The college basketball season has yet to start, but the Duke women are already bringing in the awards. Senior guard Chelsea Gray and junior center Elizabeth Williams are two of the 25 players named to the Preseason Wade Watch list. This award is considered the Heisman Trophy of women’s basketball.
Gray is coming off her junior season in which she was injured in the Blue Devils’ 25th game of the season and missed the rest of the year. Prior to the injury, she was playing like one of the best players in the country. Despite the injury, she was still named the ACC’s Co-Player of the Year.
Gray led the ACC in assists (5.6) and steals (3.7), while ranking tenth nationally in steals. She also averaged 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds.
Across her three years so far, Gray has totaled 1,026 points, 423 assists, 407 rebounds, and 248 steals. Those totals come in 92 games. She is already the single-season record holder at Duke in assists (201) and needs just 157 to pass Lindsey Harding for the all-time career mark (579).
Williams has become one of the top inside players in college basketball. Last year, she averaged 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, and three blocks a game. She has at least one block in all 69 of her career games at Duke. Last year, she was ranked eighth nationally in blocks.
Williams was the first player in ACC history to reach the 200 block plateau in her first two seasons. She has already reach the 1,000 point plateau, which is the fourth quickest in Duke history. She is a two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year (can she earn that honor for a third straight season?) and is the first Duke player to be named to the AP All-American team in her first two years.
Including these two, the ACC has four total players on the Watch list. The other two are Alyssa Thomas of Maryland (the reigning ACC Player of the Year) and Tyaunna Marshall of Georgia Tech. Both are seniors.
For the entire list of players on the Watch list, click HERE.