#6 Notre Dame Women's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: #1 ACC
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Notre Dame was dealt a big blow when Brianna Turner went down with an injury during the NCAA Tournament. The Fighting Irish learned later that she would miss the 2017-2018 campaign while continuing her rehabilitation. Not having Turner, who averaged 15.3 points and a team high 7.1 rebounds last season, will be tough to overcome. Yet, Coach Muffet McGraw still has plenty of very talented players who are ready to win yet another ACC title.
2016-17 Record: 33-4, 15-1
2016-17 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Muffet McGraw
Coach Record: 765-227 at Notre Dame, 853-268 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Lindsay Allen, Guard, 9.6 ppg
Erin Boley, Guard, 6.5 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Arike Ogunbowale, Junior, Guard, 15.9 ppg
Brianna Turner, Senior, Forward, 15.1 ppg
Marina Mabrey, Junior, Guard, 14.6 ppg
Kathryn Westbeld, Senior, Forward, 8.4 ppg
Jackie Young, Sophomore, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Kristina Nelson, Senior, Forward, 3.5 ppg
Mychal Johnson, Senior, Guard, 2.0 ppg
Key New Players
Lili Thompson, Senior, Guard, Transfer, Stanford
Danielle Patterson, Freshman, Forward
Jessica Shepard, Junior, Forward, Transfer, Nebraska, not eligible
Mikayla Vaughn, Freshman, Center
Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey are both great scorers who can connect on a slew of three-pointers. Ogunbowale is the more dynamic scoring threat, but Mabrey has the strength to be more dangerous attacking the basket. The addition of Lili Thompson will help replace point guard Lindsay Allen. Thompson, a transfer from Stanford, was a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree with the Cardinal. She is a scoring point guard who gives the Irish yet another dangerous shooting threat on the perimeter. Jackie Young will again be a fine contributor off the bench. Kathryn Westbeld was Turner’s starting mate in the frontcourt. She has big shoes to fill, but the 6-2 senior will be able to boost her production at least a little bit. Kristina Nelson and incoming freshmen Danielle Patterson and Mikayla Vaughn will have to be ready to help Westbeld in the frontcourt and attempt to replace Turner.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 80.1 (11th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.3 (118, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.4 (4, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.3 (147, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (164, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.5 (3, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.6 (92, 4)
Rebound Margin: 7.4 (18, 2)
Assists Per Game: 18.8 (6, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (20, 1)
Madness 2017 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#25 Danielle Patterson
#107 Mikayla Vaughn