Brunelle, Westbeld garner preseason ACC honors

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With the women’s basketball season inching closer, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced its preseason awards on Tuesday morning.

Notre Dame’s Sam Brunelle landed on the Blue-Ribbon Panel’s Preseason All-ACC list, while freshman Maddy Westbeld was a consensus pick for the ACC Newcomer Watch List.

Brunelle was a 2020 ACC All-Freshman Team selection. She finished last season with 23 games in double figures, including six of 20-plus points, to go along with her two double-doubles. Brunelle started in all 31 games and led all ACC freshmen in scoring with her 13.9 points per game. In fact, Brunelle finished the season strong, averaging 18.6 points per game, on 45.2 percent shooting, over the last five games.

Over the last 17 games of the season, Brunelle found her stroke from beyond the arc, connecting on 45-of-118 (.381). All-in-all, her 58 made three-pointers ranked second all-time for a Notre Dame freshman behind Alicia Ratay’s 73.

Meanwhile, Westbeld spearheaded a five-woman freshmen class that ranked third in the country, which tied former coach Muffet McGraw’s highest-rated class of her career. Ranked No. 23 overall, Westbeld brought a lot of prep accolades along with her to campus: 2020 Gatorade Ohio Girls Basketball Player of the Year, McDonald’s All-American, Naismith National High School All-American and OPSWA Division I Player of the Year.

As a senior, Westbeld led Fairmont High to a 25-3 record and a regional finals appearance in the OHSAA Girls Basketball State Championships. She led her team in scoring (18.0), rebounds (11.2), assists (3.6), steals (2.8) and blocks (2.3).

Below you can find the complete results of the head coaches’ and blue-ribbon panel’s preseason ACC picks:

Head Coaches and Blue-Ribbon Panel Preseason Player of the Year
• Dana Evans, Louisville, Sr., G

 

Head Coaches Preseason All-ACC Team
• Taylor Soule, Jr., F, Boston College
• Dana Evans, Louisville, Sr., G (12, Preseason Player of the Year Votes)
• Janelle Bailey, North Carolina, Sr., C
• Jakia Brown-Turner, NC State So., G,
• Elissa Cunane, NC State, Jr., C (3, Preseason Player of the Year Votes)
• Kiara Lewis, Syracuse, Sr., G
• Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse, Gr., G
• Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, So., C
• Aisha Sheppard, Virginia Tech, Sr., G
• Ivana Raca, Wake Forest, Sr., F

Head Coaches Newcomer Watch List
• Hailey Van Lith, Louisville, Fr., G
• Kianna Smith, Louisville, Jr., G
• Deja Kelly, North Carolina, Fr., G
• Maddy Westbeld, Notre Dame, Fr., F
• Kamilla Cardoso, Syracuse, Fr., C

 

Head Coaches Predicted Order of Finish
• Louisville (13, first-place votes) – 223
• NC State (2, first-place votes) – 210
• Syracuse – 193
• North Carolina – 157
• Georgia Tech – 146
• Notre Dame – 138
• Virginia Tech – 125
• Florida State – 124
• Boston College – 120
• Miami – 99
• Duke – 74
• Wake Forest – 73
• Clemson – 56
• Pittsburgh – 37
• Virginia – 25

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team (57 voters)
• Taylor Soule, Jr., F, Boston College (3, Preseason Player of the Year Votes)
• Dana Evans, Louisville, Sr., G (40, Preseason Player of the Year Votes)
• Janelle Bailey, North Carolina, Sr., C
• Elissa Cunane, NC State, Jr., C (11, Preseason Player of the Year Votes)
• Sam Brunelle, Notre Dame, So., F
• Kiara Lewis, Syracuse, Sr., G
• Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse, Gr., G (3, Preseason Player of the Year Votes)
• Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, So., C
• Aisha Sheppard, Virginia Tech, Sr., G
• Ivana Raca, Wake Forest, Sr., F

Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List
• Tiana England, Florida State, Gr., G
• Hailey Van Lith, Louisville, Fr., G
• Deja Kelly, North Carolina, Fr., G
• Maddy Westbeld, Notre Dame, Fr., F
• Kamilla Cardoso, Syracuse, Fr., C

Blue Ribbon Panel Predicted Order of Finish (57 voters)
• Louisville (45, first-place votes) – 840 points
• NC State (10, first-place votes) – 797 points
• Syracuse (2, first-place votes) – 724 points
• Notre Dame – 555 points
• North Carolina – 547 points
• Florida State – 516 points
• Virginia Tech – 482 points
• Boston College – 468 points
• Georgia Tech – 452 points
• Duke – 385 points
• Miami – 359 points
• Wake Forest – 258 points
• Clemson – 183 points
• Virginia – 149 points
• Pitt – 125 points

 

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