Louisville’s Hines-Allen Named ACC Women’s Player Of The Year
North Carolina’s Watts is Freshman of Year; Notre Dame’s McGraw receives coaching honor
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Louisville sophomore forward Myisha Hines-Allen has been selected as the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Year by the league’s Blue Ribbon Panel.
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.
In addition, Notre Dame sophomore Brianna Turner has been voted the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s 15 head coaches, while Florida State sophomore Shakayla Thomas received Sixth Player of the Year honors.
The ACC individual awards were announced in conjunction with the start of the 2016 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, which tips off later today at the Greensboro Coliseum.
A three-time ACC Player of the Week selection, Hines-Allen averages 17 points per game to rank fourth among conference scorers and is third in rebounding at 8.1 per game. The Montclair, New Jersey, native is shooting 54 percent from the floor and 77 percent from the foul line for seventh-ranked Louisville (24-6), which posted a 15-1 record in league play and enters the ACC Women’s Tournament as the No. 2 seed.
The 6-foot-2 Hines-Allen has scored in double figures in 26 games this year while posting nine double-doubles. She has reached on topped the 20-point plateau in nine games.
North Carolina’s Watts, who was named Tuesday to the All-ACC second team and the conference’s All-Freshman team, ranks 10th among conference scorers at 14.5 points per game and 11th 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 1.3 per game.
Watts’ four ACC Rookie of the Week honors are the most in the league this season. She has posted five games this season of 20-points-or-more and scored a career-high 30 versus NC State on February 21. She has led the Tar Heels in scoring in 11 games.
Notre Dame’s McGraw earned her second ACC Women’s Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Fighting Irish to their third-straight regular-season title. Notre Dame is seeking to add its third consecutive ACC Women’s Tournament crown this week.
The Fighting Irish (28-1 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. Notre Dame has won 31 straight games against ACC competition (including the ACC Tournament) dating back to January 11, 2015.
The 6-foot-3 Turner has been an intimidating force for a Fighting Irish defensive unit that enters play this week’s ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament having limited opponents to 37 percent shooting from the floor for the season. The Pearland, Texas, native leads the ACC with 72 blocked shots in 23 games (3.13 per contest) and has 21 steals.
Turner also averages 7.0 rebounds, including nearly five per game at the defensive end to help Notre Dame limit opponents to just over 60 points per game. Turner becomes the first Notre Dame player to earn ACC Women’ Defensive Player of the Year accolades since the Fighting Irish joined the conference for the 2013-14 season.
Thomas, who has come off the bench in 22 of the Seminoles’ 28 games, leads Florida State and ranks third among ACC scorers at 17.3 points per game. The 5-foot-11 forward from Sylacauga, Alabama, ranks second in the conference (behind Notre Dame’s Turner) in field goal percentage at .559 and is shooting 73 percent from the foul line.
With Thomas’ two-time selection, Florida State has claimed three ACC Sixth Player of the Year honors three of the past four seasons. Chasity Clayton received the nod in 2013.
2016 ACC Blue Ribbon Panel Postseason Honors
ACC Player of the Year: Myisha Hines-Allen, So., F, Louisville
ACC Freshman of the Year: Stephanie Watts, Fr., G, North Carolina
ACC Coach of the Year: Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
2016 ACC Coaches Postseason Honors
Defensive Player of the Year: Brianna Turner, Notre Dame
Sixth Player of the Year: Shakayla Thomas, Florida State