#15 Notre Dame Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank: #4 ACC
Notre Dame Logo
For the first time ever, a team had all five of their starters selected in the first 20 picks of the WNBA Draft. That leaves Notre Dame with a ton of production to replace. The Fighting Irish took that senior class out with a trip to the national title game for a second straight year. This time they fell just short of a championship, but now the focus moves to a new look 2019-2020 squad that will have to rely very heavily on younger and inexperienced players.
2018-19 Record: 35-4, 14-2
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Muffet McGraw
Coach Record: 835-233 at Notre Dame, 923-274 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Arike Ogunbowale. Guard, 21.8 ppg
Jessica Shepard, Forward, 16.7 ppg
Jackie Young, Guard, 14.7 ppg
Brianna Turner, Forward, 14.4 ppg
Marina Mabrey, Guard, 12.8 ppg
Danielle Patterson, Forward, 2.9 ppg
Jordan Nixon, Guard, 2.5 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Katlyn Gilbert, Sophomore, Guard, 3.6 ppg
Mikayla Vaughn, Junior, Center, 3.3 ppg
Abby Prohaska, Sophomore, Guard, 1.5 ppg
Danielle Cosgrove, Sophomore, Forward, 1.4 ppg
Nicole Benz, Junior, Guard, 0.3 ppg
Key New Players
Sam Brunelle, Freshman, Forward
Kathleen Keyes, Freshman, Forward
Margaret Murdock, Sophomore, Guard
Catherine Murdock, Sophomore, Guard
Anaya Peoples, Freshman, Guard
Marta Sniezek, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Stanford
Destinee Walker, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from North Carolina
Katlyn Gilbert played in just seven games last year before a separated shoulder ended her campaign. In those seven games she averaged 3.6 points per game and should now start to live up to her McDonald’s All-American potential. Abby Prohaska saw some decent playing time as a freshman, averaging 14.4 minutes per game. She will again provide some hustle to the lineup, but now could be asked to do a little more offensively as well. Junior Mikayla Vaughn is a tough rebounder and shot blocker who could now emerge as a solid interior scoring threat. Grad transfers Marta Sniezek and Destinee Walker will add some much needed experience to Coach Muffet McGraw’s team. Last year Sniezek averaged 5.5 points, 4.3 assists and 3.5 rebounds at Stanford. Her ball handling abilities and leadership will be a huge boost to the backcourt. Walker will add more of a scoring punch after averaging 12.4 points with North Carolina two years ago and 13.9 points as a freshman back in 2015-2016. As always, Coach McGraw also has some very talented freshmen headed into the program. All five could compete for minutes with so many minutes to go around, but top 15 recruits Sam Brunelle and Anaya Peoples will make a huge impact right away. This may not be a Notre Dame team that reaches the Final Four or wins at least a share of the ACC title for the ninth straight season, but overlooking Coach McGraw’s team would be a huge mistake.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 88.6 (1st in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.9 (184, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 50.8 (2, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.7 (64, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.7 (279, 13)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.7 (20, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.6 (37, 4)
Rebound Margin: 10.5 (4, 1)
Assists Per Game: 20.6 (4, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.6 (61, 4)
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#5 Samantha Brunelle
#11 Anaya Peoples