Blue and Gold Illustrated

June/July 2023

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM JUNE/JULY 2023 39 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL BY TYLER HORKA W ith two players from the 2022-23 roster exhausting their eligibility and only two incoming freshmen this summer, Notre Dame had room on the roster to take in a player from the trans- fer portal. That's exactly what the Fighting Irish did in mid-April when they earned a commitment from Fordham standout Anna DeWolfe, a 5-foot-8 guard out of Cumberland, Maine. She averaged 18.4 points per game this past season, which ranked 32nd in the nation. For refer- ence, sophomore guard Sonia Citron led Notre Dame in scoring at 14.7 points per game. DeWolfe is a three-time first-team All-Atlantic 10 performer and ranks No. 3 on Fordham's all-time scoring list with 1,883 points. She was one of 30 players in the country to average at least 20 points per game in 2020-21, when she scored 20.8 points per game and was named Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Year. For her career, DeWolfe averaged 17.0 points in 111 games (all starts) with the Rams. "We are so excited to welcome Anna to our Notre Dame family," Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivey said in a state- ment. "She will bring experience and a dynamic skill set that will translate well into our system. She is a competitive combo guard with an incredible motor. "What I love most about Anna is her work ethic, toughness and passion for the game. She matches our team's iden- tity perfectly." DeWolfe isn't afraid to fire away from three-point range, either. She has at- tempted at least 7 threes per game in each of the last three seasons, and her hit rate from distance has never dipped below 30 percent. She shot 35.4 percent from three this past season and is a ca- reer 33.7 percent three-point shooter. She's made 40.8 percent of her total field goals in her career. Notre Dame lost three-point special- ist Dara Mabrey to graduation. The Irish are getting five-star freshman Emma Risch to bolster three-point shooting, but DeWolfe has proven she can make shots at this level over the course of four seasons. In two WNIT games this past season, DeWolfe scored 21 and 22 points. She registered at least 50 assists in every season she played at Fordham and posted a career-high 83 this past sea- son. That would have ranked second on the Notre Dame roster behind Olivia Miles' 192. Miles will lead the Notre Dame back- court when she gets back from offsea- son knee surgery. Citron is the team's leader in the meantime. Risch comes in with fellow five-star guard Hannah Hi- dalgo, who just set the McDonald's All- American Game scoring record with 26 points last month. DeWolfe is another piece in an already loaded backcourt. As of May 1, Ivey also was still ex- ploring the possibility of adding a post player to replace departed center Lauren Ebo. ✦ Notre Dame Adds Graduate Student Guard From The Portal Anna DeWolfe, a 5-foot-8 guard who ranks third on Fordham's all-time scoring list (1,883 points), will bring scoring (18.4 points per game in 2022-23) and three-point shooting (35.4 percent last year) to the Notre Dame lineup. PHOTO COURTESY FORDHAM Notre Dame is going global. The Fighting Irish announced they'll play the South Carolina Gamecocks in Paris, France, to begin the 2023-24 season. The Irish's first-ever regular season game outside of North America will take place Nov. 6. The matchup features two of the best programs in the sport. They both have two national championships with Notre Dame's coming in 2001 and 2018, and South Carolina's occurring in 2017 and 2022. Notre Dame head coach Niele Ivey was named this past season's ACC Coach of the Year while South Carolina's Dawn Staley has won the prestigious Naismith Coach of the Year national award in three of the last four seasons, including 2022-23. "We are absolutely thrilled to be heading to Paris to participate in this his- toric matchup between two storied women's basketball programs," Ivey said in a statement. "It's always been my mission to break barriers and provide opportunities for my players to have life-changing experiences. "Women's basketball is on the rise right now, and having this exposure continues to grow the game on an international platform." LSU beat Iowa in the most-watched women's NCAA championship game of all time in early April. Notre Dame playing South Carolina — a 2023 Final Four participant that had an unblemished record until falling to the Hawkeyes in the national semifinals — in the first game of the new season will help enhance the spotlight that is shining on women's basketball brighter than it ever has before. There won't be any shortage of talent on the floor in the City of Lights, either. The Gamecocks had three players picked in the top 10 of the recent WNBA Draft, but they're reloading with the No. 2 recruiting class in the country according to ESPN. Staley has her program at a point in which it's expected to be among the best in the sport every year. Ivey is on the verge of having Notre Dame back there, too. The Irish are coming off back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances. They played the 2023 postseason without starting guards Olivia Miles and Dara Mabrey, both out with knee injuries. Five-star guards Hannah Hidalgo and Emma Risch, a pair of McDonald's All-Americans, are joining the Irish this summer. South Carolina also has two McDonald's All-Americans joining the six oth- ers on its team in 2023-24 in guards Milaysia Fulwiley and Tessa Johnson. Notre Dame has an all-time record of 3-2 against South Carolina. The Irish have won the last three meetings, the most recent of which was played at the November 2017 Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla. — Tyler Horka FIGHTING IRISH WILL OPEN 2023-24 SEASON IN PARIS, FRANCE

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