Nov. 30, 2017
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced 50 women’s basketball players to its Citizen Naismith Trophy Watch List on Wednesday morning, as Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale, Jackie Young, Jessica Shepard and Marina Mabrey were all selected. The Irish’s four candidates marked the second most of any school, while the ACC made the top mark of all conferences with 10.
Ogunbowale, who also added WBCA Wade Trophy Watch list to her resume this week, ranks 34th in the country and second in the ACC with her 20.7 points per game. The junior already boasts five 20+ point performances on the year, including a career high tying 32 points in the win over No. 22/20 Michigan on Nov. 29.
Young picks up her first major watch list selection, heels off of being named the Gulf Coast Showcase MVP and the ACC Player of the Week. Young averages 17.9 ppg on 50.6 percent shooting, along with a 4.4 offensive rebounds per game average which ranks 23rd in the country.
Shepard nearly averages a double-double for the Irish with her 13.0 ppg and 8.9 rebounds per game, as the latter ranks fourth in the ACC. Shepard has collected a team high three double-doubles on the year.
Mabrey is the Irish’s fourth and final player with a double-digit scoring average, with 10.3 ppg. A preseason All-ACC selection, Mabrey has scored in double-figures five times this season and is shooting an impressive 53.8 percent from two-point range.
The Naismith Trophy annually recognizes the top men’s and women’s collegiate basketball players of the year. A list of the midseason top-30 team will be released on Feb. 12, 2018, and players who do not make the Watch List are still eligible to be selected for the midseason 30 list.
Josh Bates joined Fighting Irish Media as associate athletics communications director in July of 2017, serving as the women’s basketball and men’s golf contact. Bates earned both his bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2014) degree in sports management from the University of Illinois. He also worked as a grad assistant at Illinois from 2012-14 and worked full-time at Tulane University from 2014-17.