Wake Forest's women's basketball team begins its quest to win a conference championship on Thursday night against Tyaunna Marshall and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6:00 p.m., RSN). While many view a conference tournament as a new season, this year's ACC tournament likely signals the end of one of the most electrifying backcourts in Wake Forest history: Senior Lakevia Boykin and Junior Chelsea Douglas.
The ACC recently honored both Boykin and Douglas as second-team All-ACC players, only the fourth time two Deacons achieved that honor in the same season. Both Boykin and Douglas are currently averaging 14.1 pointsper game, and are dangerous from behind the arc. When they are at their best, they are fun to watch.
ESPN analyst Debbie Antonelli agrees.
"I think Boykin is an underrated player in the league," Antonelli said during a conversation with Blogger So Dear earlier this week. "Two hard dribbles to the middle of the floor, a pull-up jump shot...no one does it better in the league than she does."
Boykin achieved two notable career highs this season, dropping 34 points in an upset over nationally ranked Florida State and grabbing 8 rebounds versus Illinois in an early-season road game. She is currently shooting an astounding 42% from the three-point line.
Douglas, for her part, set a career high in points by scoring 24 at Duke on February 17 and has scored in double-figures in 25 games so far this season. As the Wake Forest inside game continues to improve, the perimeter has begun to open up even more- making Douglas an important weapon in the Deacon arsenal.
"Chelsea Douglas is a lightning rod," Antonelli says. "She's got swagger and she's got a confidence about her, and she's got that toughness that I love. I always say the same things about her: I think she is sick of losing, and you can see it when she plays."
Wake Forest will need both players to be at their best if they want to advance in this year's tournament. Although the draw is tough for the No. 10 seed, Antonelli believes that the Deacons have a shot to be a fly in the proverbial ointment come Thursday evening.
"They're exciting," she said. "I'm looking forward to watching them because I love Douglas and Boykin. I love what they bring. I wish they would have won more so more people would appreciate what they do, but they are well respected by the coaches in the ACC."