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Oct. 26, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Duke women’s basketball team has been predicted to finish atop of the 2010-11 ACC Women’s Basketball standings for the first time since 2005. The predictions, announced Tuesday, were made by a vote of the Blue Ribbon Panel, consisting of national and local media, as well as school representatives.
The Blue Devils, who earned 24 of a possible 33 first-place votes, are coming off a 2009-10 campaign in which they were regular season ACC co-champions and won their sixth league Tournament title. Duke posted an 8-4 record against ranked opponents last season and was listed in the Top 25 of the AP Poll for 206-straight weeks, which marks the longest current streak in the ACC and is third nationally.
Following Duke is North Carolina with six first-place votes, 2009-10 regular season ACC co-champion Florida State, which received two first-place votes, and Maryland. Georgia Tech was picked to finish fifth, followed by NC State in sixth, which received one first-place vote. Boston College, Miami, Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Clemson rounded out the selection order.
The Preseason All-ACC Team is highlighted by Duke guard Jasmine Thomas, who enters her senior season having started 60 consecutive contests. Thomas earned All-America honors as a junior and has been named a preseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award and has been chosen for the State Farm Wade Trophy Watch List. She has connected on 115 three-pointers and has averaged 2.0 steals per game in her career. Last season, Thomas became just the eighth player in Duke history to register over 1,000 points, 300 rebounds, 300 assists, and 200 steals. She is one of two Blue Devils to notch 100 or more steals in a single season.
Joining Thomas on the Preseason All-ACC team are Boston College senior center Carolyn Swords, Florida State senior guard Courtney Ward, Miami junior guard Shenise Johnson, and North Carolina senior forward Jessica Breland.
The ACC Newcomer Watch list, which replaces the Preseason Rookie of the Year honor, highlights freshmen, true and redshirt, and transfers that are expected to make an immediate impact in the league. This year’s Watch List includes Boston College freshman guard Kristen Doherty, Duke freshman guard Chelsea Gray, Florida State freshman forward Natasha Howard, Duke freshman forward Richa Jackson, Maryland freshman guard Laurin Mincy, and Maryland freshman forward Alyssa Thomas.
For more information on ACC Women’s Basketball, visit theACC.com or follow the ACC on Twitter @accwbb.
2010-11 Predicted Order of Finish (First Place Votes)
1. Duke (24)
2. North Carolina (6)
3. Florida State (2)
5. Georgia Tech
6. NC State (1)
7. Boston College
9. Wake Forest
11. Virginia Tech
Preseason Player of the Year
Jasmine Thomas, Sr., G, Duke
2010-11 Preseason All-ACC Team
Jessica Breland, Sr., F, North Carolina
Shenise Johnson, Jr., G, Miami
Carolyn Swords, Sr., C, Boston College
Jasmine Thomas, Sr., G, Duke
Courtney Ward, Sr., G, Florida State
2010-11 Newcomer Watch List
Kristen Doherty, G/F, Fr., Boston College
Chelsea Gray, G, Fr., Duke
Natasha Howard, F, Fr., Florida State
Richa Jackson, F, Fr., Duke
Laurin Mincy, G, Fr., Maryland
Alyssa Thomas, F, Fr., Maryland