Guard Trio Named To All-Conference USA Women's Basketball Team

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Junior guard Danielle Blagg claimed All-Conference USA honors for the third consecutive season, earning a spot on the league's second team.
Junior guard Danielle Blagg claimed All-Conference USA honors for the third consecutive season, earning a spot on the league's second team.

March 9, 2014

NEW ORLEANS - After helping the Tulane University women's basketball team post its fifth consecutive 20-win season, Green Wave standout guards Danielle Blagg, Jamie Kaplan and Leslie Vorpahl all claimed All Conference USA honors based on a vote of league head coaches, media members and athletic communication contacts.

Blagg and Kaplan were both named second-team All C-USA while Vorpahl claimed a spot on the league's All-Freshman Team. The 2013-14 season marks the fifth consecutive year that Tulane placed at least two players on the all-league team and Vorpahl is the first Green Wave rookie to claim all-freshman honors since Blagg in 2012.

"I'm very happy for all three young ladies for their well-earned recognition," Tulane head coach Lisa Stockton said. "The consistency of our guard play has been integral to our success and we'll need them to continue to play at a high level as we move on to the Conference USA Tournament."

Blagg, who was tabbed C-USA Freshman of the Year in 2012 and earned second-team all-conference recognition last season, played in 25 games with 22 starts as a junior. The native of San Antonio leads the team with 12.6 points per game, 59 3-point baskets and a 40.1 3-point percentage while ranking second in minutes per game (29.2), tied for second in field goals made (110), third in points scored (315) and rebounds per game (4.9), tied for third in blocked shots (12), fourth in minutes played (730) and fifth in rebounds (123).

She ranks second in C-USA in 3-point percentage and 3-pointers per game (2.4) and sits 17th in points per game. Blaggs' percentage from beyond the arc ranks 40th in the NCAA and her average treys per outing sits 80th nationally.



During the regular season, Blagg scored in double figures 17 times with five 20-plus point ballgames, pulled down seven-plus rebounds in seven contests and has four multiple-assist outings while tallying a season-best two blocked shots three times and logging a season-best two steals in four occasions. She had a season-high 25 points and a career-best 10 rebounds for her first career double-double against Virginia Dec. 20, and added a career-high tying four dimes vs Northeastern in the Tulane/DoubleTree Classic on Dec. 28 and at Florida Atlantic on Feb. 12.

Blagg was named Louisiana Player of the Week on Dec. 23 after averaging 24.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.0 steal per outing in 35.5 minutes of play per contest in wins over Virginia and Saint Francis during the FGCU Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Classic.

"Danielle started the year as our top returning player and has handled drawing a lot of attention from opponent's defenses very well," Stockton said. "She is known for her offensive proficiency, but it's her defense and rebounding that make her such a complete player."

Kaplan, who picked up the first all-conference award of her career, started all 29 games so far in 2013-14 and is currently leading the team with 338 points, 198 assists, 98 made free throws, 950 minutes played and 32.8 minutes per game. In addition, she is tied for second in field goals made (110), third in points per game (11.7) and 3-point baskets (20), fourth in steals (33), and fifth in field goal percentage (.393) and 3-point percentage (.267) to go with 3.0 rebounds per game

Her 6.8 assists per game so far this year ranks first in Tulane single-season history while her 198 assists sit second. Kaplan also ranks second in C-USA and fourth in the NCAA in assists per game while ranking second and 52nd in the respective organizations with a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Kaplan scored in double figures 21 times, handed out six or more assists 19 times with six double-digit dime performances, pulled down four or more rebounds on 10 occasions and posted seven multiple-steal performances to go with a trio of double-doubles. She tallied career highs of 20 points vs McNeese State on Nov. 11, 13 assists vs New Orleans on Nov. 8, 12 rebounds at Southern Miss on March 1 and five steals vs Southern Miss on Jan. 18.

Two of Kaplan's double-doubles were of the point/assist variety as the native of Sebastian, Fla., had 10 points and 13 assists vs UNO and a 12-point, 10-assist effort at Marshall on Jan. 9 before posting 16 points and 12 boards at Southern Miss. She was named also MVP of the 18th Annual Tulane/DoubleTree Classic after averaging 13.0 points, 6.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while helping the Green Wave win the tournament title.

"Jamie has had a breakout season," Stockton said. "She has embraced her role as a playmaker and floor leader. Her competitiveness and work ethic have set a standard for our team."

Vorpahl, meanwhile, claimed All-Freshman Team recognition after playing in 28 games with 13 starts as a true freshman. The San Antonio native leads the team with a 75.9 free throw percentage while ranking second with 89 assists, 30 3-point baskets and a 30.3 3-point percentage (.303), third with 60 free throws made, fourth with 246 points scored and 8.8 points per game, and fifth with 78 field goals made, 32 steals, 710 minutes played and 25.4 minutes per game to go with 2.5 rebounds per contest.

She posted double-figure scoring totals on 12 occasions with three 20-plus point contests, four-plus assists on 10 occasions, four-plus rebounds in eight games and nine multiple-assist contests. Vorpahl posted career highs of 22 points at North Carolina State on Nov. 24, nine assists at Marshall on Jan. 9, nine rebounds at Old Dominion on Nov. 11 and four steals vs Ole Miss on Nov. 30.

Vorpahl ranks 10th in C-USA in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4), 13th in assists per game and 15th in free throw percentage. In addition, she was named C-USA Freshman of the Week twice: on Nov. 25 after averaging 12.7 points, 3.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 0.7 steals per game during three Green Wave contests; and again on Jan. 13 after averaging 14.5 points, 6.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in a 2-0 week.

"Leslie has played with great maturity and poise all season and has proven to be excellent in crunch time," Stockton added. "I am so happy that others recognize how important she has been to this team."

Blagg, Kaplan, Vorpahl and the Green Wave return to action on Thursday, March 13, when Tulane opens play in the 2014 C-USA Women's Basketball Championship in El Paso, Texas. The five-day event begins on Tuesday, March 11, but with a 20-9 overall record and an 11-5 mark in league play, Tulane finished fourth in the conference standings and earned a double-bye. The championship tournament concludes on March 15 with the title game slated for 7 p.m. The winner of the C-USA Championship will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.


First Team
Jada Payne, So., G, East Carolina
Jerica Coley, Sr., PG, FIU
Ebony Rowe, Sr., F, Middle Tennessee
Shae Kelley, Jr., F, Old Dominion
Jessica Kuster, Sr., F, Rice
Jamierra Faulkner, Sr., G, Southern Miss
Karisma Chapman, Sr., F, UAB
Kayla Thornton, Sr., F, UTEP

Second Team
Ny Hammonds, Sr., G, Charlotte
Abria Trice, Jr., G/F, East Carolina
Kimberly Smith, Sr., G, Florida Atlantic
Whitney Frazier, Jr., F, Louisiana Tech
Danielle Blagg, Jr., G, Tulane
Jamie Kaplan, Jr., G, Tulane
Ashley Clark, So., G, Tulsa
Ashley Grimes, Sr., G/F, UAB

All-Freshman Team
Lefty Webster, G, Charlotte
JaQuan Jackson, G, Louisiana Tech
Olivia Jones, F, Middle Tennessee
Brittanny Dinkins, G, Southern Miss
Leslie Vorpahl, G, Tulane

All-Defensive Team
Ondrea Shaw, Jr., P, East Carolina
Ebony Rowe, Sr., F, Middle Tennessee
Jessica Kuster, Sr., F, Rice
Jamierra Faulkner, Sr., G, Southern Miss
Kayla Thornton, Sr., F, UTEP