Nov. 14, 2007
Been a while, Bloggerheads, but we're back in action and not a moment too soon as the 2007-08 season has already gotten off to a flying start. Got a couple of wins under our belt in the Preseason WNIT and we're back in the national polls for the first time in about a year and a half. Not bad ... not bad at all. Now we have a great opportunity on our hands, going to third-ranked Maryland on Friday night (7 p.m. ET ... live audio here on UND.com if you can't make it in person). These are the kinds of games that us talking heads like to call "measuring sticks." Do we want to win? Absolutely. Do we expect to win? Without a doubt. But regardless of Friday's outcome, there's a lot we can learn about our team and where we want to go. I don't know about you, but I'm truly jacked for this trip.
One of the things we've already learned about this team is that it's exceptionally deep, probably more than any other Irish team I've been a part of since I got to Notre Dame in the fall of 2001. The guys on the football side always talk about the depth chart, or the "two-deep" as it's sometimes called. Well, that pretty much sums up the women's basketball end of things, too. We're just about two-deep at every position on the floor. But what makes this team so unique is the number of interchangeable parts we have. It's almost as if each player has learned how to play every different floor position, so it doesn't matter if we have two, three, four or even five guards on the court - everyone knows what their job is.
That even holds true for our three freshmen. Now, as first-year players, it's to be expected that there will be the occasional rough patches as you adjust to the college game, as well as all the other responsibilities that go along with being a Division I student-athlete. But I've been SO impressed with the way Becca, Brittany and Devereaux have handled the transition. And what's more, all three of them are just truly great people. They've blended seamlessly in with their older teammates and created a chemistry in our program that's unlike anything I've ever seen with a college basketball team. When they're on the floor, they work hard, they ask the right questions and they do everything they can to make themselves and their teammates better. Off the floor, they always have a smile on their faces and a kind word for everyone around them.
To give you a taste of what these three freshmen are all about, we threw a handful of "hard-hitting" questions at them to see how they would handle the pressure. Take a look:
Becca: Business Marketing / Management
Devereaux: Business Marketing or Management
Becca: Fruit - Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melon
Brittany: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Becca: "Love and Basketball"
Brittany: "Love and Basketball"
Devereaux: "Finding Nemo"
Favorite TV Show:
Becca: "The Hills"
Brittany: "Grey's Anatomy"
Devereaux: "Grey's Anatomy"
Becca: A cruise around the Virgin Islands
Most Memorable Basketball Moment:
Becca: Getting a scholarship to the school that I've grown up watching on television.
Brittany: Beating the #1 team in the state on my high school Senior Night
Devereaux: Winning the state championship my senior year
How do you think the team is going to be this season?
Becca: Very supportive of each other and great team chemistry
Brittany: I think that we are going to be very good...we have awesome returning players and I think that the freshmen will help out too. I can't wait to see what we can do.
Devereaux: EXTREMELY good!
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Becca: Mint Chocolate Chip
Brittany: Cookies and Cream
What excites you most about starting the season?
Becca: Just getting to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in front of the best fans in the country
Brittany: Just being able to put on the Irish jersey and play with some of the best players around
Devereaux: Playing my first college game
What made you decide to come to Notre Dame?
Becca: Great school, people, and team. A school with a great tradition
Brittany: The team, coaching staff and campus and I love football
Devereaux: The awesome academics, players and coaching staff
Can you share some of your thoughts on the team as a whole?
Becca: We all just fit. We all complete each other it's just like a family.
Brittany: I think that we bond very nicely and I think that our chemistry is just going to get stronger. I believe that we will have a good feel for how each other plays and will be able to go very far.
Devereaux: I think our team is very well-rounded and we fit together very well. I see us pretty much as an ideal team ... everyone has their place, they know their place, and we all get along very well.
Wow, great answers across the board. We didn't even shake them a little bit. Rookies in name only. One other example of the maturity shown by these freshmen came during the summer when they joined up with the some of their teammates to help surprise one of our younger fans, Inger Yoder, for her 12th birthday at her home in Nappanee, Ind.
I'll let Inger tell you about her experiences with the Irish in just a second, but first, let me throw out some quick hellos to a couple of former players who are still going strong across the pond in Europe. Megan Duffy ('06) finished up her second season with the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx back in September and now is playing in the Italian First Division for a Sicilian squad called Banco di Sicilia Ribera. Click here for the box score from her most recent game this past weekend (Italian language lessons sold separately). Also, Crystal Erwin ('07) is playing in Finland's Premier League for Aanekosken Huima. Click here and you can see that she's off to a real solid start in her first pro season.
All right, let's step aside and let Inger Yoder talk about her time with the Irish. Don't forget to tune in to UND.com Friday night for our matchup at Maryland and as always ... GO IRISH!!
My Experiences with Notre Dame Women's Basketball
By 12-year old Season Ticket Holder Inger Yoder
My mom won season tickets during Mega Match & Win on Pulse FM. That's how it all started two years ago! The girls that play ND basketball are awesome. They're friendly and funny.
Megan Duffy - At my first ND Women's basketball game I saw Megan Duffy for the first time. I knew she would be my favorite player. Before she graduated from Notre Dame, she and Stephanie Menio (director of basketball operations) made a surprise visit to my sister, Cassie, and I at school.
Lindsay Schrader - The minute I heard Lindsay tore her ACL last year I was bummed. She was really good her freshman year. I really missed watching her last season. I think she will do really good this year. She is awesome.
Amanda Tsipis - She is always so positive. She is always cheering for the team. She is always the first one to say good job when someone takes a rest.
Erica Williamson - Erica is another on of my favorite players. She is so funny and cheerful. I'm always happy to see her. She always takes the time to say `HI' to me and ask `What's up'. Go `E'!!!
Melissa Lechlitner - Lech is fun to be around. It was awesome to see Lech & the USA team win gold this summer.
The last two summers I went to the ND basketball camp. It was really cool going to camp and working with the players and coaches. Erica, Charel and Coach McGraw were there to help with the camp this past summer. I also got to meet Coach Niele Ivey! It was really cool finally talking to Coach Ivey after seeing her pictures in the trophy cases and on the walls at Notre Dame. Megan Duffy even made a surprise visit this year at camp.
The get-together this summer I will never forget. Stephanie brought Erica, Lindsay and the three freshmen, Devereaux, Brittany and Becca out to my house for a cookout! My Northwood 5th grade championship basketball team joined me. My sister, Cassie, also had 2 friends join us. While they were here we played basketball and corn-hole together. We then took the players to our Amish neighbors for buggy rides. It was the best summer vacation ever! Make sure you meet the three freshmen this year. They are super cool.
At the end of every season I can't wait for the next season. The time between seasons seem like years. Every day takes its time. Till finally the first games arrives. I like coming to the games to watch the girls play and meet the players after the games during the autograph sessions. I love to see the team wear their lucky green jerseys. They rock! I'm cheering on the Irish to yet another National Championship.