North Carolina adds options in the ACC while Duke nabs top 20 recruit
After a mediocre finish in the ACC, North Carolina is rebuilding — or dare I say, retooling while remaining competitive. The Tar Heels were an effective offensive team when everything clicked last year, however, due to a string of injuries and a subpar defense, failed to make it out of the first round of the ACC Tournament.
This season, however, UNC has added a strong freshman class led by guard Daja Kelly. As the 10th ranked player in the class, Kelly is one of the most well-rounded guards at her age and can confidently attack zone looks. Grad transfers Petra Holešínská and Stephanie Watts will help this squad compete on both ends of the floor.
In more major ACC news, top 20 2022 recruit Shay Bollin committed to Duke to play for new head coach Kara Lawson. Bollin is one of the best high school players to come out of Massachusetts in a long time and is the third total recruit for Lawson. She is also one of the few players from her class to have already committed to a program.
The ACC news doesn’t stop there! Before the season kicks off, Louisville head coach Jeff Walz talked about his expectations for the upcoming season, led by ACC Player of the Year Dana Evans and former Freshman of the Year Elizabeth Balogun. The Cardinals are expected to compete for a Final Four appearance, hopes that skyrocket with a freshman class that Walz said would be able to contribute immediately.
More from ACC
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, November 9: Emma Meesseman tests positive for COVID-19
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, October 19: NCAA shakes up schedules, not scholarships
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, October 5: Seattle Storm take 2-0 Finals lead
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, September 10: Dream are (mathematically) stayin’ alive
- Your Day in Women’s Basketball, August 18: Sun, Mystics make a share of moves
Baylor senior guards DiDi Richards and Moon Ursin collided in practice last week, leading to a spinal injury for Richards and a concussion for Ursin. There is no timetable for Richards’ injury yet, which is scary news for her and troubling news for the Baylor program. Richards’ is the reigning NCAA Defensive Player of the Year and was expected to take over the one-spot for the Lady Bears this year. Richards, Ursin, and head coach Kim Mulkey will speak at a press conference today to address the injuries.
They’re still expected to win the conference. But if injuries linger, the Lady Bears tournament hopes dwindle significantly. Above all else, we’re hoping for a speedy recovery for the pair.
The Next is out with a West Coast Conference preview, and Gonzaga is once again the team to beat. It isn’t just because they have two sets of twins, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. BYU (no sets of twins) and Portland (one set of twins) round out the top 3.
Top-rated transfer Shakira Austin is eligible to compete this season for Ole Miss after transferring from Maryland at the end of last year. Austin is one of the best interior defenders in the country and will look to take Ole Miss right back to a deep tournament run. The Rebels need all the help they can get after finishing last season in the gutter with a 7-23 record.
“We are extremely happy about the opportunity Shakira has been given this year,” Ole Miss Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin said in a prepared statement. “I’d like to thank Coach Frese and the University of Maryland for their assistance with this. Kira will be able to impact us immediately in every aspect, and we are excited for her and us.”
With the election results coming out in just one(!) day, it’s crucial that we highlight the Sparks’ get out to vote effort, which has only been more pronounced since they left the bubble. In addition to the Rock the Vote campaign, teh Sparks have donated and advocated for the LGBTQ+ community for Equality California. Sparks star Candace Parker said she is voting for the first time in this election, and offered advice for young voters.
“There is no test where you’re going to get an A or a B on it. But at the same time, you’re going to see the results,” Parker said. “You make that sure you know what you’re voting for and know why you’re voting for it. If you have those two things I think, going to the poll first and foremost and exercising your right, and then making sure that the policies as well as the people that you’re electing share your same morals and values and will uphold your vote and do the things you’re electing them to do.”
If you haven’t voted yet, learn more here.