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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame WBB Coach Niele Ivey Transcript: ACC Meetings

May 22, 2024

Notre Dame women's basketball coach Niele Ivey spoke with the ACC Network last week at the conference meetings in Amelia Island, Florida. 

Why Liza Karlen and Liatu King were ideal fits for Notre Dame:
”We needed depth at that position. We had a lot of injuries last year. I was looking for experience. When I’m looking in the portal, sometimes it’s more about the fit with my culture, fit with character and they both checked off so many boxes. Just having depth and versatility with the style of play we have, I thought those two were perfect matches for us.” 

On not having to face Liatu King this season:
”One of her best games was against us at Pitt. I've never seen a player score on the floor. She had like 34 points that game. Just an amazing athlete. Her versatility, what she can bring to our team is going to be phenomenal.” 

On the potential for this team if they stay healthy:
”That’s always the goal. Staying healthy is always my No. 1 goal and to have that opportunity to have everyone go through the season without any injury is No. 1. Again, on paper, we have the experience, having Olivia Miles back - we have so many pieces I think can help us be successful. It’s about a little bit of luck. We’re excited and we’re hungry. I feel I have the right pieces that can help us hopefully go further next year.” 

On the progress Olivia Miles has made: 
”First of all, I’m just so excited for her. She’s a generational talent, and being out for so long, it’s like the resurgence of her coming back on the court is what I’m most excited about. She’s stronger and her pace is still her pace. She’s hungry. When you have the game taken away from you, the appreciation of playing again is an intangible thing she has in her heart. She has so much fire to be back on the court. I’m really excited for everyone to see the work she has put in.” 

On the priorities for her and the staff before practice begins: 
”Just understanding my roster - personnel. I’m the type of coach if I need to adjust the offense based around the strengths of my team, that’s my job this summer. Our individual workouts this summer - bringing them together, working on concepts, working on defensive philosophies, that’s what I’m going to do this summer. We just want to get better every day. We’re going to scrimmage a lot. They’re going to get a chance to play and build that chemistry in the summer.

“After the summer, I’ll know the areas I think we’ll be great at with this group. I’m excited to get everyone on the court. I’m excited to work with them individually and then bring them together. That’s always the beauty of coaching. Finding ways and figuring out what our strengths are of that new group.” 

On how she has evolved as a coach:
”Just having another year under my belt, obviously, winning the ACC Championship was one of the goals for myself personally, to bring a championship back to Notre Dame. I’m so grateful I have an incredible staff I get a chance to work with. For me, I’m always trying to get better. Right now, what ways can I get better? I’m watching a ton of film, trying to go to some practices, WNBA matchups and watching a lot of NBA playoffs. This summer, I’m working on professional development going to clinics, watching film and reading books. I’m always trying to grow and get better every year. I’m hoping that I can continue to do that and bring those experiences - I’m doing USA Basketball this week, so I’m going to gain a lot of experiences with that and bring that back to Notre Dame.” 

On adding Cal, SMU and Stanford to the ACC:
”Super excited about all three of those coaches. I know Charmin (Smith) from St. Louis. I’m also from St. Louis. We know the success that Stanford has had and SMU with Toyelle (Wilson). Really excited to bring those three institutions, high-academic, high caliber, high character and just incredible programs and that type of experience and tradition to the ACC and it’s only going to enhance our brand. I’m really excited for what they will contribute to our league.” 

On how to continue to grow women’s basketball: 
”Continue to amply our voices, continue to have opportunities to be on major networks. Obviously, our partnership with ESPN - just finding ways to highlight all the stories of so many different and incredible players. Obviously, Hannaha Hidalgo, but there are so many players in our league that are extremely talented - and programs. Continue to highlight them to have the exposure and viewership we need to get more eyeballs on our game. I think that’s how we grow it. 

“Fueling off the momentum we have off of women’s basketball is huge. We’ve done that the last two seasons just showing our game is evolving. It’s hot right now. As many eyes as we can see to have on our game is the way we can grow it.” 

On if it’s hard to get away from the game given how the game is growing:
”I just went on vacation last week, so I personally believe in having a work-life balance. I get a chance to hang with my son and spend time with him and family. You need that reset. You need to recharge for you to have that energy for next season.” 

On vacation suggestions:
”So many. I was actually in West Palm Beach, so that was fun. I’ve been to Turks and Caicos a couple years ago. I’m always trying to find pockets. I love the beach. I love the sun. I’m trying to find areas I can just be outside.” 

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