Ataira Franklin Earns Preseason All-ACC Honors
Oct. 23, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia women’s basketball senior guard Ataira Franklin earned preseason All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors for the second-straight year, being named to both the ten-member Blue Ribbon Panel and the Coaches’ Preseason All-ACC teams.
Additionally, defending ACC-champion Duke was named as the 2013-14 preseason favorite in separate polls of the league’s 39-member Blue Ribbon Panel and its 15 head coaches. Virginia, which finished sixth last season, was picked in both polls to finish eighth in the expanded conference that adds three new members this season.
Franklin (Bowie, Md.), who was named to the 2012-13 All-ACC team by the Blue Ribbon Panel, finished last season ranked ninth in the conference in scoring, averaging 14.3 points per game, and fifth in steals (2.2 per game). Franklin will enter the 2013-14 season having scored 1,192 points in her Cavalier career, ranking her 20th in the UVa record book.
Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas, the two-time ACC Player of the Year, was selected as the preseason player of the year in both preseason polls.
The Blue Devils were listed as this year’s preseason favorite by Blue Ribbon Panel voters. 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.
Virginia finished sixth last season with an 8-10 record in conference games. The Cavaliers will have their top-three scorers from last season, including Franklin, senior guard Kelsey Wolfe (Germantown, Md.) and junior forward Sarah Imovbioh (Abuja, Nigeria), back on the court in 2013-13 in addition to welcoming back 2012 ACC All-Defensive Team selection Lexie Gerson. Gerson, who sat out last season due to injury, averaged 9.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists during the 2011-12 season.
The Cavaliers open the season on the road, playing at James Madison on Friday, Nov. 8 before hosting High Point on Monday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. Single-game tickets as well as season tickets and mini-plans are on sale now. For more information or to purchase season tickets, fans should contact the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821). Fans can also purchase tickets online at VirginiaSports.com or in-person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium.
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, DukeElizabeth Williams, Jr., F/C, DukeTyaunna Marshall, Sr., G, Georgia TechAlyssa Thomas, Sr., F, MarylandNatalie Achonwa, Sr., F, Notre DameKayla McBride, Sr., G, Notre DameXylina McDaniel, So., F, North CarolinaAtaira Franklin, Sr., G, VirginiaChelsea 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, DukeKendall McCravey-Cooper, Fr., F/C, DukeKaela Davis, Fr., G, Georgia TechLexie Brown, Fr., G, MarylandDiamond DeShields, Fr., G, North CarolinaTaya 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, DukeTricia Liston, Sr., G, DukeElizabeth Williams, Jr., F/C, DukeTyaunna Marshall, Sr., G, Georgia TechAlyssa Thomas, Sr., F, MarylandJewell Loyd, So., G, Notre DameKayla McBride, Sr., G, Notre DameDiamond DeShields, Fr., G, North CarolinaXylina McDaniel, So., F, North CarolinaAtaira Franklin, Sr., G, Virginia
Coaches Preseason Player of the Year
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland
Coaches Newcomer Watch List
Oderah Chidom, Fr., F, DukeMorgan Jones, Fr. G, Florida StateKaela Davis, Fr., G, Georgia TechDiamond DeShields, Fr., G North CarolinaTaya Reimer, Fr., F, Notre Dame