#2 Notre Dame Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 ACC

#2 Notre Dame Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Notre Dame Team Page


The beat goes for Notre Dame as they continued their dominance of the ACC by going 15-1 in conference play and winning the regular season championship, along with the conference tournament. Despite the loss of WNBA Rookie of the Year Jewell Loyd, the Fighting Irish bring back four starters, a couple of key reserves and a very talented freshman class that will be loaded once again for a run at the national championship.

2014-15 Record:  36-3, 15-1
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Muffet McGraw
Coach Record: 699-221 at Notre Dame, 787-262 overall

Notre Dame is deep and athletic at just about every position on the basketball court. They don’t take a ton of rushed shots offensively and shot over 49 percent from the floor last season. The frontcourt duo of Brianna Turner and Taya Reimer is going to lead this very balanced offensive attack that can have anyone beat you on a given night. This unselfishness is another under the radar trait for the Fighting Irish that has consistently kept this team right in the mix nationally as an elite program. Notre Dame also averaged just over 17 assists per game last season thanks to having arguably the best point guard in the country in Lindsay Allen, who had 205 assists in 2014-2015. Defensively, the Fighting Irish do a great job rebounding the basketball and causing turnovers. And they are very disciplined by not sending their opponents to the free throw line very often in games.

The loss of Jewell Loyd will be a challenging one to overcome as she averaged nearly 20 points per game last season. Michaela Mabrey and her highly touted incoming freshman sister Marina as a duo could be the answer as far replacing those very valuable 19.8 points per game and the 44.3 percent shooting from the floor that Loyd provided. Another issue that needs to be addressed is the amount of turnovers per game they committed. Notre Dame was in the middle of the pack in the ACC last season when it came to taking care of the basketball. With just a little more efficiency in that area, the Fighting Irish will end up being that much more dangerous of a team this season.

Final Projection:
Notre Dame will play a very difficult schedule as they always do on an annual basis. A trip to South Dakota State to play a Jackrabbits team that will be very excited to see the Fighting Irish is on tap for November 21. Ohio State visits South Bend for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on December 2 in what should be a very entertaining basketball game on the offensive end of the court. Connecticut follows the battle with the Buckeyes on December 5 in Storrs for the Jimmy V Women’s Classic. A potential Sweet 16 or Elite Eight caliber of matchup with Oregon State in South Bend on December 28 should provide a great litmus test for this team heading into ACC play. Tennessee tops off the non-conference schedule by coming to play Notre Dame on January 18 in South Bend for a potential Final Four preview. In the ACC, it will come down to how well the Fighting Irish do in three road games at Duke, Louisville and Florida State. If they go at least 2-1 in those three games, they will win the ACC with ease. It will take some time to replace Loyd’s lost production but the Fighting Irish should be back in the Final Four once again this season.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Lindsey Allen, Junior, Guard, 10.4 points per game
Michaela Mabrey Senior, Guard, 7.2 points per game
Marina Mabrey, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Brianna Turner, Sophomore, Forward, 13.8 points per game
Taya Reimer, Junior, Forward, 10.2 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.8 (5th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.8 (72,4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.2 (2,1)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.6 (64,4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.8 (197,12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.3 (7, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.3 (29,3)
Rebound Margin: 8.2 (17,3)
Assists Per Game: 17.8 (7,1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.8 (100,7)

Madness 2015 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#6 Arike Ognbowale
#11 Marina Mabrey
#12 Ali Patberg


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