Story submission from Andrew Lammers.
5 - This thing starts and ends with #5, Olivia, “The Magician”, Miles. Don’t forget it. While Ms. Walking-Triple-Double and National Player of the Year candidate wasn’t dealing dimes early against the Huskies, Miles, who opened the season’s scoring with a three, kick-started the Irish with ten first quarter points, three rebounds, and three steals. Baller.
I have goosebumps thinking about getting to watch #5 play this year. It’s going to be So. Much. Fun. Calling it now…Miles is going for a quadruple-double in points, rebounds, assists, and steals.
6’5”, 6’4”, 6’4” - Maya Dodson had a huge 21-22 season. In Dodson, the 6’3” Stanford transfer, the Irish had an athletic big who carried the squad for stretches by getting easy buckets on post feeds and a rim protector who started the fast break with blocks and finished it through contact. But, despite her oversized heart and hustle, Notre Dame was a bit undersized down low, especially against elite squads.
That’s changed. After Dodson was wrongfully denied a final year of eligibility by the NCAA, Coach Ivey and her staff got to work and added 6 foot 4 Texas transfer Lauren Ebo and 6 foot 4 Oregon transfer Kylee Watson, AND they got 6 foot 5 junior Nat Marshall back from a November, 2021 ACL injury.
he Irish front line, as strong as any in the country, is going to do work in the two-player game with Miles and should be tough to score against in the half court. Against NIU, the white and gold clad bigs went for 10 points & 6 rebounds (Ebo), 9 & 1 (Watson), and 9 & 2 (Marshall.) Solid post production from the jump is a great sign.
4 - The vibes among Coach Ivey, Olivia Miles, and Kylee Watson at the post-game presser were special. You know how it is when you spot a group who really likes each other and who have each others’ backs? That’s what I’m seeing. Check back after the Irish drop one but for now the chemistry is strong.
Of note, Ivey talked about players “individually giving a little bit more” on defense and about the team’s growth on that side of the ball. Obviously, the Irish are going to score lots of points this year, but if they lock in on the defensive side and get stops, the 22-23 season could be special. Really special.
Vibes + stops + talent + a coach who leads with love = a trip to Dallas and the program’s 10th Final Four. Let’s Gooooo!