DURHAM, N.C. – Head coach Joanne P. McCallie and the Duke women’s basketball team have been preseason tabbed No. 3 nationally in the Lindy’s Magazine College Basketball preview issue, which is currently available on newsstands.
Duke, who returns four starters and 88.7 percent of its scoring from a year ago, was third behind Baylor and Connecticut, while Maryland, Stanford, Louisville, Kentucky, Penn State, Notre Dame and Delaware rounded out the top 10. A total of four Blue Devil 2012-13 opponents are listed in the top 25 – Connecticut (2), Maryland (4), St. John’s (12) and California (14).
Lindy’s Magazine also released its preseason All-America teams with Blue Devil sophomore Elizabeth Williams on the second team and junior Chelsea Gray listed on the third team.
On the first team was Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Odyssey Sims (Baylor), Alyssa Thomas (Maryland), Elena Delle Donne (Delaware) and Brittney Griner (Baylor). With Williams on the second team was Bria Hartley (Connecticut), A’dia Mathies (Kentucky), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Connecticut) and Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford). Included on the third team was Christina Foggie (Vanderbilt), Angel Goodrich (Kansas), Shoni Schimmel (Louisville), Destiny Williams (Baylor) and Gray.
A product of Virginia Beach, Va., Williams was also listed as an “Emerging Star” by Lindy’s, after being named the consensus National Freshman of the Year in 2011-12. The 6-3 center averaged 14.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 1.6 assists and 1.5 steals a year ago, while earning ESPN.com, USBWA and Full Court rookie of the year accolades.
The 6-3 center posted one of the top freshman campaigns in league history as she notched a freshman record 116 blocked shots and ranked fourth nationally with a 3.5 per game average. She also became the first league freshman to be named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and only the third freshman to be voted to the All-ACC First Team. Williams was a John R. Wooden Award finalist and Naismith candidate for Player of the Year.
Gray is coming off a sophomore season where she averaged 12.5 points, 6.1 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 steals. She ranked 12th nationally in assists and 29th in steals. The 5-11 playmaker elevated her game even more in the NCAA Tournament averaging 16.0 points, 6.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 steals as she was named to the Fresno Regional All-Tournament team.
Other honors Gary received last year was USBWA All-America, Naismith Midseason Player of the Year list, All-ACC Tournament second team, First Team All-ACC, two-time ACC Player of the Week and a John R. Wooden Award candidate. The Stockton, Calif., product tallied a Duke single-season record 201 assists on the year.
Coming off a 27-6 squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for the third straight year, McCallie returns Williams, Gray, Haley Peters and Tricia Liston, which started a combined 116 contests a season ago. Other returning letterwinners for the Blue Devils include Allison Vernerey, Richa Jackson, Ka'lia Johnson, Jenna Frush and Amber Henson. Chloe Wells, who is out of Colton, Calif., returns for the Blue Devils, after missing the second semester last year.
Duke welcomes a solid recruiting class that includes McDonald’s All-America selections Sierra Moore and Alexis Jones along with center Katie Heckman.
Fans will be able to see the Blue Devils in action on Sunday, Oct. 28 when Duke will host its annual Blue/White contest in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
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Lindy’s Top 25
8. Penn State
9. Notre Dame
12. St. John’s
15. Oklahoma State
16. West Virginia
18. Texas A&M
22. Iowa State
24. Middle Tennessee
25. San Diego State