The team makes jokes, you know, no, that’s your Sisty,” Sykes said. “Brody is just brotherly love.”

“That’s my brody,” Morrison said. “I don’t know. It just kind of came up. It just kind of happened.”

Brody marathons include — along with other SU teammates — going to Destiny USA and going bowling. On campus, when Sykes isn’t jumping out from around corners to scare Morrison, they’re either eating or working out at the Carmelo K. Anthony Center. When they’re home from practice, they watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Ridiculousness or SportsCenter before doing homework and crashing on the couch.

“I’m more of the outgoing, social butterfly, and Maggie’s more of the low-key, awkward kid who doesn’t really say much in a group,” Sykes said. “But when we’re around each other, it really doesn’t seem like she’s an awkward, non-sociable person.”

Although Morrison said her and Sykes are “pretty much attached at the hip,” there have been times when Sykes leaves her brody out to dry. Just for fun, when the two are speaking in a group, Sykes will ask Morrison to make a comment or inject her opinion.

Sometimes Sykes will even walk away from a group just to force Morrison to speak.

“I try to put her at the center of attention when she doesn’t like it,” Sykes said. “And she’ll just say, ‘You know I don’t like to speak!’ Just to get her uncomfortable is the funniest thing ever.”

“She’s a jerk,” Morrison responded jokingly.

Morrison said Sykes has definitely helped her come out of her shell. Whereas at Vanderbilt Morrison was strictly friends with players on the team, at Syracuse her friend group is more scattered. Especially since she can’t play or travel with the team, having friends that are in Syracuse is important.

On the court, it’s almost the complete opposite. Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said Morrison is extremely vocal. Sykes, who leads the team with 17.7 points a game, lets her play speak for itself.

For Sykes, it will be a special moment when her brody finally dons a game uniform — Morrison a point guard and Sykes a shooting guard.

“On the court they have a chemistry, you can tell,” Hillsman said.

And although the brodys stay in contact when SU goes on the road, Sykes admitted to getting sad sometimes because Morrison can’t be with her and the team.

Said Sykes: “Our friendship is really close. Everybody sometimes makes fun of us, but we don’t really care.”

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