April 1, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame senior guard Charel Allen (Monessen, Pa./Monessen) has been named an honorable mention All-America selection by the Associated Press, it was announced Tuesday afternoon. It's the first time Allen has been honored by the AP, but the second consecutive season she has garnered honorable mention All-America status after the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) bestowed that award on her last year.
In addition, Allen becomes the eighth Notre Dame women's basketball player to earn AP All-America honors, and the first since Megan Duffy was a two-time honorable mention selection in 2005 and 2006. The other Irish cagers who were AP All-Americans include: Jacqueline Batteast (2004 - honorable mention; 2005 - third team), Katryna Gaither (1996 and 1997 - honorable mention), Niele Ivey (2001 - third team), Beth Morgan (1996 and 1997 - honorable mention), Alicia Ratay (2000 and 2002 - honorable mention) and Ruth Riley (1999 - third team; 2000 and 2001 - first team).
Karen Robinson was the first Notre Dame women's basketball player to collect All-America certification, receiving WBCA honorable mention status in 1991.
Allen recently completed a storied career that places her among the greats in the 31-year history of Irish women's basketball. Besides her other national honors, the 5-11 wing also was a midseason candidate for this year's John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, as well as a preseason choice for the State Farm/WBCA Wade Trophy -- all three honors go to the country's top women's college basketball player. What's more, Allen was a two-time first-team all-BIG EAST Conference selection, one of only six players in program history to pull off that feat.
This season, she was named to the Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) All-Tournament Team and was a two-time BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll choice, giving her six of the latter citations in her career. Allen started all 34 games for the Irish (and all 66 games in her final two seasons), ranking 11th in the BIG EAST in scoring (15.1 ppg), fourth in free throw percentage (.815) and 13th in steals (1.85 spg). She also had two double-doubles and scored in double figures 30 times (including 21 of her final 22 games), highlighted by four 20-point outings and a career-high 35 points in the second round of the NCAA tournament against No. 14/13 Oklahoma (a game the Irish won 79-75 in overtime).
Allen departs as the first women's basketball player in school history to record 1,500 points (1,566), 500 rebounds (656), 200 assists (239) and 200 steals (206) in her career. She also ranks eighth all-time at Notre Dame with 1,566 points, one of 10 categories where she appears in the top 10 in the program's career record books, in addition to countless appearances on the Irish single-game, single-season, and NCAA tournament charts.
Allen is preparing for the next stage in her basketball career, which begins Thursday when she travels to Tampa, Fla., for the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) Pre-Draft Camp that will be held Friday and Saturday at the Bob Martinez Center on the University of Tampa campus. Allen is one of approximately 40 global candidates who have been invited to the WNBA Pre-Draft Camp, which allows the league's coaches and general managers to personally evaluate players prior to the WNBA Draft (to be held April 9 at 1 p.m. ET at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla. -- first round televised on ESPN2 and final two rounds on ESPNU and NBA TV).
No. 15/19 Notre Dame (25-9) capped off an outstanding 2007-08 season with the program's seventh NCAA Sweet 16 (regional semifinals) appearance in the past 12 years and the sixth 25-win season in that span. Along the way, the Irish knocked off three ranked opponents (giving them 45 wins over Top 25 opponents in the past decade) and finished fourth in the high-powered BIG EAST with an 11-5 record. Notre Dame also gave third-ranked (and top-seeded) Tennessee all it could handle in the NCAA Oklahoma City Regional semifinals on Sunday night, leading the Lady Vols at halftime (33-31) for the first time in the 20-game series with UT and trailing by only eight points twice in the final 90 seconds before finally falling by a 74-64 score.