Coach Muffet McGraw discusses the challenges of a rebuilding season
This season the Notre Dame women's basketball team has a 5-7 record. This year's squad is young and still trying to find its identity. Head Coach Muffet McGraw spoke about the challenges of a rebuilding season.
Coach McGraw: I think when you're playing with so many young players, that's the difference. If we had some upper classmen to lead us, that would be a little bit better for us right now. When you look at our recruiting class, coming in at number 3 next year, you know that help is on the way. So everything we do this year to help this team realize its potential. That's the big thing for us. We haven't done that yet. We're working on that. I do think we're improving.
Allison: How much of a challenge is that for you as a coach? Where would you rank that in your career of challenges?
Coach McGraw: It's a different kind of challenge. I think in the past few years, we've been the heavy favorite. We've been the one - you go into every game and you're just thinking 'We just can't lose this game.' You're kind of relieved by win, rather than being excited by the wins. This year, you go in and you don't know what's going to happen and that's challenging for a coach, because you don't have the consistency of knowing, 'I can count on her. I know she's going to give me this many points.' So there's so many question marks with this team.
Allison: Is it reinvigorating? Is it frustrating? Is it kind of a little bit of everything?
Coach McGraw: This summer, it was really invigorating. It was so great to be around a group of women that were just like, 'What do you want me to do? Tell me more.' It was a lot of teaching. It was a lot of breaking it down. It was really fun. Then, we get into the season and you start thinking, 'You know, we haven't put the ball in the basket for a while. How long have we been practicing? We haven't made any shots.' Then, it gets to be a little more challenging, but I think, for me, trying to keep the frustration, that's been my biggest challenge. I think I've always been pretty impatient to get things done, exactly like I want them and as soon as I can. I've really had to step back and each game, wipe the slate clean. We're starting over. Let's just focus on this game.
The Irish have lost three straight for the first time since 2007.
They say laughter is the best medicine. Coach McGraw said she has to laugh to keep from crying this season.