Category Archives: Muffet McGraw

McGraw Wins Naismith As Coach Of The Year

by Categorized: Muffet McGraw Date:

Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw was named winner of the 2014 Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.  McGraw is only the third women’s college basketball coach in history to win the award three or more times (she also won in 2001 and 2013).

McGraw was chosen from a group of finalists that included Geno Auriemma, University of South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and North Carolina State University coach Wes Moore.  She was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s National Voting Academy, which based its criteria on the coaches’ performances throughout the 2013-14 women’s college basketball season.

McGraw led the Irish to their best start and longest winning streak in program history. The Irish are 37-0 and set to play UConn (39-0) for the championship on Tuesday, April 8 – the first title matchup featuring two undefeated teams in NCAA history.

Notre Dame went 16-0 in the ACC, and won both the conference regular season and tournament titles, becoming the first ACC school ever to win the league title in its first season in the conference.

Notre Dame defeated Baylor to earn their fourth straight Final Four berth.  The victory over Baylor was their first in five meetings.

The Irish have made the NCAA Tournament 24 of the 27 years of McGraw’s tenure with Notre Dame.

Named unanimous choice as ACC Coach of the Year, the sixth time in her career she’s been a conference Coach of the Year and second year in a row (also BIG EAST in 2013).

McGraw Says Irish Determined To Win For Achonwa

by Categorized: 2014 NCAA women's tournament, Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame women's basketball Date:

    Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said Wednesday her team refused to feel sorry for itself Monday once it became clear senior center Natalie Achonwa, its leading scorer in the NCAA Tournament, would be lost for the Final Four with a torn left ACL.

  Achonwa was injured in Notre Dame’s 88-69 victory over Baylor. But McGraw says her 36-0 team is determined to finish the job for their post leader.

“Natalie sets the tone for this team in everything that we do,” McGraw said. “She’s been our vocal leader. And after she went down to the floor, she bounced back up and gave the team a very spirited talk [before heading to the locker room]. She came back to the bench. She helps us cut down the nets. She proved to her teammates that it’s not about her. It’s about the team.

 “We talked about it in the locker room [Tuesday]. There was no crying, there was no mourning. We are ready to move on and Natalie is going to be on the sidelines [in Nashville] doing everything she can to help us win.

Notre Dame will face Maryland in Sunday’s first national semifinal. Achonwa was third on the team in scoring (14.9) and its leading rebounder (7.7) and  McGraw said the third-team All-American  was playing her best basketball when she was hurt.

Geno Auriemma, who has had many title runs interrupted by injuries in his career, expressed sympathy for Achonwa on his Twitter  account.

“All other issues aside I was sick to my stomach when I heard about Natalie Achonwa tearing her ACL. I’ve been there and I feel for her,” Auriemma said.

Freshman Taya Reimer will most likely start in Achonwa’s place

“There is absolutely a win-one-for-Ace [mentality],” McGraw said. “I think it’s so important to really rally around this.”

Achonwa, considered a possible WNBA first-round pick and a player on the Canadian national team, will have surgery on the knee at a later date.

Geno Tells Muffet It’s Not Good To Fib

by Categorized: 2014 NCAA women's tournament, Geno Auriemma, Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

You may have heard Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw say on ESPN Monday night a few things about her No. 2-ranked Irish on the NCAA Tournament selection show,

Muffet says senior guard Kayla McBride was the best in the nation and sharp-shooting Michaela Mabrey the top bench player in the nation.

She also said how disappointed she was that UConn could not fit the Irish into their schedule thiss season after they both left the Big East.

During his press conference on Saturday, Geno Auriemma was asked what he thought about it all

“When you grow up in Philadelphia you tend to exaggerate,’’ Auriemma said. “I know that first-hand. Trust me. Hey, everybody should talk very, very highly about their team and their accomplishments and what they do and what they’ve done. I bet you if you ask Tara Vanderveer who’s the best player in the country she would say Chiney (Ogwumike). And if you ask Kim Mulkey who’s best player in the country she would say Odyssey Sims. So I think if you say anything other than that you’re probably not going to be very popular in your own locker room.


“The scheduling part … Let me just say it’s not nice to fib during Lent. That’s all I would have to say about that.’’

Auriemma On Playing ND, DePaul And South Carolina

by Categorized: ACC, American Athletic Conference, DePaul women's basketball, Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

Here is Geno Auriemma talking about the resumption of multi-year series with Notre Dame, DePaul and South Carolina beginning next season. The Huskies will play at Notre Dame and host DePaul and South Carolina.

Please note places where Geno’s tongue is in his cheek:

On DePaul: “Doug Bruno [the DePaul coach and Auriemma's great friend] came up to me and said he really wanted to continue the series if there’s any way we can do it,” Auriemma said. “I said, ‘Fine.’ Then it was just a matter of working it out and I didn’t care where the game [next season] would be played. He told me he needed the game to be [in Connecticut]. so it was just a matter of finding a date. That was painless.”

On Notre Dame: “Notre Dame was a different story. It was difficult. But I did see where Muffet said that we need the game more than [the Irish] do. So I really appreciate her giving us the chance to play them again. i don’t know where we would be without their help the last 10 years or so. Any time you get the chance to play The University of Notre Dame, I don’t think you can pass it up.”

On South Carolina: “The South Carolina game was a product of Deb Corum [UConn's senior athletic administrator] trying to spread [the non-conference schedule] around a little. the focus of it is take the five best conferences in the country and figure out how to balance it out [with series] to get a good mix without it being top heavy.”

“For a while it got kind of top heavy with ACC teams, Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia Tech. We tried to set things up with a couple SEC teams [Tennessee and Georgia] didn’t want to play. But South Carolina wanted to play. So that’s how it came about.”


Reporting On UConn’s Future Fields – Of Play

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, Coquese Washington, duke women's basketball, ESPN, Geno Auriemma, Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame women's basketball, Penn State women's basketball, Stanford women's basketball, UConn women's basketball, University of California-Davis Date:

Some people love to talk about recruiting. I love schedules, mainly because it gives me a chance to anticipate which holidays I am going to be missing each season.
So now, somewhat refreshed, this is what I have heard:
1). UConn will begin a home-and-home series with South Carolina next season. Don’t know where, at this point, and the contract hasn’t been signed yet, so UConn can’t say. But this is such an intriguing arrangement considering how badly each program wants high school senior A’ja Wilson, the No. 1 unsigned prospect, who just happens to live in South Carolina. If she picks one of the two, the other will experience post envy when they play.
Then again, Kelsey Bone picked South Carolina and you will recall how that turned out? Just saying….

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What Day Is It Muffet? Guess What Day…It…Is?

by Categorized: Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame women's basketball Date:

My thanks again to pap49cba of The Boneyard for intrepid investigative website trolling.

I don’t quite know what to say about what you will see if you click here.

It’s an advisory from the Notre Dame office of compliance to recruits about how to handle their business before they actually put their names on the dotted line of commitment.

I really like Coach McGraw. She has always been one of my favorites; great teams, great players, milestone riivarly – ruby red stilettos and leather skirts notwithstanding.

But she has ruined FOR LIFE my favorite commercial. Thanks a lot. Leave the E-Trade baby alone, I beg you..

10 Keys For UConn On Sunday Against The Irish

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Breanna Stewart, Geno Auriemma, Jewell Loyd, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

Here is my assessment of the key factors, and subliminal things in play, that should impact Sunday’s national semifinal between UConn and the team in the hideous Adidas uniforms.

1). I once believed bad things came in threes. Now they come in fours and seven out of eights. As Marlon Brando said in “Guys and Dolls” – luck be a lady tonight.

2). Skylar Diggins has over 300,000 Twitter followers and not a single national championship. That is a really bad assist/turnover ratio in her book. She would dump 250,000 chumps for one title. She wants it – badly

3). This will be the last Notre Dame-UConn meeting for a very long. Next April’s Final Four in Memphis is a long time away and it will take all this time for Huskies fans to memorize the teams in the AAC, which is not to be confused with the ACC, which we assume will eventually replace the AAC in UConn lore. UConn wants to be the one to kiss Notre Dame off, not the other way.

4). Muffet McGraw said on her Twitter site that she went shopping for Final Four outfits. If she doesn’t wear her ruby red heels and either her leopard or black leather skirt, I believe the Irish will be at a disadvantage. And if you are wondering why Geno hasn’t patted Muffet’s butt yet, you never went to Catholic school and faced down an angry nun. He learned his lesson in grammar school.

5). At some point, Kayla McBride will miss a three in a big spot and either Bria Hartley or Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis will make one in the final two seconds. And if UConn is within two points when it happens, there will a basketball game to go to on Tuesday.

6). Breanna Stewart is the most important player in the game on either team. We know what Diggins and McBride can do and UConn almost won the first three games they played this season. If Stewart does what we think she can do, she will be the difference maker.

7).  Geno Auriemma’s email inbox as full as a United States mail box on a Sunday night. If UConn loses again it may just explode and there is no money left in the athletic budget to get him a new one. So UConn must win.

8). I can’t stand seeing Kelly Faris and Stefanie Dolson cry. Three times is enough.

9). Notre Dame played for the national championship in football this season. It has met its quota. Give someone else a chance.

10). Geno told the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce at breakfast last month that if Notre Dame and UConn played a fourth time “we will win.” That’s a declarative sentence, if you ask me.





McGraw, Loyd Win USWBA Honors

by Categorized: 2013 NCAA Tournament, Jewell Loyd, Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame women's basketball Date:

Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame is the 2012-13 Women’s National Coach of the Year according to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. And Notre Dame guard Jewell Loyd is its Rookie of the Year.

McGraw, who last won the award in 2001, the year she led the Irish to the NCAA title, will be honoed on Sunday in the New Orleans Sports Arena in advance of the start of the NCAA Final Four.

The winner of the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Women’s Player of the Year will also be announced in New Orleans at that time while the Pat Summitt most courageous women’s honoree will also be cited with Summitt’s son Tyler, now an assistant women coach at Marquette, helping to make the presentation.

McGraw lost four key seniors (who accounted for 40 percent of the Irish’s scoring and rebounding) from a team that advanced to the NCAA national championship game for the second consecutive season. The Irish meet Connecticut this weekend for the third straight season, Notre Dame has already beaten the Huskies by a narrow margin in three previous meetings, including the Big East championship.

Notre Dame is 12-1 against ranked teams this season and 6-1 against the Top 10, including the three wins over UConn and a loss to Baylor.

McGraw was named the Big East Coach of the Year, her second such award since 2001 as her team went 16-0 through the Big East and won the conference tournament title.