Oct. 26, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame senior forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) has been selected as the 2004-05 Preseason National Player of the Year and a preseason first-team All-American by Basketball News, according to the publication’s college basketball preview issue that is now on newsstands across the country. In addition, the Irish women’s basketball team was ranked 11th in the Basketball News preseason poll, joining SLAM Magazine (No. 10), Street & Smith’s (No. 11), Lindy’s College Basketball Annual (No. 14) and Athlon Sports (No. 15) as publications that have ranked Notre Dame among the top 15 squads in the nation heading into the ’04-05 campaign.
A total of five different outlets have now placed Batteast among the country’s elite women’s basketball players during the 2004-05 preseason. In August, she was selected to the Wooden Women’s Award Preseason All-America Team, making her one of the top 30 candidates for the Wooden Women’s Award that is presented to the nation’s top women’s college basketball player. A week later, she was one of 31 players named to the preseason watch list for the State Farm Wade Trophy that also goes to the country’s top female cager. Then, in September, Lindy’s tapped Batteast as a preseason first-team All-American, and Street & Smith’s listed her on its “Terrific 10” rundown of the country’s top players.
Batteast is considered a prime candidate for numerous national honors this year, having earned fifth-team All-America laurels from Basketball Times and honorable mention All-America accolades from the Associated Press last season. She is coming off the finest campaign of her Notre Dame career, averaging personal bests of 16.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while garnering first-team all-BIG EAST Conference honors, her third consecutive all-league selection. In addition, Batteast was dominating in the 2004 NCAA Tournament, averaging 22.0 points and 11.7 rebounds per game with a .483 field goal percentage and three double-doubles as the Irish advanced to the Sweet Sixteen and came within a minute of ousting top-seeded Penn State in the regional semifinals before falling, 55-49. Her performances against Top 25 opponents last season also were sharp, as she registered 16.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks with five double-doubles and three near double-doubles in 11 games.
Entering her final season at Notre Dame, Batteast ranks 11th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,315 points and stands in the top 10 on 11 other Irish career statistical categories, including rebounds (7th – 747), blocks (tie-5th – 124), scoring average (4th – 14.6 ppg.) and double-doubles (tie-3rd – 32). She also has been the picture of consistency for the Irish, having started 64 consecutive games and 86 of a possible 90 contests in her three-year tenure (she missed four games with a knee injury late in her freshman season).
The Notre Dame women’s basketball team will hold an open practice and autograph session for the general public at the Joyce Center Saturday from 1-2 p.m. (EST). The Irish will tip off their 2004-05 season Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. (EST) against Premier Sports, also at the Joyce Center.
— ND —