Oct. 12, 2016
by Megan Golden
The Atlantic Coast Conference today revealed three-time ACC regular-season and tournament champions Notre Dame women’s basketball as the favorite to win the conference. Notre Dame’s Lindsay Allen and Brianna Turner also were selected to the Preseason All-ACC Team, while Jackie Young and Erin Boley were named to the ACC Newcomer Watch List.
For the third consecutive year, Notre Dame will open the season with the top spot in the ACC. The Irish tallied 44 first-place votes and 795 points from the Blue Ribbon Panel, ahead of second-place Louisville (eight, 758) and third-place Florida State (two, 674).
The head coaches’ poll mirrored the media’s top-three projected finishers in the conference, with Notre Dame in first (13 first-place votes, 221 points), Louisville in second (one, 209) and Florida State in third (one, 194).
Two significant leaders on the 2016-17 Irish roster collected awards as senior point guard Lindsay Allen and junior forward Brianna Turner were named to the Preseason All-ACC Team. Both Allen and Turner are three-time Preseason All-ACC selections.
Allen (Mitchellville, Md./St. John’s College), who enters her final season with the Fighting Irish, collected 204 assists, 45 steals and 9.3 points per game in 2015-16. She led the ACC in assists per game (5.83), orchestrating an offense that ranked first in the conference averaging 80.0 points per game. A finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award as the country’s top point guard last year, Allen received All-ACC First-Team honors in 2016. Her 204 assists and just 81 turnovers propelled the Irish (1.2) ahead of Louisville (1.1) to the best assist-turnover ratio in the conference.
Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel), who was named ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2016, finished the season with 14.6 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game and 88 blocks. A second-team All-American in 2016, she led the ACC in field goal percentage (59.3) and blocks per game (3.03). Turner held a significant presence in the paint, guiding Notre Dame to more defensive rebounds than any other ACC team.
Freshman guard Jackie Young (Princeton, Ind./Princeton Community) and freshman forward Erin Boley (Hodgenville, Ky./Elizabethtown) rounded out the awards with selections to both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the head coaches’ Newcomer Watch Lists.
The 2016 Naismith National High School Player of the Year, Young led Princeton Community High School to a .915 winning percentage over her four-year career, including a stretch of 53 straight wins. Young averaged 34.9 points per game, along with 9.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.8 steals per game.
Boley, the 2016 Gatorade National High School Player of the Year, averaged 24.2 points per game for Elizabethtown High School last season. She recorded an average of 10.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 steals per game with 23 double-doubles.
The Fighting Irish open their regular season at 7 p.m. ET on November 11, when they host Central Michigan at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.