The Blue Ribbon Panel selected Ataira Franklin to their Preseason All-ACC Team.
Ataira Franklin was selected to the ACC Coaches Preseason All-ACC Team
Head coach Joanne Boyle begins her second season with the Cavaliers after leading the team to a 25-win season in her initial campaign. Boyle has won 20 or more games in eight of her ten seasons as a head coach and has won 25 or more games three times.
Boyle's teams have been known for their defense. In her first year with Virginia, the Cavaliers led the ACC by holding opponents' scoring to 54.1 points per game. The year before Boyle arrived, the team was allowing 64.5 ppg, a reduction of over 10 points per game. Boyle had a similar impact when she took over at California, with the Bears allowing 60.1 ppg in her first season (2005-06) after averaging 71.3 points allowed the year before.
The 54.1 ppg was the lowest opponent scoring average since 1975-76 when UVa allowed 46.2 ppg. The team also held a record-setting 26 opponents to scoring under 60 points.
The aggressive Cavalier defense also led the ACC in steals-per-game (13.1) and in turnover margin (+8.31). They ranked second among all DI schools in steals per game and third in turnover margin.
The Cavaliers will open the season facing James Madison, the team that ended their 2011-12 season with a 59-68 loss in the WNIT quarterfinals.
The Cavaliers return their second leading scorer from 2011-12, All-ACC honorable mention junior guard Ataira Franklin. Franklin's 12.4 ppg ranks ninth among all players returning to the ACC this season.
Senior point guard China Crosby has returned to the court. Crosby played 12 games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. She averaged 7.9 points, 2.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game before her injury and had five double-digit scoring efforts in those 12 games.
The Cavaliers have five new faces this season. They will be adding three freshmen along with two sophomores, Sarah Beth Barnette and Sarah Imovbioh. Barnette, a redshirt sophomore, will return to the court after sitting out last season after transferring from Kentucky. Barnette practiced with the team last season and has a familiarity with the system. Her younger brother, Taylor, is a freshman on the Virginia men's basketball team. Imovbioh did not practice last year because of an NCAA ruling on her eligibility. She was a member of the Parade Magazine All-American High School Girls Basketball Team (May 2011) and was ranked at No. 15 at her position by ESPNHoopGurlz. She averaged 32.2 points and 20.0 rebounds her junior year in high school.
The freshman class is highlighted by guard Faith Randolph, the No. 26 prospect according to ESPNHoopGurlz. Randolph attended USA Basketball U18 trials last summer.
Senior guard Lexie Gerson, an All-ACC Defensive team member last season, will miss the entire year after undergoing hip surgery in September. Freshman guard Raeshaun Gaffney, the No. 35 prospect by Blue Star Basketball and an ESPNHoopGurlz Top 100 prospect, will miss the start of the season recovering from a foot injury.
Senior forward Telia McCall spent three weeks of her summer serving in the inner city communities as part of the Athletes in Action Urban Project, including working in the Nickerson Gardens housing project in Watts.
Joanne Boyle, Virginia Head Coach
Joanne Boyle enters her second season at Virginia ... Boyle earned a 25-11 record in her first
season as head coach of the Cavaliers ... Boyle was named head coach of the Cavaliers on April
9, 2011, becoming the fourth head coach in 38 years at Virginia ... In nine years of coaching, she
has compiled a 204-93 record between Richmond and California, reaching 18 wins in each of the
seasons and at least 20 in seven seasons ... the Cal program had 12 consecutive losing records
before Boyle's introduction in 2005 ... the 27-7 mark posted in 2007-08 and 2008-09 set a program
record for most wins in a season ... In 2008-09 Cal was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally…won
a second round tournament game for the first time in school history in 2009 ... Boyle has led all
nine teams she has coached to postseason play ... Named 2006-07 Pac-10 Coach of the Year ...
Coached the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Alexis Gray-Lawson in 2005-06 and the Pac-10 Player
of the Year Devanei Hampton in 2006-07 ... Boyle is no stranger to the ACC, having played at Duke
and graduated with a degree in economics in 1985…She then went to North Carolina and earned
her master's of science degree in health policy and administration…Boyle played professionally
overseas in Luxembourg and Germany for three years ... Her coaching career started as an assistant
at Duke where she coached from 1993-2002, which included eight appearances in the NCAA
Championships and a Final Four appearance in 1999-2002.