NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With just 17 days remaining before the start of the 2018-19 Notre Dame women’s basketball season, the Fighting Irish landed four seniors on the Preseason All-ACC list. The Atlantic Coast Conference honored Marina Mabrey, Arike Ogunbowale, Jessica Shepard and Brianna Turner on its 10-player list, as Ogunbowale was also tabbed with Preseason Player of the Year honors by both the Blue Ribbon Panel and Coaches Panel.
Freshman Jordan Nixon was named to the ACC Newcomer Watch List. In addition, the Irish were picked to finish first in the league in both panels.
Last season, Ogunbowale made history by breaking the single-season scoring record at Notre Dame, averaging 20.8 points per game, which included a record-breaking 25 games with 20-plus points. Ogunbowale earned five separate All-America honors, along with being named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player. Ogunbowale enters her final year with 1,777 career points and will challenge Skylar Diggins-Smith’s all-time top mark of 2,357 points.
Shepard averaged 15.6 points and 8.1 rebounds last year, including 19.0 points during the NCAA Tournament, earning All-Final Four Team honors as a result. Shepard totaled 15 double-doubles on the year, including six in the final eight games.
Mabrey averaged 14.4 points per game while knocking down 85 three-pointers last year (second most for a single season). Mabrey also averaged 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals. Furthermore, Mabrey was just named to the 2019 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List on Monday.
Three-time All-American Brianna Turner returns after sitting out the 2017-18 season with an injury, and will add a major presence on both ends of the floor. A two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Turner has compiled 174 career blocks. In addition, Turner averaged 15.3 points and 7.1 rebounds during the 2016-17 season.
Nixon is one of four freshmen joining the Irish this season in a class that was ranked No. 7 by ESPN. Nixon averaged 22.0 points and 6.0 rebounds as a senior at Mary Louis Academy in New York, and was ranked in the top-40 by ESPN.
All-in-all, the Irish return nine players from last year’s championship squad, including another returnee from injury in sophomore center Mikayla Vaughn. The 2018-19 season kicks off inside Purcell Pavilion Nov. 9 vs Harvard at 4 p.m., followed by the championship banner drop vs Penn on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.
Blue Ribbon Panel
Predicted Order of Finish
- Notre Dame (59)
- Louisville (3)
- NC State
- Florida State
- North Carolina
- Georgia Tech
- Virginia Tech
- Wake Forest
- Boston College
Preseason All-ACC Team
Asia Durr, Sr., G, Louisville
Janelle Bailey, So., F, North Carolina
Paris Kea, Sr., G, North Carolina
Marina Mabrey, Sr., G, Notre Dame
Arike Ogunbowale, Sr., G, Notre Dame
Jessica Shepard, Sr., F, Notre Dame
Brianna Turner, Gr., F, Notre Dame
Tiana Mangakahia, Jr., G, Syracuse
Taylor Emery, Sr., G, Virginia Tech
Elisa Penna, Jr., G/F, Wake Forest
Newcomer Watch List
Kiah Gillespie, R-Jr., F, Florida State
Elizabeth Balogun, Fr., G, Georgia Tech
Beatrice Mompremier, R-Jr., F, Miami
Jordan Nixon, Fr., G, Notre Dame
Emily Engstler, Fr., G/F, Syracuse
Preseason Player of the Year: Arike Ogunbowale, Sr., G, Notre Dame
— ND —