Courtesy: Duke Sports Information Release: 05/06/2014
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DURHAM, N.C. – The ACC announced Tuesday the home and away conference opponents, as well as repeat opponents for each of the league’s 15 women’s basketball teams for the 2014-15 season.
The format for regular-season play is a 16-game ACC schedule. Each team will play two opponents home and away, and will face six opponents at home only and another six on the road only.
The Blue Devils will feature home and away contests with North Carolina and Wake Forest next season. The eight-game home slate for Duke includes Clemson, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. The Blue Devils will travel to Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Virginia and Wake Forest.
Duke is coming off a season where the Blue Devils collected a 28-7 overall and 12-4 league mark, while advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Joanne P. McCallie will enter her eighth season at Duke and will return two starters – senior Elizabeth Williams and junior Alexis Jones.
A three-time All-America, Williams averaged 13.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals a season ago. Her 3.1 blocks per game average led the ACC and ranked 13th nationally. A three-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year selection, Williams led Duke with seven double-doubles and posted a career-best 52.6 field goal percentage. The 6-3 center from Virginia Beach, Va., collected over 100 blocks for the third year in a row as she swatted 108 on the year. She has 331 blocks over her three years at Duke.
Jones had her season cut short Feb. 23 at Notre Dame with a torn ACL. The 5-8 All-ACC guard averaged 13.1 points, 5.3 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals on the season. A native of Irving, Texas, Jones had picked up her game since All-America senior guard Chelsea Gray was injured on Jan. 12 as she was averaging 14.4 points, 7.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals over the span of 11 contests. She was an All-ACC selection as a sophomore and Freshman All-America honoree as a rookie.
Other returning letterwinners for the Blue Devils include Ka’lia Johnson, Amber Henson, Jenna Frush, Oderah Chidom and Kendall McCravey-Cooper. Former McDonald’s All-America Rebecca Greenwell will see her first action in 2014-15 following a redshirt season at Duke. The Blue Devils will also welcome the No. 2 overall recruiting class in the nation – Lynee Belton, Sierra Calhoun, Erin Mathias, Mercedes Riggs and Azura Stevens.
The ACC was represented by nine postseason squads in 2014, including eight teams in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, which was tied for the most of any conference. The league had three teams advance to the Regional Finals and two in the Final Four. The ACC finished the 2013-14 season with a 184-91 (.669) record against non-conference competition.
As we anticipate the start of the 2014-15 season, the future is extremely bright for ACC women's basketball. In ESPN's 25 teams to watch in 2014-15, five ACC teams rank among the 25, including three in the Top 10. Notre Dame was predicted at No. 5, Duke at No. 7 and North Carolina at No. 10, while Louisville came in at No. 16 and Syracuse at No. 21. Five of the top 25 incoming recruiting classes belong to ACC schools.