March 30, 2016
By Chris Masters
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — For the seventh consecutive year, two University of Notre Dame women’s basketball players have earned All-America honors from at least one major outlet, with sophomore forward Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel) receiving second-team All-America accolades from the Associated Press and the John R. Wooden Award, while graduate student guard Madison Cable (Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) earned honorable mention All-America plaudits from the Associated Press.
Both outlets announced their All-America teams within the past 48 hours, with Turner securing All-America honors for the second consecutive season, while Cable earned All-America status for the first time in her career. Both players, along with junior guard/captain Lindsay Allen (Mitchellville, Md./St. John’s College), also were named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Region I Team last week and thus are finalists for WBCA Coaches’ All-America honors (with those not chosen for the 10-player team earning honorable mention All-America status) — Allen and Turner received honorable mention All-America citations from both the Associated Press and WBCA last year.
Notre Dame sophomore forward Brianna Turner picked up two more All-America honors this week, earning a spot on the Wooden Award All-America Team as well as second-team All-America status from the Associated Press.
With this season’s awards, Notre Dame has developed 19 players who have earned All-America citations (top three teams or honorable mention) during the program’s 39-year history, including 14 multiple-time All-America selections.
Thanks to this week’s announcement, Turner becomes the 11th Notre Dame player to be a two-time AP All-America choice. This also marks the sixth consecutive season Notre Dame has placed at least one player on the top three squads of the AP All-America Team, following in the footsteps of Skylar Diggins (2011 — third team; 2012 and 2013 — first team), Kayla McBride (2013 — third team; 2014 — first team), Natalie Achonwa (2014 — third team) and Jewell Loyd (2014 — second team; 2015 — first team).
This year represents Turner’s first appearance on the Wooden Award All-America Team, and the fifth year in a row Notre Dame has fielded a Wooden Award All-America pick and the resulting distinction as a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, which is presented by the Los Angeles Athletic Club to the nation’s top player. Diggins took Wooden All-America honors in 2012 and 2013, followed by McBride in 2014 and Loyd last season.
Turner, Allen and Cable could add further All-America certificates to their resumes when the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) announces its 10-person All-America Team later this week, and when the WBCA Coaches’ All-America Team is revealed Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis during Super Saturday events at the NCAA Women’s Final Four.
A first-team All-America selection by Sports Illustrated and a second-team All-America pick by espnW, Turner has been a prime candidate for every major national player-of-the-year award, having previously been named a finalist for the WBCA Wade Trophy and making the semifinalist chart for the Naismith Trophy. She also was named the ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s 15 head coaches on March 7, in addition to collecting All-ACC First Team and ACC All-Defensive Team accolades for the second consecutive season.
Despite missing six games with a shoulder injury earlier this year, Turner was one of the ACC’s most consistent players all season long, starting the other 29 games she suited up for and leading the conference in field-goal percentage (.593 — also fifth in nation as of Tuesday) and blocked shots (3.0 bpg. — 13th in nation), while ranking 10th in the ACC in rebounding (7.3 rpg.) and 11th in scoring (14.6 ppg.) with five double-doubles. She also is one of just two players in the nation (along with Connecticut’s Breanna Stewart) to rank among the top 13 in both field-goal percentage and blocked shots.
Turner was equally strong during conference games, leading the ACC in field-goal percentage (.658) and blocks (2.9 bpg.), while ranking eighth in scoring (15.4 ppg.) and 12th in rebounding (7.3 rpg.).
After blocking 89 blocks as a rookie last year, Turner recorded 88 blocked shots this season, ranking fifth on Notre Dame’s single-season blocks list. In fact, she joins Ruth Riley as the only Fighting Irish players ever to post multiple 80-block seasons — Riley did so during her final three years under the Golden Dome from 1998-99 through 2000-01.
Turner was named to the All-ACC Tournament First Team for the second year in a row on March 6 after nearly averaging a double-double with 15.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game in three Fighting Irish victories. She tallied a double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks) in the championship game win over No. 17 Syracuse after narrowly missing a double-double (17 points, nine rebounds) in a semifinal victory over No. 21 Miami one day earlier.
Turner also was solid during the NCAA Championship, averaging 16.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game with a .575 field-goal percentage and two double-doubles in three games.
Notre Dame graduate student guard Madison Cable has been widely regarded as one of the nation’s most improved players this season and was rewarded this week by being chosen as an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press.
Cable was a first-team All-ACC choice this season (as well as a two-time ACC Player of the Week) after posting career-high averages in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and double-doubles. She ranked among the top 20 in the ACC in five different categories, including a conference-best .471 three-point percentage (good for No. 5 in the nation). She also was eighth in the ACC in three-pointers per game (2.1), 10th in steals (1.7 spg.), 15th in field-goal percentage (.499) and 17th in scoring (13.7 ppg.) with three double-doubles to her credit.
In conference games, Cable ranked fourth in the ACC in free-throw percentage (.850), seventh in three-point percentage (.385), 15th in field-goal percentage (.472) and 23rd in scoring (12.2 ppg.).
Cable was especially successful against Top 25 opponents this season, averaging 15.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game with a .517 three-point percentage and all three of her double-doubles. She also was named the Most Valuable Player of the Junkanoo Jam’s Freeport Division on Nov. 28 after averaging 17.5 points and 6.0 rebounds with a .688 field-goal percentage in leading Notre Dame to wins over Denver and UCLA to claim the tournament title.
Cable was sharp during the ACC Tournament, earning Most Valuable Player honors after averaging 14.3 points and 5.0 rebounds with a stellar .611 three-point percentage in the three Notre Dame wins. She was at her best in the championship game against No. 17 Syracuse, pouring in 18 points on the strength of a career-high 6-of-9 three-pointers, while grabbing eight rebounds for good measure.
Notre Dame junior captain Lindsay Allen is considered easily one of the nation’s top point guards and is a finalist for both the Nancy Lieberman Award (best point guard) and WBCA Coaches’ All-America Team honors after becoming just the third Fighting Irish player in program history to record 200 assists in consecutive seasons (205 assists in 2014-15; 204 assists in 2015-16).
Allen, a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award as the country’s top point guard and, like Cable, a first-team All-ACC pick, led the conference in both assists (5.8 apg. — 19th in nation) and assist/turnover ratio (2.52 — 14th in nation) while averaging 9.3 points per game. She is one of only four players from Power Five conferences to rank among the top 20 nationally in both assists and assist/turnover ratio, joining Baylor’s Niya Johnson, Maryland’s Brene Moseley and Nebraska’s Rachel Theriot in that exclusive company.
During conference play, Allen likewise led the ACC in those two categories with 5.6 assists per game and a 2.43 assist/turnover ratio, while ranking third in the league with a .549 field-goal percentage.
In addition to being a Lieberman Award finalist, Allen also was named to the Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30 List and was chosen as the ACC Player of the Week on Dec. 28 after collecting 16 points, nine assists and seven rebounds a week earlier at Saint Joseph’s (Pa.). She also was named to the All-ACC Tournament First Team after averaged 9.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists with a 2.25 assist/turnover ratio in helping the Fighting Irish to their third consecutive ACC postseason title.
For the second year in a row, Allen saved her best performances for the postseason, averaging 14.3 points, 7.3 assists and 2.7 steals per game with a .607 field-goal percentage and a 4.40 assist/turnover ratio during this season’s NCAA Championship. She also scored at least 20 points in two of Notre Dame’s three NCAA tournament games this year, dropping in a season-high 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting in a second-round win over Indiana and 20 points in the NCAA Lexington Regional semifinal (Sweet 16) against No. 13/16 Stanford.
After posting a 33-2 record this season and sweeping the ACC regular-season and tournament titles for third consecutive year, as well as making its seventh consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, Notre Dame is expected to return three starters (including two-time All-Americans Allen and Turner) and eight monogram recipients next year. The Fighting Irish also will be welcoming back guard Ali Patberg (Columbus, Ind./Columbus North), the 2015 MaxPreps National High School Player of the Year and Indiana Miss Basketball, who missed her freshman year with a knee injury.
What’s more, Notre Dame will add one of the nation’s top five incoming freshman classes for 2016-17, featuring a pair of national high school players of the year in Gatorade Award recipient Erin Boley (Hodgenville, Ky./Elizabethtown) and Naismith Award honoree Jackie Young (Princeton, Ind./Princeton Community). Both Boley and Young are in Chicago this week, preparing to play in the 2016 McDonald’s High School All-America Game at 6:30 p.m. (ET) Wednesday at the United Center, with ESPNU televising the game live. The pair will be the 15th and 16th incoming Fighting Irish women’s basketball players to compete in the McDonald’s game since its inception in 2002.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, visit the main women’s basketball page on the University’s official athletics web site (UND.com/ndwbb), sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter and Instagram pages (@ndwbb), like the program on Facebook or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
— ND —
Chris Masters, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2001 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s basketball and women’s golf programs. A native of San Francisco, California, Masters is a 1996 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, earned his master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1998, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).