GREENSBORO, N.C. – For the second consecutive year, the North Carolina women’s basketball team was selected to finish in first place for the 2009-10 season by a vote of the Blue Ribbon Panel, announced today. The panel, a contingent of national and local media, as well as school representatives, picked the Tar Heels with 30 of 45 first-place votes.
Following North Carolina was Duke with 10 first-place votes, 2008-09 co-regular season champion Florida State, and Virginia. Co-regular season champion and ACC Tournament champion Maryland received three first-place votes and was tabbed fifth. Boston College, Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, Wake Forest, Clemson, and Virginia Tech rounded out the selection order.
The Preseason All-ACC Team is highlighted by Virginia senior guard Monica Wright, a two-time All-ACC pick (2007-08, 08-09). A year ago, Wright was an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American after she set the Cavalier single-season scoring record with 696 points and led the ACC in scoring with 25.0 points per game. Wright was also a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region 2 All-American and a finalist for the Wade and Naismith Trophies, as well as the John Wooden Award.
Joining Wright on the Preseason All-ACC Team were Boston College junior center Carolyn Swords, Duke junior guard Jasmine Thomas, Florida State senior forward/center Jacinta Monroe, and North Carolina senior forward Jessica Breland.
Breland was joined in preseason selection honors by teammate and Tar Heel newcomer Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, a freshman guard from Alexandria, Va., who was picked to be the league’s Preseason Rookie of the Year. Ruffin-Pratt comes to North Carolina after averaging 27.2 points, 15.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game last year at Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School, where she was a PARADE All-American, the Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year, and the Washington Post All-Metro Player of the Year—all honors awarded to her in both her junior and senior seasons. Additionally, she was the Most Valuable Player in the McDonald’s High School All-American game last spring and was rated the best guard, and ninth-best player overall, among high school recruits in ESPNU’s HoopGurlz 100.
2009-10 Predicted Order of Finish
1. North Carolina (30)
2. Duke (10)
3. Florida State (2)
5. Maryland (3)
6. Boston College
7. Georgia Tech
9. NC State
10. Wake Forest
12. Virginia Tech
2009-10 Preseason All-ACC Team
Jessica Breland, Sr., F, North Carolina
Jacinta Monroe, Sr., F/C, Florida State
Carolyn Swords, Jr., C, Boston College
Jasmine Thomas, Jr., G, Duke
Monica Wright, Sr., G, Virginia
Preseason Player of the Year: Monica Wright, Sr., G, Virginia
Preseason Rookie of the Year: Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, Fr., G, North Carolina
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