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UNC Women’s Basketball: Three Tar Heels named to All-ACC Teams

UNC’s trio of standout junior starters were honored for their contributions

North Carolina v Duke Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

With the end of the ACC women’s schedule coming a little earlier than on the mens’ side, the ACC announced their end-of-season awards and all-conference teams on Tuesday. While no Heels won individual awards, three were voted onto 2022-2023 All-ACC Teams: Guard Deja Kelly and forward Alyssa Ustby earned first-team honors, while wing Kennedy Todd-Williams was recognized as a second-teamer. It is Kelly’s second straight year being named an All-ACC First Team performer, while Ustby was a second-teamer last year and Todd-Williams makes her first appearance on an all-conference squad.

The three players, all part of the same class, were all starters for this year’s Tar Heels. Kelly, after playing mostly off the ball last year, took the reins at starting point guard this season and has been as dynamic as ever, leading the Heels in scoring with 16.5 points per game and even more in conference play, putting her at fifth in the league. Her 3.3 assists per game rank 11th in the conference and she’s been the engine and go-to scorer for this team all season long, scoring late in close games time and again — including 5 points in the last 76 seconds to seal the win against Duke on Sunday.

Ustby took her do-it-all nature to another level this season, ranking top-10 in the ACC in rebounds, blocks, steals, and efficiency while scoring 13.2 points per game (14th in the conference). Ustby is the team leader in every counting stat but points and assists, for both of which she ranks third, and her positional versatility on both ends of the floor has been key for the Heels to be the best version of themselves. Ustby is also on the longlist for the Academic All-America team.

Todd-Williams took a major leap in her junior season, especially as a shooter. The 6-foot guard was known as a utility player for the Heels in her first two years, doing a lot of things pretty well but clearly having another gear to reach. This year, she’s absolutely reached it, making major leaps as a shooter and scorer and still doing all the smaller things that first got her a starting spot. She’s hit more three-pointers this year than in her past two seasons combined, leading the team with 47 made at a 32.2% clip (good for third on the team), and that’s allowed her to be a three-level scorer that defenses always have to account for. She’s second on the team in scoring with 13.6 points per game and is the only Heel to have started every game this season. She’s also an excellent defensive player, using her length on the perimeter to disrupt opponents with regularity.

UNC was one of three teams (with Virginia Tech and Notre Dame) to have two players on the first team and their three players across the two teams tie for most in the conference. Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kittley, who hit a game-winning jumper against UNC last Thursday night, was named ACC Player of the Year for the second year in a row. For a full list of winners and awardees, check out the ACC’s announcement here.