Women's Hoops Ranks No. 3 Academically
July 11, 2011
WBCA Academic Top 25
CHICAGO - Following a season that saw the DePaul women's basketball make the program’s second Sweet 16 appearance, the Blue Demons proved their scholastic strength as a team and were honored in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll. DePaul's cumulative team grade point average of 3.582 ranked No. 3 -- the program's highest ever ranking and team GPA.
"To be ranked No. 3 in the nation academically after having been ranked a program-high No. 7 (during the regular season) is a thrill for me as DePaul's head coach,” Doug Bruno said after hearing the news of his team’s ranking. "I am thrilled for our 2010-11 players who have once again proved that you can compete in intercollegiate athletics at the highest level and still be total student-athletes!"
South Dakota State ranked No. 1 with a 3.666 GPA and Bucknell followed with a 3.632. The Blue Demons improved their GPA from a year ago by .127 and ranked third in the poll.
Last season the Blue Demons’ ranking of No. 8 with a 3.455 GPA which at the time set a new standard; but in true DePaul form – they out did themselves on the court and in the classroom. Following the 2009-10 season the Blue Demons were receiving votes in both the national polls and were ranked No. 8; but after the 2010-11 season they finished No. 10 in both the on-the-court national polls and are third academically.
"Our No. 3 academic ranking is a testament to the great academic support we receive at DePaul from our administration," Bruno added.
"Our academic advisor, Jill Hollembeak is the best in the nation at what she does and is the major catalyst behind this ranking. Former associate head coach, Nicci Hays-Fort, also played a major role in this achievement. But the real stars of this achievement are the players – including captains Sam Quigley and Felicia Chester whose quest for academic excellence equaled their competitiveness on the court.”
“This team put together the best season in DePaul women's basketball history last season and to their credit the postseason awards are still following last year's team well into July.”
Prior to the team’s No. 3 academic ranking this season, the Blue Demons previous best ranking was at No. 8 which they posted last season. The 2008-09 team ranked No. 11 while the 2005-06 team also ranked 11th and went to the program’s first Sweet 16. The WBCA Academic Poll dates back to the 1997-98 season while DePaul has appeared in seven of those polls, including five of the last six.
The Blue Demons earned a No. 13 ranking for the 2000-01 season and were No. 20 following the 1998-99 season. DePaul was No. 25 in 2007-08.
The Blue Demons claimed the highest team GPA among all BIG EAST Conference schools for the fourth consecutive season and are the only BIG EAST Conference team in the poll. DePaul is also the only BCS member school ranked in the WBCA Academic top 25 as well as the only program from the state of Illinois.
"Ironically, next season's team assembles this weekend for DePaul's second session of Summer School. All of our future teams have had the bar set high both on the floor and in the classroom by our 2010-11 squad -- our quest for No. 1 starts next Monday."