Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2017 Issue

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

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52 MAY 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED WOMEN'S BASKETBALL Guard/wings Ogunbowale and Ma- rina Mabrey averaged 15.9 and 14.6 points per game as sophomores, while freshmen Jackie Young and Erin Boley — former national players of the year in high school — both came on strong in the final weeks of the season, but Boley will be transferring. "Getting one more round was re- ally big for them, to get to the Elite Eight, to know what it is like to play in that game to get to the Final Four," McGraw said of the younger nucleus. If Turner is unable to play, then Notre Dame will have only nine scholarship players. UConn had only nine scholarship players this past season, too, but most were elite re- cruits (as are most of Notre Dame's). That provides a thin margin of er- ror with injury, which the Irish had plenty of this past season, and with- out Turner no proven low-post pres- ence, which hurts the most. It will be a lot harder to remain an elite Final Four-caliber program with- out Turner. At 6-3, she made up for a lot of defects on defense, and there is no one on the roster with her combi- nation of range and athletic skills. The Irish could remain a top-10 fixture with a Hall of Fame coach and plenty of McDonald's All-Americans, and a healthy Turner would put them in the Final Four conversation. Without her, that is much less likely. THOMPSON TIME Prior to Turner's injury, the top ques- tion mark was going to be at point guard with the graduation of Allen, a four-year starter and third-team All- American, plus the transfer of who had been recruited as the heiress apparent for Allen, the sophomore Patberg. Irish Add Fourth Commit To 2018 Class With the stated goal by head coach Muffet McGraw to sign at least five players, and maybe six, in the 2018 class, No. 4 came on April 3 from 6‑3 post player Danielle Cosgrove from Sachem East High School in Farmingville, N.Y. Ranked as the No. 48 player nationally by ESPN HoopGurlz and No. 93 by Prospects Nation, Cosgrove also had reigning national champ South Carolina among the schools she was considering. For 2018‑19, Notre Dame also already has secured a commitment from three guards: 5‑9 point guard Jenna Brown of The Lovett School in Atlanta, who is ranked as the nation's No. 8 player by ESPN Hoop‑ Gurlz; Indianapolis Heritage Christian's 5‑11 Katlyn Gilbert, who is rated No. 24 by ESPN HoopGurlz; and West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West's 5‑10 Abby Prohaska, who was tabbed as the nation's No. 60 player by Prospects Nation. The Irish staff also is recruiting 5‑11 Christyn Williams of Central Arkansas Christian School in Little Rock, Ark., who is ranked as the No. 2 overall player in that class. Head coach Muffet McGraw indicated she would like to sign one more post player in 2018 to comple‑ ment Cosgrove, and possibly another guard. That doesn't mean, though, that a 2018 recruit would have to come from the high school ranks. Nebraska 6‑4 post Jessica Shepard is the prime example. A top‑five recruit in 2015, Shepard averaged 18.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game her first two sea‑ sons with the Cornhuskers, but announced her transfer March 22 after her team finished 7‑22 in 2016‑17. A former FIBA Americas Under‑18 team member with current Notre Dame players Brianna Turner and Marina Mabrey, Shepard visited Notre Dame April 20 and also has been at South Carolina. As a transfer, she would have to sit out the 2017‑18 season before having two years of eligibility remaining. — Lou Somogyi On April 10, a release from Notre Dame's media relations office announced in a one‑sentence state‑ ment that sophomore point guard Ali Patberg and freshman forward Erin Boley will transfer at the end of spring semester. Head coach Muffet McGraw was not made avail‑ able to issue a statement regarding the transfers. The departure of the two former McDonald's All‑ Americans will leave Notre Dame with 10 scholar‑ ship players for the 2017‑18 season — and maybe nine if All‑American senior forward Brianna Turner is unavailable because of the ACL injury she suf‑ fered in March. In her two‑year stint with the Fighting Irish, Pat‑ berg has been one of the more hard‑luck players in McGraw's 30 seasons at the helm. She sat out her freshman season because of an ACL tear she suffered in preseason practice. There was then a setback in her rehabilitation and more surgery ensued because of bone spurs, sidelining her in the early part of the 2016 preseason as well. She then missed most of December with what was diagnosed as "walking pneumonia," and another illness limited her playing time at the turn of the new year. The 2015 Indiana Miss Basketball appeared in 22 of the 37 games this season, totaling 169 minutes playing time. She was 6 of 11 from the floor, handed out 11 assists and had eight turnovers. Patberg, who will enroll at Indiana University, carries a 3.6 GPA as a finance major and won the team's top academic award each of the past two years. In an interview with Ted Schultz of The Republic near her Columbus, Ind., hometown, Patberg said she believed a change of scenery might be best for her to recapture her basketball glory days. "It wasn't really anything about playing time," Pat‑ berg said. "It just wasn't a good fit for me, and I told coach that. She wanted me to stay, but she wants me to be happy. That's the most important thing to her." Boley arrived with huge fanfare as the Gatorade National Player of the Year, while Irish classmate Jackie Young was the Naismith National Player of the Year. A native of Hodgenville, Ky., Boley played in all 37 games this past season for the 33‑4 Irish and started 10 of them when junior forward Kathryn Westbeld was ailing the last two months of the season with an ankle injury that also required surgery in April. Labeled the team's best pure shooter by McGraw, Boley started off slow while acclimating to the col‑ lege game, but began to find a better flow near the end of the season. In the ACC Championship victory versus Duke, she connected on 6 of 8 field goals — including 2 of 3 from three‑point range — for 14 points in 16 minutes. Then in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 romp over Ohio State (99‑76), the 6‑2 Boley finished with 14 points — on the strength of 4‑of‑6 shooting beyond the arc — while also collecting nine rebounds. Her career concluded two days later in the 76‑75 loss to Stanford when she finished with nine points (3 of 8 from the floor, including 3 of 7 from three), one rebound and no assists in 21 minutes. Primarily a wing play along the perimeter with her three‑point skills, Boley had to adapt to a different role when Turner was sidelined. Where they plan to transfer is uncertain. Scott Boley, Erin's father, texted to Blue & Gold Illustrated that no statements will be made until the transfer process is completed. — Lou Somogyi Erin Boley And Ali Patberg Leave The Program Following the season, both Boley (left) and Patberg decided to continue their college careers elsewhere. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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