Duke WBB picked No. 2 in preseason ACC Poll

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Sara D. Davis, TheACC.com

DURHAM, N.C. –  The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) released the 2014-15 preseason women’s basketball polls at its annual media day held at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C. on Wednesday.

The Duke Blue Devils were tabbed No. 2 in a vote by both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the league’s 15 head coaches.

Duke, which returns one starter, seven letterwinners, and has the No. 2 overall recruiting class in the nation, received 733 points and one first place vote by the 41 Blue Ribbon Panel voters.

The Blue Devils have now been selected in the top three of the ACC Preseason poll for the 14th straight year.

Defending ACC Champion Notre Dame totaled 835 points and 38 first place votes to take the top slot, while Duke was second, and Louisville (2 first place votes), North Carolina, Florida State, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, Virginia, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Clemson and Pittsburgh rounded out the preseason list.

Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie, who begins her eighth year at Duke, has guided the Blue Devils to three ACC Championships over the last five years.

On the 10-member Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team, Duke senior Elizabeth Williams was selected along with Kaela Davis (Georgia Tech), Sara Hammond (Louisville), Allisha Gray (North Carolina), Stephanie Mavunga (North Carolina), Xylina McDaniel (North Carolina), Lindsay Allen (Notre Dame), Jewell Lloyd (Notre Dame), Brittney Sykes (Syracuse) and Dearica Hamby (Wake Forest).

Lloyd earned preseason Blue Ribbon Panel ACC Player of the Year accolades.

Williams enters her final year at Duke after becoming the first Blue Devils player in school history to be named Associated Press All-America in each of her first three years.

A three-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Williams averaged 13.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals as a junior.

The six-foot-three-inch forward/center needs 104 blocks to break the Duke and ACC career blocks record currently held by Alison Bales (434).

She also is 24 blocks away from assuming the 25th spot on the NCAA career blocks list (331).

Duke redshirt freshman Rebecca Greenwell and incoming freshman Sierra Calhoun were each selected to the five-member ACC Newcomer Watch list along with Shakayla Thomas (Florida State), Mariya Moore (Louisville) and Brianna Turner (Notre Dame).

Greenwell was a McDonald’s and WBCA All-America coming out of high school in 2013, but missed the 2013-14 season recovering from a knee injury.

Over her high school career, Greenwell scored 3,306 points and pulled down 1,500 rebounds.

The six-foot-one-inch guard scored a career-high 51 points, while hitting a national record 17 three-pointers in a single game, and averaged 23.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.6 steals as a senior.

Calhoun was a McDonald’s, WBCA and Parade Magazine All-America selection as a senior.

She amassed 1,893 points, 700 rebounds, 234 assists over her career, while averaging 24.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.5 assists in her final year at Christ the King.

The league’s Coaches Preseason poll listed Notre Dame, Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, Florida State, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia, NC State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Pittsburgh and Boston College in order.

On the Coaches Preseason All-ACC Team was Nikki Dixon (Clemson), Williams, Davis, Hammond, Gray, Mavunga, Allen, Loyd, Sykes and Hamby, with Loyd receiving the Preseason Player of the Year honor.

The ACC Newcomer Watch list voted on by the coaches featured four of the five from the Blue Ribbon Panel’s selections with Calhoun, Greenwell, Thomas and Turner along with Myisha Hines-Allen from Louisville.

Blue Ribbon Panel ACC Preseason Poll

1. Notre Dame (835 points, 38 first place votes)

2. Duke (733, 1 first place vote)

3. Louisville (724, 2 first place votes)

4. North Carolina (707)

5. Florida State (545)

6. Syracuse (536)

7. Georgia Tech (508)

8. Miami (421)

9. NC State (407)

10. Virginia (334)

11. Wake Forest (295)

12. Virginia Tech (184)

13. Boston College (178)

14. Clemson (169)

15. Pittsburgh (144)

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team

Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke

Kaela Davis, So., G, Georgia Tech

Sara Hammond, Sr., F, Louisville

Allisha Gray, So., G, North Carolina

Stephanie Mavunga, So, F, North Carolina

Xylina McDaniel, Jr., F, North Carolina

Lindsay Allen, So., G, Notre Dame

Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

Brittney Sykes, Jr., G, Syracuse

Dearica Hamby, Sr., F, Wake Forest

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason ACC Player of the Year

Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

Blue Ribbon Panel ACC Newcomer Watch List

Sierra Calhoun, Fr., G/F, Duke

Rebecca Greenwell, R-Fr., G, Duke

Shakayla Thomas, Fr., F, Florida State

Mariya Moore, Fr., G, Louisville

Brianna Turner, Fr., G, Notre Dame

ACC Head Coaches Preseason Poll

Notre Dame (223 points, 14 first place votes)

Duke (196, 1 first place vote)

Louisville (194)

North Carolina (193)

Florida State (152)

Syracuse (149)

Georgia Tech (136)

Miami (117)

Virginia (98)

NC State (87)

Wake Forest (82)

Virginia Tech (54)

Clemson (44)

Pittsburgh (43)

Boston College (32)

Coaches Preseason All-ACC Team

Nikki Dixon, Sr., G, Clemson

Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke

Kaela Davis, So., G, Georgia Tech

Sara Hammond, Sr., F, Louisville

Allisha Gray, So., G, North Carolina

Stephanie Mavunga, So, F, North Carolina

Lindsay Allen, So., G, Notre Dame

Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

Brittney Sykes, G, Syracuse

Dearica Hamby, Sr., F, Wake Forest

Coaches Preseason ACC Player of the Year

Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

Coaches ACC Newcomer Watch List

Sierra Calhoun, Fr., G/F, Duke

Rebecca Greenwell, R-Fr., G, Duke

Shakayla Thomas, Fr., F, Florida State

Myisha Hines-Allen, Fr., F, Louisville

Brianna Turner, Fr., G, Notre Dame