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
- Happy birthday to our alums @NatAchon and @NatalieNovosel! Have a great birthday!!! 🍀🍀🍀💚💚💚🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉 3 hours ago
- Great team win tonight at the Purcell Pavilion! Freshman @mycoool_ showed out on her birthday with 17pnts! 🍀🏀 http://t.co/0eU0eHgo6e 15 hours ago
- Mike hits the jumper for Big Macs!!! 16 hours ago
- Final media timeout of the half, Irish lead Chattanooga 79-43 16 hours ago
- 6:15 remaining in the game, Irish up 73-38 17 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
- RT @PlanetPat24: Game day out here at Mohegan Sun taking on Umass at noon! 🍀🏀 #TheVanishingGame 59 minutes ago
- We're sporting our @UnderArmour blue uniforms for 1st time today - take a closer look & watch us on @ESPN3 at 12pm: http://t.co/6VFM3RD4GS 1 hour ago
- A great banquet put on by the @MoheganSun & the @Hoophall before Saturday's games. @NDMikeBrey with the other 7 HC's http://t.co/6QXMzpc2dU 14 hours ago
- Burg (@Austin_Burgett) hits a half court shot to end practice for the day. (Not pictured: @Austin_Torres0's make) vine.co/v/OJPLOri6dd0 20 hours ago
- Watch the Strong & True story of Katie Schwab, the @NDwbb Operations Specialist. One of the great people at ND. LINK: watchnd.tv/#!/videos/82dj… 21 hours ago
- M. Ice Hockey. Irish And River Hawks Battle To A 2-2 Tie
- W. Volleyball. No. 7 North Carolina Tops Notre Dame, 3-0, Friday Night
- W. Basketball. Inside The Game: #3/2 Notre Dame 88, Chattanooga 53
- W. Basketball. Postgame Quotes: Notre Dame 88, Chattanooga 53
- W. Basketball. #3/2 Irish Cruise Past Chattanooga, 88-53