DURHAM, N.C. – The preseason national rankings are starting to trickle in and the Duke women’s basketball program has earned a No. 8 ledger by Street & Smith’s Basketball. Head coach Joanne P. McCallie and the Blue Devils are primed for an outstanding 2017-18 campaign boosted by the return of senior guards Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell.
Both Brown and Greenwell have received preseason All-America recognition as well. Brown earned First Team All-America honors by Street & Smith’s along with a second team nod from Lindy’s Sports Annual. Greenwell was a Second Team All-America by Street & Smith’s.
In the Street & Smith’s top 25 ledger, Connecticut took the top slot with South Carolina, Mississippi State, Baylor, UCLA, Texas, Louisville, Duke, West Virginia and Oregon in the top 10.
Along with Brown on the Street & Smith’s First Team All-America squad was Jordin Canada (UCLA), Naphesa Collier (UConn), Asia Durr (Louisville), Brooke McCarty (Texas), Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State), Katie Lou Samuelson (UConn), Victoria Vivians (Miss. State), Gabby Williams (UConn) and A’ja Wilson (South Carolina).
Greenwell was on the second team with Monique Billings (UCLA), Kalani Brown (Baylor), Katelynn Flaherty (Michigan), Myisha Hines-Allen (Louisville), Tynice Martin (West Virginia), Azura Stevens (UConn), Kia Nurse (UConn), Shakayla Thomas (Florida State) and Morgan William (Miss. State).
Duke also received a No. 12 ranking from Lindy’s Sports Annual and was No. 17 in the Athlon Sports College Basketball Preview.
Brown and Greenwell return as one of the highest scoring backcourts in the nation averaging a combined 34.7 points a game and draining 156 three-pointers.
A product of Suwanee, Ga., Brown is coming off an All-America season where she averaged 18.3 points and dished a team-best 131 assists. She also drained 73 three-pointers and hit 92.8 percent from the charity stripe. Brown was rewarded with Associated Press All-America accolades along with First Team All-ACC honors.
Greenwell, who hails from Owensboro, Ky., drilled a team-best 83 three-pointers, while averaging 16.4 points and pulling down a team-best 6.4 rebounds a game. She earned First Team All-ACC accolades for the first time in her career, after receiving Second Team All-ACC honors as a sophomore. Greenwell is only 24 three-pointers away from matching the Duke career record.
Duke will get started Oct. 22 with the annual Blue/White scrimmage and then will host Alaska Anchorage Sunday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m., for its final exhibition contest. The Blue Devils open the regular season Sunday, Nov. 12 at Grand Canyon.