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Football: Clemson DT Scott Pagano Eliminates Notre Dame As Transfer Destination

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Two transferring from women’s basketball, latest polls in lacrosse, hockey and tennis and today’s schedule. Go Irish!

NCAA Football: Clemson at Auburn Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s Hail Mary to improve their defensive line has been batted down.

Clemson graduate Scott Pagano told the South Bend Tribune’s Tyler James that he will be joining either the Oklahoma Sooners and Oregon Ducks for the 2017 season. Pagano announces his final decision Friday.

Pagano would have been a welcome addition to a defensive line sorely in need of a 6-foot-3, 295-pound space eater. The Irish have already lost junior Elijah Taylor to a foot injury which will sideline him until at least the summer.

PATBERG, BOLEY TO LEAVE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Chattanooga Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame announced Monday that sophomore guard Ali Patberg and freshman forward Erin Boley intend to transfer after completing their current semesters.

Patberg was stuck behind standout senior point guard Lindsay Allen for the majority of the 2016-17 season and would likely compete with Lili Thompson, a transfer from Stanford, for playing time had she stayed. Patberg, a McDonald’s High School All-America selection, tore her ACL during a November practice her freshman year and was lost for the season.

Patberg was recruited by the Connecticut Huskies before committing to Notre Dame during her sophomore season of high school.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Lexington Regional- Ohio State vs Notre Dame Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Boley held scholarship offers from 23 powerhouse college teams, but picked the Irish because it was “the best overall fit,” according to her father, Scott.

“Lots of schools have certain things that are great, but Notre Dame, for Erin, had the best combination of academics, basketball, campus life, etc. She felt very comfortable with the players and coaches there,” he told The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal.

Boley played in all 37 games this past season and started 10 of them, averaging 15 minutes per contest. She finished second on the team in 3-point percentage, making nearly 40 percent of her attempts.

If either player knows where they’re headed, that was not made public Monday.

POLL WATCH

Last week, I polled One Foot Down readers regarding Brian Kelly’s comments about former Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer. So far, 43 percent agree with me that Kelly could have chosen better words when relaying the truth. An additional 37 percent said they have no problem with the comments.

Kelly was asked Friday about how his comments were interpreted.

"I think he's the best quarterback coming out. I think that everybody that comes to Notre Dame would benefit from another year when they don't have their degree and can use college football to season themselves. So DeShone is not in that category by himself. I think he's got great character. I named him a captain. So for that to be seen any other way but positive, I think the headline could have been, 'Coach Kelly sees Kizer as the best quarterback in the draft,' or 'Kelly sees Kizer as having great character.' But, it wasn't seen that way and there's nothing I can do about it. I think the world of DeShone. I think he's gonna be a great quarterback in the NFL."

Poll

What do you make of Brian Kelly’s comments about DeShone Kizer?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    No problem with them. He’s telling the truth.
    (525 votes)
  • 41%
    It was the truth, but he could have said it better.
    (568 votes)
  • 3%
    Regardless of how he says it, Kelly is trying to throw Kizer under the bus.
    (47 votes)
  • 16%
    Brian Kelly is a dick, who always blames his players and never blames himself for failures.
    (228 votes)
1368 votes total Vote Now

MEN’S HOCKEY

The men’s hockey team beat UMass-Lowell to earn a trip to the Frozen Four, lost to eventual champion Denver in the national semifinal and were “rewarded” Monday with a fifth-place ranking in the final US College Hockey Organization poll.

Fourth place went to the RedHawks, who finished 27-11-3 and split four games with the Irish (23-12-5). The Irish barely held onto the fifth spot, as well, edging Boston University by just nine points.

The USA Today / USA Hockey Magazine poll, also released Monday, seemed to respect Notre Dame’s final finish; they slotted the Irish fourth with UMass-Lowell fifth.

MEN’S LACROSSE

The NCAA remains impressed with the men’s lacrosse team, despite it dropping three out of its past five games.

The Irish men (5-3) dropped just one spot to No. 2 in the RPI rankings, which are used to determine postseason seedings. The Inside Lacrosse poll was less kind after the then-No. 4 Irish dropped an 11-8 game to then No. 10 Duke (9-3). The Irish are now down to 10th, while the Blue Devils have jumped to No. 8.

The Irish continue to sport Division 1’s toughest schedule — both overall and against teams played so far. The Irish have beaten No. 3 Maryland, No. 9 Ohio State, No. 18 Virginia and unranked Georgetown and Michigan, while they’ve lost to No. 1 Syracuse and No. 4 Denver in addition to Duke.

The Irish host Marquette (6-3) at 4 p.m. EDT today at Arlotta Stadium.

WOMEN’S LACROSSE

When a powerhouse lacrosse program plays a burgeoning one, it’s common to see the former “put on a clinic” when thumping the latter. It’s unique to see one person run the so-called clinic by herself.

The Irish, paced by senior attack/midfielder Cortney Fortunato’s career day, dismantled Kennesaw State on Thursday, 24-4.

The win didn’t impact the ladies’ standings in the Inside Lacrosse poll released Monday. The squad, which is 10-5 on the year, remains at No. 12 with an important home conference match against No. 16 Virginia Tech (11-5) upcoming on Saturday.

Fortunato is now second in goals among all Division I players with 50, and fourth in points with 67. Sophomore goaltender Samantha Giacolone is fourth in the nation with 128 saves, although her saves-per-game average (8.53) ranks 42nd among Division I goalies.

WOMEN’S TENNIS

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings are released today. The 29th ranked women’s team (16-5, 7-4 ACC) hit the skids this week, dropping a close match against No. 15 Duke and then being blown out by No. 4 North Carolina.

Senior Monica Robinson jumped into the Top 125 singles players last Tuesday — at No. 71 — and then knocked off No. 65 Samantha Harris in straight sets Friday. Robinson met her match Sunday when No. 3 Hayley Carter dominated her, 6-0, 6-2.

The women continue their road trip with a match Thursday against No. 47 Florida State (12-8, 4-3 ACC).

MEN’S TENNIS

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings are released today. The men’s team (12-9, 3-5 ACC) is on the outside looking in on the Top 50. They defeated the No. 30 Florida State Seminoles on Friday, but then dropped a close match to Miami-Florida Hurricanes (8-9, 2-6 ACC).

Josh Hagar, who is ranked No. 54 in singles, won his match Friday against the Seminoles’ Guy Iradukunda (No. 78). That snapped a two-game losing streak. Unfortunately, Hagar was on the losing end of a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 match against No. 51 Piotr Lomacki on Sunday in Coral Gables.

Hagar is also half of the No. 24 ranked doubles team with Eddy Covalschi. The duo beat the 89th ranked pair of Jose Gracia and Lucas Poullian in the Friday win, but then dropped its match against 56th ranked doubles partners Max Andrews and Jesse Flores in Sunday’s loss.

The men head to Durham, N.C. to play No. 43 Duke University (12-8, 5-4 ACC) on Friday.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

  • 5:30 p.m. The Irish softball team (21-15) will host Detroit Mercy (8-25) at Melissa Cook Stadium. Notre Dame is ranked No. 34 in the new NCAA RPI rankings, having just taken a weekend series from No. 40 North Carolina (31-11).
  • 6:05 p.m. The Irish baseball team (13-17) will host Michigan State (18-10) at Frank Eck Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra / WatchESPN, with an audio stream on WatchND.

Today is National Pet Day (cute), National Library Workers Day (great), National Submarine Day (sea, not hoagie), National Barber Shop Quartet Day (um...sure), National Eight Track Tape Day (let it go, people) and, not to be outdone, National Cheese Fondue Day.