Triangle women’s hoops teams selected in ACC preseason top-10

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Duke selected preseason favorite for second consecutive year 

GREENSBORO, N.C. The Duke Blue Devils were tabbed as the preseason No. 1 team in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) as announced during the 2013 ACC Women’s Basketball Media Day held at the Grandover Resort on Wednesday.

Following Duke, the North Carolina Tar Heels and the NC State Wolfpack were selected fourth and 10th respectively out of the 15 competing teams in the league which includes newcomers the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Syracuse Orange, and Pittsburgh Panthers.

The Blue Devils are expected to maintain their perch atop the league as a result of possessing a strong returning corps that includes all five starters, 11 letter winners and its top seven scorers after finishing last season with a 33-3 record and reaching the regional final of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Duke has gotten used to receiving top-three recognition in the ACC for the past 13 years and for the second consecutive year, has been chosen as the top-ranked team headed into the season – the ninth time that the Blue Devils have topped the polls since 1998.

Following Duke, Notre Dame received 14 first-place votes and placed second in the voting followed by Maryland (three first-place votes) and North Carolina (one first-place vote).

Florida State and Georgia Tech tied for fifth in the Blue Ribbon Panel balloting, while Syracuse was seventh, Virginia eighth and Miami ninth.

NC State (10th), Boston College (11th), Wake Forest (12th), Virginia Tech (13th), Clemson (14th) and Pittsburgh (I15th) rounded out the poll.

The poll taken by a vote of the Blue Ribbon Panel and 15 league head coaches listed Duke in the top position on 39 Blue Ribbon Panel ballots, while the Blue Devils received 10 first-place votes in the ACC coaches’ balloting.

The coaches’ predicted order of finish almost replicated that of the Blue Ribbon panel with the exception of Georgia Tech being chosen fifth outright instead of sharing the spot with Florida State (which placed sixth in the coaches’ vote).

Two-time ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas of Maryland was predicted to become a three-time winner in 2013-14 in both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the coaches’ votes.

Thomas earned All-America honors as a junior after leading the ACC in scoring (18.8 ppg), rebounding (10.3 rpg) and assists (5.5 apg), and also led the conference with 20 double-doubles, including 12 in 18 regular-season ACC games.

Thomas was joined on the 2013-14 Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team by Duke’s Chelsea Gray, Tricia Liston and Elizabeth Williams, Notre Dame’s Natalie Achonwa and Kayla McBride, Georgia Tech’s Tyaunna Marshall, North Carolina’s Xylina McDaniel, Virginia’s Ataira Franklin and Wake Forest’s Chlesea Douglas.

Gray, Williams, Liston, Thomas, McBride, Marshall, McDaniel and Franklin were also named to the Coaches’ Preseason All-ACC team, along with Notre Dame’s Jewell Loyd and North Carolina’s Diamond DeShields.

DeShields was chosen to the Blue Ribbon Panel’s Newcomer Watch List, along with Duke’s Oderah Chidom and Kendall McCravey-Cooper, Georgia Tech’s Kaela Davis, Notre Dame’s Taya Reimer, and Maryland’s Lexie Brown.

DeShields, Chidom, Davis, and Reimer were also featured on the Coaches Newcomer Watch List along with Florida State’s Morgan Jones.

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Poll

1. Duke (843 points, 39 first-place votes)

2. Notre Dame (794 points, 14 first-place votes)

3. Maryland (745 points, 3 first-place votes)

4. North Carolina (715 points, 1 first-place vote)

T5. Georgia Tech (527 points)

T5. Florida State (527 points)

7. Syracuse (517 points)

8. Virginia (470 points)

9. Miami (419 points)

10. NC State (363 points)

11. Boston College (304 points)

12. Wake Forest (263 points)

13. Virginia Tech (213 points)

14. Clemson (159 points)

15. Pittsburgh (102 points)

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team

Chelsea Gray, Sr., G, Duke

Tricia Liston, Sr., G, Duke

Elizabeth Williams, Jr., F/C, Duke

Tyaunna Marshall, Sr., G, Georgia Tech

Alyssa Thomas, Sr., F, Maryland

Natalie Achonwa, Sr., F, Notre Dame

Kayla McBride, Sr., G, Notre Dame

Xylina McDaniel, So., F, North Carolina

Ataira Franklin, Sr., G, Virginia

Chelsea Douglas, Sr., G, Wake Forest

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Player of the Year

Alyssa Thomas, Maryland

Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List

Oderah Chidom, Fr., F, Duke

Kendall McCravey-Cooper, Fr., F/C, Duke

Kaela Davis, Fr., G, Georgia Tech

Lexie Brown, Fr., G, Maryland

Diamond DeShields, Fr., G, North Carolina

Taya Reimer, Fr.  F, Notre Dame

**an extra member was added to the team due to a tie in voting

ACC Coaches’ Preseason Poll

1.  Duke (220 points, 10 first place votes)

2. Notre Dame (211 points, 5 first place votes)

3. Maryland (195 points)

4.  North Carolina (182 points)

5.  Georgia Tech (146 points)

6.  Florida State (137 points)

7. Syracuse (133 points)

8.  Virginia (128 points)

9.  Miami (103 points)

10. NC State (90 points)

11. Boston College (75 points)

12. Wake Forest (68 points)

13. Virginia Tech (58 points)

14. Clemson (34 points)

15. Pittsburgh (20 points)

Coaches’ Preseason All-ACC Team

Chelsea Gray, Sr., G, Duke

Tricia Liston, Sr., G, Duke

Elizabeth Williams, Jr.,  F/C, Duke

Tyaunna Marshall, Sr., G, Georgia Tech

Alyssa Thomas, Sr., F, Maryland

Jewell Loyd, So., G, Notre Dame

Kayla McBride, Sr., G, Notre Dame

Diamond DeShields, Fr., G, North Carolina

Xylina McDaniel, So., F, North Carolina

Ataira Franklin, Sr., G, Virginia

Coaches’ Preseason Player of the Year

Alyssa Thomas, Maryland

Coaches Newcomer Watch List

Oderah Chidom, Fr., F, Duke

Morgan Jones, Fr. G, Florida State

Kaela Davis, Fr., G, Georgia Tech

Diamond DeShields, Fr., G North Carolina

Taya Reimer, Fr., F, Notre Dame