November 18, 2020 

ACC notes: Howard eligible at FSU, BC’s Lowery to transfer

Comings, goings and other ACC news

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A referee holds the ball during a game at N.C. State’s Reynolds Coliseum. (Mitchell Northam / The Next)

BC’s Lowery enters the portal

Boston College guard Sydney Lowery is opting out of this season and has entered the transfer portal, multiple sources close to the situation told The Next.

A senior, Lowery will have one season of eligibility remaining.

Lowery was a three-star recruit coming out of St. Luke’s School in Shelton, Connecticut and was tabbed as the 30th best guard in her class, according to ESPN. She started 10 games as a freshman at Boston College, averaging 5.6 points per-game.

Her minutes increased slightly as a sophomore, the season that Joanna Bernabei-McNamee took the helm of the Eagles. Lowery played in 30 games, started seven, and saw 22.9 minutes of action a night. Her shooting percentages improved and her assists saw a slight uptick, and she averaged 6.7 points per game.

But last season, Lowery was often left out of the regular rotation. She played in just 19 games, started in none and played just 8.1 minutes per game. She did not see the floor in last year’s ACC tournament.

Lowery is the second Boston College player to enter the portal this fall, following fellow senior guard Milan Bolden-Morris.

Erin Howard gives FSU a boost

Florida State’s depth at the forward spot received a boost Monday evening when the Seminoles got word from the NCAA that Auburn transfer Erin Howard had been granted a waiver and is immediately eligible to play this season.

Howard, a 6’1 forward, has three seasons of eligibility remaining.

As a sophomore last year at Auburn, she played in all 29 games, starting in 17. She averaged 7.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals per-game, and also led the Tigers in three-pointers made with 45 and blocked shots with 21. The best game for the versatile forward last season came at Missouri, where she tallied 22 points, two rebounds, two assists and two blocks in a 13-point win.

Howard is one of a handful of transfers that Brooke Wyckoff’s side will lean on this season. St. John’s transfer Tiana England is expected to start at point guard and former South Carolina guard Bianca Jackson should see significant minutes as well.

FSU opens its season on Nov. 25 at home against Florida A&M.

ACC extras

  • No. 23 Syracuse will begin its season at home on Dec. 2 with a game against Div. II Lincoln. A member of the CIAA, Lincoln was 23-6 last season. It is currently the only non-conference game on the Orange’s schedule.

  • Duke had just one prospect sign their NLI on last week. Here’s what Kara Lawson had to say about 2021 guard Lee Volker of Purcellville, Virginia: “She is the type of person and player that will help us establish our hardworking identity. She comes from competitive high school and AAU programs in an area I have a deep respect for. I can’t wait to coach her starting next fall.”

  • Louisville signed a pair of recruits last week in Payton Verhulst and Sydni Schetnan. Verhulst is tabbed as the 12th-best player in the 2021 class by ESPN, was the 2020 Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year and has basketball in her blood — her sister plays at UCF, her father played Division II ball at Rockhurst and her mother, Robin Baker Verhulst, played at Duke and averaged 11.5 points per game as a senior. Schetnan is ranked as the 10th best post player in her class by ESPN and also intends to play volleyball at Louisville.

  • N.C. State inked a pair of top 100 2021 prospects last week, signing Aziaha James and Sophia Hart, ranked 36th and 64th by ESPN, respectively. To round out the 13th best class per ESPN, the Wolfpack landed Jessica Timmons, a guard from Charlotte. Head coach Wes Moore said this about his top recruit, James: “Her ability to shoot the three with range as well as get to the rim allows her to score in bunches. She has the size and the strength to be a factor on the boards as well. We also like the fact that she comes from very successful high school and travel team programs – she knows how to win.”

  • Louisville’s Elizabeth Balogun, Boston College’s Taylor Soule and Wake Forest’s Ivana Raca were the three ACC players named to the watchlist for the Cheryl Miller Award, given to the nation’s top small forward.

  • Former Clemson signee Clair Neff made her transfer to James Madison official last Wednesday. Neff is a 6-foot-2 wing from Bel Air, Maryland. She signed with Clemson in Nov. 2019 and enrolled there, but never appeared in a game. She was once ranked as the 37th best player at her position.

  • At Virginia Tech, watch out for a pair of players who were with the program last season, but sat out. They are Georgia Amoore, a freshman point guard from Australia, and Asiah Jones, a fifth-year senior who transferred in from Southern Cal. Jones averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds for USC in 2018-19 and could start at the four for the Hokies.

  • On the ACC Network last week, Virginia head coach Tina Thompson had this to say about her Cavaliers this season: “I would say our 2020 group is resilient. 2020 has brought a lot of adjustments, in just kind of figuring it out. They’re young, but they’re excited and they’re full of energy and they’re learning. We appreciate the fact that they’re showing up everyday in spite of the bumps that they’ve had to face in the road, but their youth kind of makes them a little fearless. So, we expect them to come out and work really, really hard and just take on whatever the season has to bring.”

  • Muffet McGraw on Syracuse: “I’m sure on their bandwagon. I think (Tiana Mangakahia) is going to be one of the best players in the conference. To go from battling cancer to coming back and possibly getting some votes for Player of the Year – I think that backcourt with (Kiara Lewis) and Tiana, that is going to be a fabulous backcourt. One of the best. Don’t sleep on Syracuse.”

  • Notre Dame’s Sam Brunelle is the lone ACC player on the watchlist for the Katrina McClain Award, given to the top power forward in the country. An All-ACC Freshmen Team selection a year ago, Brunelle led all conference freshmen in scoring with 13.9 points per-game.

  • Syracuse landed the 11th-best recruiting class in the country last week for 2021, featuring four players ranked inside ESPN’s Top 100. It’s highlighted by a pair of Canadians – high school teammates Latasha Lattimore and Shayeann Day-Wilson. Two Texans — Amani Bartlett and Nyah Wilson — round out Quentin Hillsman’s latest recruiting haul.

  • Notre Dame landed a top five recruiting class last week, inking Sonia Citron and Olivia Miles to NLI’s. Both players are guards, top 20 recruits and hail from New York and New Jersey, respectively. Citron said in a statement that Notre Dame “checked all the boxes” for her, while Miles is looking forward to being “coached by someone I love, someone so relatable and a national champion.”

  • Duke’s Jade Williams, N.C. State’s Elissa Cunane, UNC’s Janelle Bailey, Syracuse’s Kamilla Cardoso and Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley were the ACC players named to the Lisa Leslie Award watchlist for this season, which is awarded to the nation’s top center. It’s the third straight year that Duke’s Williams and UNC’s Bailey has appeared on it.

  • Pitt has finalized its non-conference schedule and will play three non-ACC games at home. The Panthers will host George Mason on Nov. 25, Hofstra on Nov. 29 and Delaware on Dec. 6. They begin ACC play on Dec. 10 at Virginia Tech.

  • Shemera Williams’ transfer from Virginia to Southern Cal is complete. She has three seasons of eligibility left and could be cleared to play for the Trojans as soon as this spring. Williams was UVA’s third-leading scorer as a freshman last season.

Written by Mitchell Northam

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