March 7, 2018
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With the NCAA Tournament just over a week away, USA Today already announced its First, Second and Third Team All-Americans along with its Coach and Player of the Year. Karen & Kevin Keyes Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw received high praise in the Coach of the Year honor, while junior guard Arike Ogunbowale found herself on the Second Team list.
Despite four season-ending injuries which left the Irish with seven healthy scholarship players (no scholarship guard off the bench), Coach McGraw still guided Notre Dame to the program standard of success. The Irish achieved a 29-3 record against the No. 1 rated strength of schedule, defeating nine ranked opponents along the way, which stands as the second most in the country.
The Irish were also dominant on the road, picking up seven of those ranked wins away from home, which leads the entire country. Notre Dame also earned 15 total wins against the RPI Top-50, which also leads the nation.
Coach McGraw also spearheaded the Irish to their fifth consecutive ACC regular season title, going 15-1 in league play. The Irish also reached their fifth straight ACC Tournament Championship game and ninth consecutive conference tournament title game overall.
Player-wise, Ogunbowale picks up the first All-American honor of her career with the Second Team nod from USA Today. Ogunbowale is a major reason the Irish are on their way for a 23rd consecutive NCAA Championship appearance and a projected No. 1 seed.
Ogunbowale averages an ACC-best 20.2 points per game, which also ranks 24th in the country. Her 20 games of 20-plus points also leads the ACC while tying Notre Dame’s all-time single-season record. Ogunbowale’s 646 total points stands as the eight most for a single-season, while her 20.2 ppg ties Beth (Morgan) Cunningham for the second most, with Katryna Gaither holding the top-spot at 20.4.
Coach McGraw, Ogunbowale and the rest of the Irish now await their seeding in the NCAA Tournament. The Selection Show takes place on Monday, March 12, from 7-8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
F A’ja Wilson, 6-5, senior, South Carolina
G/F Katie Lou Samuelson, 6-3, junior, Connecticut
G Asia Durr, 5-10, sophomore, Louisville
G Sabrina Ionescu, 5-10, sophomore, Oregon
G Victoria Vivians, 6-1, junior, Mississippi State
G Gabby Williams, 5-11, senior, Connecticut
C Kalani Brown, 6-7, junior, Baylor
G Arike Ogunbowale, 5-8, junior, Notre Dame
G Kelsey Mitchell, 5-8, senior, Ohio State
F Megan Gustafson, 6-3, junior, Iowa
G Brittany McPhee, 6-0, freshman, Stanford
G Brooke McCarty, 5-4, junior, Texas
F Napheesa Collier, 6-1, junior, Connecticut
F Myisha Hines-Allen, 6-2, senior, Louisville
G Jordin Canada, 5-6, senior, UCLA
Player of the year
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina
Coach of the year
Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
Freshman of the year
Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M