The Duke women’s basketball team enters the season with high expectations after both the Blue Ribbon and ACC coaches poll named the Blue Devils the preseason favorite for the ACC title.
Duke, which is coming off a 27-6 campaign that ended in the Elite Eight, received 29 first place votes from the Blue Ribbon Panel, a group comprised of media voters. The ACC preseason coaches poll—conducted for the first time this season—also named the Blue Devils the preseason title favorite with nine of the 12 first-place votes. Maryland received the second highest first place votes, 18 in Blue Ribbon and three in Coaches poll, followed by Georgia Tech to round out the top three.
The remaining schools in order of their placement in the coaches poll were North Carolina, Miami, Florida State, Virginia, NC State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Boston College.
Duke returns four starters, 88.7 percent of last season’s scoring, including junior Chelsea Gray and sophomore Elizabeth Williams both of whom were selected to the preseason All-ACC team by both polls.
Gray and Williams tied with reigning ACC Player of the Year, Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas in the coaches poll for ACC player of the year. Thomas received the majority of votes for player of the year in the Blue Ribbon poll.
Freshman Alexis Jones was the only Blue Devil selected to the Preseason Newcomers Watch List by both polls.