Leigh Torbin | October 5, 2016
The distance from Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center to the American Airlines Center in Dallas is 995 miles. In its opening practice on Monday, the Notre Dame women’s basketball team took the first formal step of a journey which the Irish hopes will carry them 995 miles to Dallas, site of the 2017 Final Four.
Notre Dame returns two of the country’s elite players from 2016 in All-American forward Brianna Turner and Lindsay Allen, a finalist for the 2016 Nancy Lieberman Award as the nation’s best point guard. The Irish return a third starter from last year’s 33-2 squad in forward Kathryn Westbeld and added a pair of national high school players of the year. Irish freshman Erin Boley claimed the Gatorade National Player of the Year award whileJackie Young earned the Naismith National Player of the Year accolade in 2016.
The three-time defending ACC regular-season and tournament champions stepped eagerly onto the Purcell Pavilion court to get their 2016-17 journey underway.