Nov. 9, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame senior forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) put two more awards in her trophy case on Tuesday, earning preseason All-America honors from the Associated Press as well as a spot on the 50-player watch list for the Naismith Trophy, which is presented by Cingular Wireless and the Atlanta Tipoff Club to the nation’s top player. During the past two months, Batteast has been named a preseason All-American by six different media sources, including Basketball News, which chose her as its Preseason National Player of the Year. All three major national Player of the Year awards — the Naismith Trophy, the State Farm/WBCA Wade Trophy and the John R. Wooden Women’s Award — also have Batteast featured prominently on their respective preseason watch lists.
In addition, the 6-foot-2 wing recently was named the BIG EAST Conference Preseason Player of the Year and was a unanimous preseason first-team all-conference selection. More honors could be forthcoming later this week, as ESPN.com reveals its preseason All-America team and list of the top five wings in the nation.
Batteast is one of eight BIG EAST players on this year’s Naismith Trophy watch list, joining Jessalyn Deveny and Kathrin Ress of Boston College, Jessica Moore, Ann Strother and Barbara Turner of Connecticut, and Chelsea Newton and Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers. The award’s Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators nationwide, will trim the list of preseason candidates to 30 players in mid-January, with those 30 choices being eligible for the final voting ballot in March.
Batteast is coming off the finest season of her collegiate career in 2003-04, having earned fifth-team All-America laurels from Basketball Times and honorable mention All-America accolades from the Associated Press. She averaged 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).
Notre Dame, which is tied for 10th in the preseason AP poll that was released Monday evening, tips off its 2004-05 season Friday at 9 p.m. (ET), playing host to Illinois State at the Joyce Center in the first round of the Sportsview.tv Preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
— ND —