Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 16, 2015 Issue

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

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Page 95 of 111

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL BY LOU SOMOGYI F ew teams in women's college basket- ball rival Notre Dame's guard depth. Fortunately for Fighting Irish head coach Muffet McGraw, that still holds true even after a season-ending torn ACL injury to freshman Ali Patberg. The 5-10 Patberg, who was named Indiana Miss Basketball and selected as the National Player of the Year by MaxPreps last year, suffered the setback during the Nov. 2 practice. The injury will sideline her and require about eight to 10 months of rehabilitation. "Our hearts go out to Ali, and we are disappointed she won't be able to play this season," McGraw said. "How- ever, Ali is an extremely tough young woman, both mentally and physically, and I'm confident this is only a tempo- rary setback and a brief delay to the start of what will be a terrific college career." A classic point guard whom McGraw already predicted would be one of the program's best-ever floor generals, Pat- berg was apprenticing behind two-year starter and junior Lindsay Allen, with the idea of potentially playing more as the season progresses and moving Allen to an off-guard role. Instead, the point guard situation will be identical to last year, with Allen the main conductor and senior Michaela Mabrey, a vocal presence, the next op- tion. Allen easily paced the team in as- sists last year with 205 (compared to 96 turnovers), while Mabrey, a prime three-point threat and underrated passer, was third with 92 (compared to 52 turnovers). Freshmen Marina Mabrey (younger sister of Michaela) and Arike Ogun- bowale, both of whom joined Patberg on the McDonald's All-American team, also will be playing in the backcourt. An X-factor could be sophomore Mychal Johnson, who has battled knee Ali Patberg Ruled Out For Season With Torn ACL Patberg, a true freshman point guard, will sit out the 2015-16 campaign, but the Irish have myriad backcourt options. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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