Jan 30, 2014, 12:04 AM EDT
Just two seasons ago I was living and dying with the Notre Dame women’s basketball program as the secondary media contact to the squad. The 2011-12 squad was coming off of its first NCAA Final Four in years and the journey I was on with the team would lead to the second (of three) in a row for head coach Muffet McGraw’s team.
Just two years removed, the leaders have changed, but their style of play and their winning style has stayed the same.
Holdovers from the 2011-12 squad include Natalie Achonwa, Kayla McBride, Whitney Holloway, Ariel Braker and Markisha Wright.
I just want to quickly highlight the two players who played key roles on both the 2011-12 squad and again this season.
A player who I have been high on since she began playing as a freshman, Achonwa, a member of the Canadian Women’s National Team, is the best “paint” player the Irish have had since Ruth Riley in my opinion. Her smooth play in the paint and her ability to play with her back to the basket makes her a multi-dimensional threat for any defender. Personally, her biggest asset on the offensive end is her ability to either pass or be in the post in a “high-low” situation with freshman Taya Reimer.
The hot-shooting McBride is one of the best midrange shooters I have ever seen in the women’s game. Her ability to receive the ball outside the three-point arch, take one dribble in and pull up with ease is one of the toughest traits to guard against in college basketball. Pay attention to the next Notre Dame women’s basketball you watch and you will see that the lost art of the midrange is not lost on McBride.
As the season continues for the Irish women’s basketball squad, their stable of seniors will dictate how far they will be able to go in March (and into April). On some nights, slick guard Jewell Loyd will lead the Irish in many facets of the game, but one thing can be said for the senior class of Achonwa, Braker and McBride – an NCAA title to cap off four-straight trips to the Final Four would be the perfect ending to their Irish careers.
About In The Paint
Women’s Basketball on YouTube
Notre Dame Women's Basketball Defeat French All-Stars in Madrid
Length: 1:54 | August 12, 2013
Kayla McBride Talks About The 75-57 Win - Women's Basketball
Length: 1:14 | August 12, 2013
Notre Dame Women's Basketball Defeat French All-Stars in Barcelona
Length: 1:28 | August 12, 2013
Skylar Diggins Look Back - Notre Dame Women's Basketball
Length: 4:19 | May 2, 2013
- Even though tonight's game was on @ESPNU, you may want to rewatch some of the highlights. Check them out at und.com/sports/w-baskb… 3 hours ago
- RT @IrishCoachIvey: Congrats to @LA_Cruisen who now has the single-season freshman record w/ 117 assists🍀! That's amazing! Proud of you👏👏#t… 6 hours ago
- And our hearts forever love thee Notre Dame : final score tonight 83-48 Irish 🍀🏀 We will play Sunday night at 7:00PM ET on @ESPN! 7 hours ago
- RT @ruthriley00: This is why she is the best, @ndwbb are up 30 & @MuffetMcGraw is focused on the details & finding teaching moments! http:/… 8 hours ago
- Irish hold the lead at 7:19 with 69-36! 🍀🏀 8 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
Meet The Freshmen, Demetrius Jackson - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:08 | August 1, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, V.J. Beachem - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:13 | July 30, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, Steve Vasturia - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:06 | July 25, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, Austin Torres - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:13 | July 23, 2013
- Keep up the good work @ndwbb! Take a look at our good friends down the hall at the JACC on @ESPNU! #Together 8 hours ago
- Check out @NDMikeBrey Mic'd Up as the Irish go through another practice during the 2013-14 season - youtu.be/gJC0rIaav3w 13 hours ago
- RT @NDJackNolan: Inside ND Bball looks back at last second losses to Pitt & NC and sits down with @gsherm11. youtu.be/ZGP5wUOWTwA 18 hours ago
- Take a few moments to vote for our guys for the All-ACC squad! #Together theacc.com/#!/page/fanvote 1 day ago
- Mike Brey to be feted at 2014 Dick Vitale Gala: tinyurl.com/mu8rrxa 1 day ago
- Baseball. No. 6 Wolfpack Sweep Irish In Saturday ACC Action
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- Fencing. Irish Fare Well At Midwest Regionals
- W. Basketball. #2 Irish Breeze Past #14/17 N.C. State In ACC Semifinals, 83-48
- W. Lacrosse. No. 13/10 Women's Lacrosse Beats Louisville, 12-9