Notre Dame Was Really Good

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I've looked through the top scorers in the WNBA, and it's amazing how dominant pros from Connecticut and Notre Dame are in that league. By my count, of the top 42 scorers in the League, 14 attended either Connecticut or Notre Dame. That's one in three. Indeed, they're evenly split with 7 from UConn and 7 from ND. Further, six of the Top 10 scorers in the WNBA went to one of those two schools. The top two scorers in the league this year are UConn's Tina Charles and Breanna Stewart. But the full Top Ten list includes three from Notre Dame- Skylar Diggins-Smith, Jewell Loyd and Arike Ogunbowale.

My point is that in those years when ND gave Coach Geno and UConn fits, there was a good reason: they were immensely talented. Now that MM has stepped down, that era, and the intense rivalry. are over. But they were a tremendously talented, well coached, team, and a very worthy opponent. The ND players continue to demonstrate in the pros just how good they were. A Connecticut fan giving credit where credit is due.

 

Dillon77

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I've looked through the top scorers in the WNBA, and it's amazing how dominant pros from Connecticut and Notre Dame are in that league. By my count, of the top 42 scorers in the League, 14 attended either Connecticut or Notre Dame. That's one in three. Indeed, they're evenly split with 7 from UConn and 7 from ND. Further, six of the Top 10 scorers in the WNBA went to one of those two schools. The top two scorers in the league this year are UConn's Tina Charles and Breanna Stewart. But the full Top Ten list includes three from Notre Dame- Skylar Diggins-Smith, Jewell Loyd and Arike Ogunbowale.

My point is that in those years when ND gave Coach Geno and UConn fits, there was a good reason: they were immensely talented. Now that MM has stepped down, that era, and the intense rivalry. are over. But they were a tremendously talented, well coached, team, and a very worthy opponent. The ND players continue to demonstrate in the pros just how good they were. A Connecticut fan giving credit where credit is due.


Hey,
Thanks for the tip of the hat, Fairfield.
Kayla McBride had the stroke going the Lynx last night and I was a proud Irish fan. There's a reason why I've enjoyed frequentling both the Bench and The Boneyard: it was where the (top) action was for years.

Hopefully, Niele has those first-year growing pains (and COVID challenged any experienced coach, let a lone a relative newbie HC) and the Irish can make their way back. I'm cautiously optimistic that some strides can be made, with Maddy Westbeld, frosh Olivia Miles and Sonia Citron, the sharpshooters Dara Mabrey and Sam Brunelle and others.

Lastly, one of my faves from the McGraw teen era just was selected for the Canadian Olympic Team.
Let's hear it for Natalie Achonwa, our "Ace" in the paint (she and Steff still go at it!):

 

EricLA

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When those ND players were in school, the UCONN/ND games were the best, most intense games I’ve seen in Women’s college hoops. Love to see ND get back to that level. A great sports rivalry.
No thanks. I'd like to see them go the way of the dinosaurs - just like Tennessee. Hopefully buh-bye. :p

There will be other teams who ebb and flow into great rivalries for UCONN. SC has stepped up. Stanford is back. Baylor with Mulkey leaving will probably step down. Texas with Schaeffer is on the way up. Duke seems to be on the way up. ND and Tenn are question marks, and I hope they both sink forever out of top 25 and into mid-major territory. Obviously unlikely, but that is my wish...!!
 
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Plebe

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No thanks. I'd like to see them go the way of the dinosaurs - just like Tennessee. Hopefully buh-bye.

There will be other teams who ebb and flow into great rivalries for UCONN. SC has stepped up. Baylor with Mulkey leaving will probably step down. Texas with Schaeffer is on the way up. Duke seems to be on the way up. ND and Tenn are question marks, and I hope they both sink forever out of top 25 and into mid-major territory. Obviously unlikely, but that is my wish...!!
I am thinking that it will be UCONN, SC and Stanford with pre-eminence for the next 4-5 years in women's NCAA basketball with UCONN- SC being the marquis rivalry. It's a long road back to a championship level program usually but although I appreciate the fierce loyalty to UCONN, I want to see ND and the Vols as viable competitors.

The sport is going to grow more and needs to and I think that what will make it attractive to fans on an ongoing basis is the quality of the play, the excitement, the personalities (coaches included) and the familiar teams with new additions as well. The players are getting better and better and the casual fan has an incentive to become an actual fan with the excellence of the sport emerging.

A golfing buddy of mine has a daughter who plays high school basketball here in Jersey. He tells me that every UCONN game the entire family gathers around to watch as does mine. His daughter wanted to watch Paige play and the whole family became hooked. I have friends who played mens' D1 and who now watch WCBB. With NIL, the players will get more publicity and name recognition and it will impact the generations to come. No one knows how NIL will play out, but I guarantee you that more people will know who Paige and Azzi are by the end of this season than a lot of NBA players.
 
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If my count is correct, the 2013 FF game had a combined 19 WBCA AA that played in the game.

Stewie-3
Moriah-2
Bria-2
Stefanie-2
KML-2
Tuck-1
SDS-3
Kayla-2
Jewel-2
 
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Because ND had become such a thorn in Uconn's side from the 2011 semi-finals through the 2013 Big East tournament, my all-time most satisfying moment as a Uconn WCBB fan is the 2013 National Semifinals. ND had 3 agonizing wins over Uconn that season including the gut-wrenching OT loss in South Bend where Uconn had them beat and couldn't put them away. ND had won 7 of the last 8 against Uconn up until this game. Uconn not only finally beat them in this game but dismantled them and this was the game that Stewie showed the world emphatically that she was the real deal.

 
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No way UConn should have lost the '18 or '19 FF games to ND. Two of Geno's worse-coached games.
UConn had the better team both years, beat ND during the regular season both years.
 

SimpleDawg

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Don't think Stanford really "came back." They haven't lost their coach, and as we all know.... women's basketball is all about the coach. As long you don't lose your coach you can come back.

Funny how Nebraska, Xavier, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Cal Berk all used to be pretty good at women's basketball in the early 10s and some even before that. Recently Notre Dame, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Washington, and possibly Baylor with Mulkey gone...... and I wouldn't be surprised if Oregon fades away as well.

Just the strangest NCAA sport.
 
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I have said it before, Ruth Riley broke my heart. Sorta the first really good ND team.
 
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I have said it before, Ruth Riley broke my heart. Sorta the first really good ND team.
I’ll go farther than that, it was the only really dominant team ND ever had. Both ND and Purdue had two of the best teams other than UConn, that I ever saw. That Purdue team was awesome.
 

bbsamjj

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I'm still surprised how Baylor was pretty much dominating a ND team with 5 pros in the starting lineup before Cox went down.

That being said, that Baylor team was phenomenal on defense; Chloe Jackson had the game of her life, and Cox, Brown, Didi have all made WNBA rosters; and Smith is about to be a top 5 pick. I still think ND would have won a 5 games series with Baylor, but that's not how March works.
 
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I'm still surprised how Baylor was pretty much dominating a ND team with 5 pros in the starting lineup before Cox went down.

That being said, that Baylor team was phenomenal on defense; Chloe Jackson had the game of her life, and Cox, Brown, Didi have all made WNBA rosters; and Smith is about to be a top 5 pick. I still think ND would have won a 5 games series with Baylor, but that's not how March works.
That ND team liked to play from behind. They would start games with no sense of urgency, and would fall behind before making a comeback. They also had a habit of doing it the 2018 season too. They had the firepower to make the comebacks, but as a fan it was a little frustrating.

In that Championship game with Baylor they were getting torched. If Cox didnt go down, I don't think they make that comeback. I thought that Cox in that tournament really showed why she was number 1 in her class.

3 out of 5 starters for that team are starters for their WNBA teams. Arike is an All-Star, Young has improved now that she isn't the point guard, and Turner was 1st team All-Defense last season. Mabrey is in and out of being a starter, but she might be the most improved player in the W. Shepard is the only one who hasn't broken out, which I wouldn't have expected when they were all drafted.

I miss when ND was good. I think we have a bright future with Miles and Westbeld. Hopefully Gilbert and Brunelle can get healthy and into shape, they averaged double figures their Freshman years, but couldn't find their rhythm last year.
 

Orangutan

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I'm still surprised how Baylor was pretty much dominating a ND team with 5 pros in the starting lineup before Cox went down.

That being said, that Baylor team was phenomenal on defense; Chloe Jackson had the game of her life, and Cox, Brown, Didi have all made WNBA rosters; and Smith is about to be a top 5 pick. I still think ND would have won a 5 games series with Baylor, but that's not how March works.
ND struggled with the sheer size and shot-blocking ability of Cox and Brown.

As the Dallas Wings sometimes show, if Marina and Arike are cold at the same time, it's a bad scene.

Agree about Jackson. Certainly never looked like that player in her brief, unmemorable WNBA stint. The go-ahead layup she hit over Bri Turner had quite a high degree of difficulty, too.
 

Orangutan

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I’ll go farther than that, it was the only really dominant team ND ever had. Both ND and Purdue had two of the best teams other than UConn, that I ever saw. That Purdue team was awesome.

13-14 ND was undefeated until the National Championship game. Only two of those wins were by a single-digit margin, a 4-point win over Alyssa Thomas-led Maryland in College Park and a 7-point win over Virginia.

The blew out Maryland in the Final Four even after Achonwa's ACL tear.

That was a dominant ND team but UConn was even better. Those teams were ridiculously far ahead of the pack that season.
 
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Don't think Stanford really "came back." They haven't lost their coach, and as we all know.... women's basketball is all about the coach. As long you don't lose your coach you can come back.

Funny how Nebraska, Xavier, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Cal Berk all used to be pretty good at women's basketball in the early 10s and some even before that. Recently Notre Dame, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Washington, and possibly Baylor with Mulkey gone...... and I wouldn't be surprised if Oregon fades away as well.

Just the strangest NCAA sport.
As is proven through history, there's cycles of dominance. UConn won't be where it is when Geno leaves.
 
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13-14 ND was undefeated until the National Championship game. Only two of those wins were by a single-digit margin, a 4-point win over Alyssa Thomas-led Maryland in College Park and a 7-point win over Virginia.

The blew out Maryland in the Final Four even after Achonwa's ACL tear.

That was a dominant ND team but UConn was even better. Those teams were ridiculously far ahead of the pack that season.
Those 2 teams were as good as any in WCBB ever.
 
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13-14 ND was undefeated until the National Championship game. Only two of those wins were by a single-digit margin, a 4-point win over Alyssa Thomas-led Maryland in College Park and a 7-point win over Virginia.

The blew out Maryland in the Final Four even after Achonwa's ACL tear.

That was a dominant ND team but UConn was even better. Those teams were ridiculously far ahead of the pack that season.
Sorry, but will have to disagree. Any team that has close wins during the regular season and gets blown out by 21 points in the NCAA final cannot be called dominant.
 
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