Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 9, 2015 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 107 of 118

ND SPORTS BY LOU SOMOGYI I ncluding the postseason league tournament, the powerhouse Notre Dame women's basketball program is an astounding 37‑1 in Atlantic Coast Conference action through two sea‑ sons. Thus, it didn't come as much of a surprise Oct. 21 when head coach Muffet McGraw's Fighting Irish, with the return of four starters and the ad‑ dition of three freshmen who were McDonald's All‑Americans, were the overwhelming pick by the league's Blue Ribbon Panel and its 15 head coaches to "three‑peat" in 2015‑16. Both the panel and coaches had the exact same order of finish among all 15 teams. Among the 51‑person panel, Notre Dame had 41 first‑place votes for 753 points. Projected runner‑up Florida State had eight first‑place votes for 695 points, while Louisville two first‑ place votes and 649 points. Rounding out the top five were Duke (638) and Syracuse (544). Among the 15 coaches, the Fight‑ ing Irish had 11 first‑place votes. The Seminoles, whom the Irish defeated 71‑58 in the ACC title game last sea‑ son before FSU advanced to the Elite Eight, received the other four. Meanwhile, Notre Dame sophomore forward Brianna Turner was named the 2015‑16 ACC Preseason Player of the Year in both the Blue Ribbon and coaches' balloting. Last year, she was the ACC Freshman of the Year after leading the nation in field goal per‑ centage (.652) while averaging 13.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. On the 10‑person preseason All‑ ACC teams selected by both the panel and coaches, Irish junior guard Lind‑ say Allen, named the Most Outstand‑ ing Player of the 2015 Oklahoma City Regional, joined Turner. Finally, on Blue Ribbon's Newcomer Watch List, two of the five players were Notre Dame freshman guards Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogun‑ bowale. Women's Basketball Is Favored To Win Third Straight Title Freshman guard Arike Ogunbowale was named to the ACC Newcomers Watch List by both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the league's head coaches. PHOTO COURTESY USA BASKETBALL

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