Jan 30, 2014, 12:04 AM EST
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
- Congrats on the big win, @NDmbb! Way to #ProtectPurcell! 🍀🏀✊ 1 hour ago
- Tuned in from VA, but still watching @NDmbb take on Duke! Flip to ESPN2 and support the Irish! 🍀🏀 #NDFamily 3 hours ago
- RT @NDsidMasters: .@ndwbb tied for most players in this year's @McDAAG, has three for first time (April 1, 6:30 pm ET on ESPNU from Chicago… 4 hours ago
- Once we add our 3 incoming @McDAAG All-Amercians, we will have 9 total on our roster! 🍀🏆🏀 4 hours ago
- RT @IrishCoachIvey: YESSSSSSS I'm so happy and proud of our signees @mmabrey1 @alipaige_14 and @Arike_O for being chosen to play in MAAG! #… 4 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- RT @Austin_Torres0: If you think there is a better guard then @ThatGrant22 in the country, you're crazy. #WoodenAward #naismith 🏀✊ 25 minutes ago
- Have you seen Jerian's (@thatgrant22) circus shot as the shot clock wound down? vine.co/v/OTlZn7w5wrv 29 minutes ago
- Take a look at this AMAZING photo of Steve's clutch three at the end of the game from our friends at @BoxOutDesigns: http://t.co/kSdrc0ZQV2 58 minutes ago
- We see you Bonzie (@Bacolson35). http://t.co/cCRP0Tvjwd 1 hour ago
- Anyone have a question for Coach? #IThinkWeNeedABiggerRoom http://t.co/ZXF5BsmwPl 1 hour ago
- Softball. Koerner, Wester Named To 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player Of The Year Watch List
- W. Basketball. #4 Irish Reach Midpoint Of ACC Schedule Thursday At Virginia Tech
- M. Lacrosse. Notre Dame Men's And Women's Lacrosse Tickets On Sale
- W. Lacrosse. Notre Dame Men's And Women's Lacrosse Tickets On Sale
- Track. Meet The Coaches: Jumping High In The Coaching Game