#15 Notre Dame Women's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank: #3 ACC
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For the first time since joining the ACC, Notre Dame did not win at least a share of the conference title. In fact, the 2019-2020 season was much, much worse than just not winning the ACC title; the Irish won just 13 games and went 8-10 in conference play. The big change for Notre Dame will be the departure of Coach Muffet McGraw. She has been leading the program since 1987 and obviously transformed the team into one of the best in the country. The transition should go smoothly though. Coach Niele Ivey is a former Irish All-American point guard who has been an assistant under Coach McGraw since 2007.
2019-20 Record: 13-18, 8-10
Coach: Niele Ivey
Coach Record: 0-0 at Notre Dame, 0-0 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Marta Sniezek, Guard, 4.9 ppg
Kaitlin Cole, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Destinee Walker, Senior, Guard, 14.5 ppg
Sam Brunelle, Sophomore, Forward, 13.9 ppg
Katlyn Gilbert, Junior, Guard, 13.6 ppg
Anaya Peoples, Sophomore, Guard, 12.6 ppg
Mikayla Vaughn, Senior, Center, 10.6 ppg
Danielle Cosgrove, Junior, Forward, 2.8 ppg
Abby Prohaska, Junior, Guard, dnp last season
Key New Players
Amirah Abdur-Rahim, Freshman, Forward
Alli Campbell, Freshman, Guard
Alasia Hayes, Freshman, Guard
Dara Mabrey, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Virginia Tech
Natalija Marshall, Freshman, Forward
Maddy Westbeld, Freshman, Forward
Five players who average double digits in the scoring department are back. Destinee Walker and Sam Brunelle are the shooters of the group. Walker and Brunelle are great all-around scorers, but neither was able to get the Irish out of the bottom of the ACC when it came to three-point field-goals per game and three-point field-goal percentage. Katlyn Gilbert is not going to end Notre Dame’s shooting struggles, but she averaged 13.6 points per game and is a fine defender. Anaya Peoples was off to a great start during her freshman campaign, averaging 12.6 points and 8.1 rebounds before suffering a season ending injury in mid-January. Mikayla Vaughn missed the beginning of last season, but emerged as the senior leader of the frontcourt and averaged 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds. With Danielle Cosgrove and the return of Abby Prohaska, who missed last season with an injury, the Irish have a wealth of returning experience. They also have some newcomers who are ready to turn this from a 13-18 team to a team that can compete for an ACC title. Dara Mabrey spent two seasons at Virginia Tech and adds a much needed outside shooting threat. During her two seasons with the Hokies, Mabrey hit 155 three-pointers. Freshman Allison Campbell could help in that regard too, but freshmen like Natalija Marshall and Madeline Westbeld are going to add size to the roster and that should help out Notre Dame’s struggling rebounding.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.8 (180th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.4 (268, 13)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.2 (145, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.8 (118, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.1 (309, 15)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 27.1 (317, 15)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.7 (197, 11)
Rebound Margin: -5.7 (309, 15)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (62, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 17.6 (272, 12)
Madness 2020 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#22 Allison Campbell
#24 Natalija Marshall
#52 Madeline Westbeld
#68 Alasia Hayes