ACC Coaches Tab Notre Dame’s Turner As Player Of The Year

North Carolina’s Watts is Freshman of Year; Notre Dame’s McGraw receives coaching honor

GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – Sophomore forward Brianna Turner of three-time Atlantic Coast Conference champion Notre Dame has been voted the 2016 ACC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year by the league’s 15 head coaches. 

North Carolina’s Stephanie Watts was selected the ACC Freshman of the Year, while Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw earned ACC Coach of the Year honors.

Turner leads the ACC in field goal shooting at .596 percent while averaging 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

The 6-foot-3 Turner has also been an intimidating force for a Fighting Irish defensive unit that will enter the NCAA Tournament having limited opponents to 37 percent shooting from the floor for the season. The 2016 ACC Defensive Player of the Year leads the ACC with 82 blocked shots in 26 games (3.15 per contest) and has 23 steals. 

Watts, who was also named to the ACC Coaches’ All-Freshman team, ranks among the conference leaders in scoring with 14.7 points per game and in rebounding with 7.2 per contest. The 5-foot-11 native of Wesley Chapel, North Carolina, also ranks among the conference’s leaders in blocked shots with 1.4 per game.

Watts’ four ACC Rookie of the Week honors were the most in the league this season. She posted five games this season of 20-points-or-more and scored a career-high 30 versus NC State on February 21. She led the Tar Heels in scoring in 12 games.

Notre Dame’s McGraw earned her second ACC Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Fighting Irish to their third-straight regular-season and ACC Women’s Tournament crowns.

The Fighting Irish (31-1 overall) posted a perfect 16-0 ACC regular-season mark and currently own the nation’s top-ranked RPI. Under McGraw’s watch, the Fighting Irish are 47-1 in ACC regular-season play since joining the conference for the 2013-14 season in addition to the three consecutive ACC Tournament titles.

Notre Dame leads the way with three players named to the Coaches’ 2015-16 All-ACC First Team. Turner, grad student Madison Cable and junior Lindsay Allen represent the Fighting Irish. 

Sophomores Myisha Hines-Allen and Mariya Moore of seventh-ranked Louisville were also voted to the 10-member All-ACC First Team. They are joined by Duke sophomore Azurá Stevens, Florida State sophomore Shakayla Thomas, Georgia Tech senior Aaliyah Whiteside, Miami junior Adrienne Motley and Syracuse junior Alexis Peterson.

Florida State senior Adut Bulgak, Duke redshirt sophomore Rebecca Greenwell, Syracuse senior Brianna Butler, and NC State juniors Miah Spencer and Dominique Wilson make up the five-member second team.

UNC’s Watts is joined on the eight-member  All-Freshman team by Boston College’s Mariella Fasoula, Louisville’s Asia Durr, UNC’s Destinee Walker, Notre Dame’s Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale, Pitt’s Brenna Wise and Wake Forest’s Ariel Stephenson.

The All-ACC First Team features the ACC’s top five scorers in Georgia Tech’s Whiteside (19.4 points per game), Duke’s Stevens (18.9), Florida State’s Thomas (17.1), Louisville’s Hines-Allen (17.5) and Miami’s Motley (15.6). Stevens leads the conference in rebounding (9.6), while Hines-Allen ranks fourth with 8.4 per game.

Notre Dame’s Allen has handed out a league-leading 5.8 assists per game, while Cable is shooting an ACC-leading .476 from 3-point range. Syracuse’s Peterson ranks second in assists at 4.8 per contest, and Florida State’s Thomas is second in overall field goal shooting at 55 percent.

Head Coaches Honors - All-ACC Team

First Team
Azurá Stevens, So., F/G, Duke 
Shakayla Thomas, So., F, Florida State
Aaliyah Whiteside, Sr., G/F, Georgia Tech 
Myisha Hines-Allen, So., F, Louisville
Mariya Moore, So., F, Louisville
Adrienne Motley, Jr., G, Miami
Lindsay Allen, Jr., G, Notre Dame 
Madison Cable, GS, G, Notre Dame 
Brianna Turner, So., F, Notre Dame
Alexis Peterson, Jr., G, Syracuse

Second Team 
Rebecca Greenwell, R-So., G, Duke
Adut Bulgak, Sr., C, Florida State
Miah Spencer, Jr., G, NC State
Dominique Wilson, R-Jr., G, NC State
Brianna Butler, Sr., G, Syracuse

All-Freshman Team
Stephanie Watts, Fr., G, North Carolina 
Asia Durr, Fr., G, Louisville 
Mariella Fasoula, Fr., C, Boston College
Arike Ogunbowale, Fr., G, Notre Dame 
Marina Mabrey, Fr., G, Notre Dame
Ariel Stephenson, Fr., G, Wake Forest
Destinee Walker, Fr., G, North Carolina
Brenna Wise, Fr., G/F, Pitt

All-Defensive Team
Azurá Stevens, So., F/G, Duke 
Brittany Brown, Jr., G, Florida State
Brianna Turner, So., F, Notre Dame
Briana Day, Jr., C, Syracuse
Alexis Peterson, Jr., G, Syracuse

Player of the Year: Brianna Turner, So., F, Notre Dame
Coach of the Year: Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
Freshman of the Year: Stephanie Watts, Fr., G, North Carolina