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October 16, 2012
Duke tops ACC women's basketball poll; Tech's Ugoka named to newcomer watch list
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GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Duke women’s basketball team was selected to finish first in the league in the preseason coaches’ poll as well as by the 47-member Blue Ribbon Panel. Virginia Tech’s Uju Ugoka was tabbed to the preseason newcomer watch list.

Ugoka was picked for the preseason coaches and Blue Ribbon Panel newcomer watch list. Ugoka has been a top junior college player the past two seasons, earning All-American honors in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, Ugoka was a top-three finalist for the National JUCO Player of the Year.

“Uju comes into Virginia Tech as a player with a lot of experience internationally and in the junior college ranks,” said Virginia Tech head coach Dennis Wolff. “She has played with an incredible amount of energy in our practices to date.”

The Blue Devils return four starters from last season’s team that finished 27-6 and reached the Elite Eight of the 2012 NCAA Championship. Maryland was tabbed second in both polls.

The Blue Ribbon panel ranked Georgia Tech third, followed by Virginia, North Carolina and Miami. Florida State was picked seventh, followed by NC State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Boston College.

Georgia Tech was also picked third in the coaches’ voting, followed by North Carolina and Miami. Florida State and Virginia tied for sixth. NC State placed eighth followed by NC State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Boston College.

Reigning ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas of Maryland was predicted to be a repeat winner in 2012-13 in the Blue Ribbon Panel vote. Thomas was joined on the Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team by Georgia Tech’s Tyaunna Marshall, FSU’s Natasha Howard, Maryland’s Tianna Hawkins and Laurin Mincy, Miami’s Stefani Yderstrom, NC State’s Marissa Kastanek and Virginia’s Ataira Franklin.

The same 10 players were named to the Coaches’ Preseason All-ACC Team, which named Maryland's Thomas and Duke’s Gray and Williams as Preseason ACC Tri-Players of the Year.

Both the ACC coaches and the Blue Ribbon Panel voted Clemson’s Jonquel Jones, Duke’s Alexis Jones, Maryland’s Malina Howard, North Carolina’s Xylina McDaniel and Virginia Tech’s Ugoka to their respective Newcomer Watch Lists.

Coaches Preseason Poll (first place votes in parentheses)
1. Duke (9)
2. Maryland (3)
3. Georgia Tech
4. North Carolina
5. Miami
6. Florida State
6. Virginia
8. NC State
9. Wake Forest
10. Clemson
11. Virginia Tech
12. Boston College

Preseason Coaches All-ACC Team

Alyssa Thomas (Maryland)
Elizabeth Williams (Duke)
Chelsea Gray (Duke)
Tyuanna Marshall (Georgia Tech)
Natasha Howard (Florida State)
Tianna Hawkins (Maryland)
Laurin Mincy (Maryland)
Ataira Frankli (Virginia)
Marissa Kastenek (NC State)
Stefanie Yderstrom (Miami)

Preseason Coaches Players of the Year (3-way tie)
Alyssa Thomas (Maryland)
Elizabeth Williams (Duke)
Chelsea Gray (Duke)

Preseason Coaches Newcomer Watch List
Alexis Jones – Duke
Malina Howard – Maryland
Jonquel Jones – Clemson
Xylina McDaniel – North Carolina
Uju Ugoka – Virginia Tech

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Poll (first place votes in parentheses)
1. Duke (29)
2. Maryland (18)
3. Georgia Tech
4. Virginia
5. North Carolina
6. Miami
7. Florida State
8. NC State
9. Wake Forest
10. Clemson
11. Virginia Tech
12. Boston College

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team
Alyssa Thomas (Maryland)
Elizabeth Williams (Duke)
Chelsea Gray (Duke)
Tyuanna Marshall (Georgia Tech)
Natasha Howard (Florida State)
Tianna Hawkins (Maryland)
Laurin Mincy (Maryland)
Ataira Franklin (Virginia)
Mariss Kastenek (NC State)
Stefanie Yderstrom (Miami)

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Player of the Year
Alyssa Thomas (Maryland)

Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List
Alexis Jones – Duke
Malina Howard – Maryland
Jonquel Jones – Clemson

Xylina McDaniel – North Carolina
Uju Ugoka – Virginia Tech

For updates on Virginia Tech women's basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WBBall).

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