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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Attends ACC Women’s Basketball Tip-Off Event

October 2, 2018

Written by Dave McGovern 

The defending national champion Notre Dame women’s basketball team holds its first pre-season practice this Thursday.  Today, Coach Muffet McGraw and players Marina Mabrey and Brianna Turner flew to Charlotte, North Carolina for the ACC Women’s Basketball Tip-Off media event.

Coach McGraw acknowledged that she will have more options and more potential line-up combinations this season after injuries reduced the squad to just seven scholarship players last season. However, she did say that the core rotation may not go very deep to start,  “I feel like we may play six or seven, and the people on the bench need to earn their playing time.  Just because we have eleven now doesn’t mean we’re going to play eleven people.”

Having said that, McGraw did single out freshman point guard Jordan Nixon for her play on the team’s trip to Italy and Croatia this summer, “I thought Jordan Nixon really kind of stepped up in a role that we really need her to play.”

Brianna Turner — when asked about her game after sitting out and observing all last year — said, “I read the game better, I see the game better.”  

Marina Mabrey added, “Bri plays so much harder and so much more aggressive.  She cuts to all the right spots.  Her shooting game has improved so much.”  

Marina added that Bri has added a mid-range catch and shoot jumper and a pull-up jump shot to complement her low post offense.

Asked which player will be talked about after this coming season, Marina said that on any given night any one of the starters could be the best player in the country, but she singled out Jackie Young as somebody that people will recognize by season’s end.  Brianna agreed and added that she also thinks the Irish have a really great freshman class that she expects will improve greatly over the course of the season.

Following an exhibition game against Lewis on October 30th, Notre Dame opens the season at home on November 9th against Harvard.  After a game against a second Ivy League opponent, Penn, three nights later, the Irish play at DePaul before traveling to Vancouver, BC for the three-game Vancouver Showcase over Thanksgiving weekend.  Gonzaga will be the opponent on the first day.

Notre Dame returns home for a November 29th matchup with Iowa in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge followed by the highly-anticipated clash with UConn at Purcell Pavilion on December 2nd.  The Irish will play the first of sixteen ACC games on January 3rd at home vs. Pittsburgh.  The strongest conference contenders — Louisville, Florida State and Duke — all play at Notre Dame this season.  The Irish will take on Tennessee in Knoxville in a non-conference game in late January.

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