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2013-14 Blue Devils
Courtesy: Duke Photography
2013-14 Blue Devils
Blue Devils Selected Preseason Favorite
Friday 10/23/2013  -  Duke Sports Information
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GREENSBORO, N.C. – The ACC released the 2013-14 preseason women’s basketball polls Wednesday at the annual media day in Greensboro, N.C., with the Blue Devils tabbed No. 1 in a vote by the Blue Ribbon Panel and 15 league head coaches.  

Duke, which returns all five starters, 11 letterwinners and its top seven scorers from last season’s team that finished 33-3 and reached the regional final of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Championship, was listed as this year’s preseason favorite by 39 Blue Ribbon Panel voters.  

The Blue Devils have now been selected in the top three of the ACC Preseason poll for the 13th straight year.  It marked the ninth time and the second consecutive year Duke has been tabbed No. 1 in the preseason ledger since the league started producing the polls in 1991 – 2012, 2010, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1998.

ACC newcomer Notre Dame received 14 first-place votes and placed second in the voting, followed by Maryland (three first-place votes) and North Carolina (one first-place vote).  Florida State and Georgia Tech tied for fifth in the Blue Ribbon Panel balloting, while Syracuse was seventh, Virginia eighth and Miami ninth. NC State (10th), Boston College (11th), Wake Forest (12th), Virginia Tech (13th), Clemson (14th) and Pittsburgh (I15th) rounded out the poll.

Duke received 10 first-place votes in the ACC coaches’ balloting, while Notre Dame received five. The coaches’ predicted order of finish nearly mirrored that of the Blue Ribbon panel, with the exception of Georgia Tech being chosen fifth outright instead of sharing the spot with Florida State (which placed sixth in the coaches’  vote).

Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie, who enters her seventh year with the Blue Devils, is coming off leading Duke to its fourth straight ACC regular season title and the third ACC Championship over the last four years.

On the Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team, Duke’s Chelsea Gray, Elizabeth Williams and Tricia Liston were selected along with Alyssa Thomas (Maryland), Natalie Achonwa (Notre Dame), Kayla McBride (Notre Dame), Tyaunna Marshall (Georgia Tech), Xylina McDaniel (UNC), Ataira Franklin (Virginia) and Chelsea Douglas (WFU).  Thomas was named the preseason player of the year by both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the head coaches.

A native of Manteca, Calif., Gray is coming off a season where she was injured in the 25th contest and missed the rest of the 2012-13 campaign.  At the time of the injury, Gray was having one of the best individual seasons in Duke history.  Gray, the 2013 Co-ACC Player of the Year and 2013 WBCA All-America, was averaging 13.1 points, 5.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.7 steals heading into game against the Demon Deacons.  She led the ACC in assists and steals, while ranking in the top 10 nationally in steals as well.  

Williams, who is out of Virginia Beach, Va., is one of the top post players in the nation and averaged 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals a year ago.  She ranked eighth nationally in blocks, while swatting a shot in each of her 69 career games at Duke.  Williams earned All-America honors for the second straight year by the Associated Press, while receiving ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons.

Liston averaged 13.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steals last year for the Blue Devils.  A native of River Forest, Ill., Liston set a school record with 80 three-pointers made and ranked third nationally with a 46.5 three-point field goal percentage.  The 6-1 guard earned Norfolk Regional All-Tournament Team, All-ACC Second Team, All-ACC Tournament Second Team and All-ACC Academic Team accolades as a junior.  

The coaches also voted on a preseason All-ACC team with Gray, Williams, Liston, Thomas, McBride, Marshall, McDaniel and Franklin, Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame) and Diamond DeShields (UNC) named to the team.

Duke rookies Oderah Chidom and Kendall McCravey-Cooper  were selected to the Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List along with DeShields, Kaela Davis (Georgia Tech), Taya Reimer (Notre Dame) and Lexie Brown (Maryland).  On the coaches Newcomer Watch List, Chidom, DeShields, Davis, Reimer and Florida State’s Morgan Jones were selected.

Chidom, a native of Oakland, Calif., was the 10th-rated prospect coming out of Bishop O’Dowd H.S. a year ago.  A McDonald’s and WBCA All-America, Chidom averaged 14.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 2.0 steals as a senior.  The 6-4 post player earned Bay Area News Group’s 2012-13 East Bay Girls Athletic of the Year to close her high school career.  

A product of Carson, Calif., McCravey-Cooper was a McDonald’s and WBCA All-America as a senior at St. Anthony H.S.  The No. 9 rated player in the class of 2013, she averaged 12.3 points, 13.0 rebounds, 4.2 blocks, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals as a senior.  McCravey-Cooper, who stands 6-4, was a two-time Long Beach Press Telegram Player of the Year.  

Duke will host the annual Blue/White Scrimmage on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2:00 p.m., in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  Admission is free for all fans and the team will be signing autographs following the game.  The Blue Devils will then host two exhibition games on Oct. 30 against Glenville State College and on Nov. 3 versus Coker College.  Duke will open the season at nationally-ranked California on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 6:00 p.m., on ESPNU.

#GoDuke

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Poll
1. Duke (843 points, 39 first-place votes)
2. Notre Dame (794 points, 14 first-place votes)
3. Maryland (745 points, 3 first-place votes)
4. North Carolina (715 points, 1 first-place vote)
T5. Georgia Tech (527 points)
T5. Florida State (527 points)
7. Syracuse (517 points)
8. Virginia (470 points)
9. Miami (419 points)
10. NC State (363 points)
11. Boston College (304 points)
12. Wake Forest (263 points)
13. Virginia Tech (213 points)
14. Clemson (159 points)
15. Pittsburgh (102 points)
 
Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team
Chelsea Gray, Sr., G, Duke
Tricia Liston, Sr., G,  Duke
Elizabeth Williams, Jr., F/C, Duke
Tyaunna Marshall, Sr.,  G, Georgia Tech
Alyssa Thomas, Sr., F,  Maryland
Natalie Achonwa, Sr., F, Notre Dame
Kayla McBride, Sr., G, Notre Dame
Xylina McDaniel, So., F, North Carolina
Ataira Franklin, Sr., G, Virginia
Chelsea Douglas, Sr., G, Wake Forest
 
Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Player of the Year
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland
 
Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List
Oderah Chidom, Fr., F, Duke
Kendall McCravey-Cooper, Fr., F/C, Duke
Kaela Davis, Fr., G, Georgia Tech
Lexie Brown, Fr., G, Maryland
Diamond DeShields, Fr., G,  North Carolina
Taya Reimer, Fr.  F, Notre Dame
**an extra member was added to the team due to a tie in voting
 
ACC Coaches Preseason Poll
1.  Duke (220 points, 10 first place votes)
2. Notre Dame (211 points, 5 first place votes)
3. Maryland (195 points)
4.  North Carolina (182 points)
5.  Georgia Tech (146 points)
6.  Florida State (137 points)
7. Syracuse (133 points)
8.  Virginia (128 points)
9.  Miami (103 points)
10. NC State (90 points)
11. Boston College (75 points)
12. Wake Forest (68 points)
13. Virginia Tech (58 points)
14. Clemson (34 points)
15. Pittsburgh (20 points)
 
Coaches Preseason All-ACC Team
Chelsea Gray, Sr., G, Duke
Tricia Liston, Sr., G, Duke
Elizabeth Williams, Jr.,  F/C, Duke
Tyaunna Marshall, Sr., G, Georgia Tech
Alyssa Thomas, Sr., F, Maryland
Jewell Loyd, So., G, Notre Dame
Kayla McBride, Sr., G, Notre Dame
Diamond DeShields, Fr., G, North Carolina
Xylina McDaniel, So., F, North Carolina
Ataira Franklin, Sr., G, Virginia

Coaches Preseason Player of the Year
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland

Coaches Newcomer Watch List
Oderah Chidom, Fr., F, Duke
Morgan Jones, Fr. G, Florida State
Kaela Davis, Fr., G, Georgia Tech
Diamond DeShields, Fr., G North Carolina
Taya Reimer, Fr., F, Notre Dame
 


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