ND women's hoops beginning new chapter
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A new season for Notre Dame women's basketball is right around the corner, and almost literally, it will be a brand new team embarking on that journey.
"Yeah, we do return four points per game so we'll build off of that!" said head coach Muffet McGraw, who knows there is as much work to be done this year as any in recent memory. Work that is going to take some time.
"We are definitely going to have some hiccups early on and we'll hit some bumps in the road. We've already acknowledged that. We got a tough schedule, the same schedule we played last year."
Seven new faces grace the Irish bench this season. Though there is plenty of experience to be made up (after the departure of last year's starting five who led the Irish to back-to-back Final Fours and a national title), there's no shortage of talent.
"Our freshmen have come in ready," said sophomore guard Abby Prohaska. "They're eager to learn. Eager to play. It's exciting all around."
Those two freshmen, Sam Brunelle and Anaya Peoples, bring with them high expectations from the outside and from themselves.
"There are roles that needed to be filled," Brunelle said. "I think [Anaya] and I both came in this summer and we want to get to work and want to be on the court to help this team do big things."
"Coming in with high expectations, it's nice we have each other to lean on and pick up when we're down," Peoples added.
But despite her own high expectations in that young talent, McGraw knows she'll have to pick her spots as she coaches this team, even when keeping the standard that has been set over the years.
"I'm never going to lower my expectations, so that's a challenge for me this year," she laughed. "How do I handle that? How do I come into this situation and be patient and let them know they are doing things, even though the standards are very high here.
"We're expected to be a great team, and we will be. It's just a question of when."
Notre Dame begins its season on the road at Fordham on November 5.