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Irish Ranked No. 1 In AP Preseason Poll

Nov. 2, 2016

By Megan Golden

BRISTOL, Conn. — Two days prior to the start of the 2016-17 campaign, the Karen and Kevin Keyes Head Women’s Basketball Coach Muffet McGraw and junior forward Brianna Turner traveled to Bristol, Connecticut, for National Women’s Basketball Media Day. The Irish duo represented their team, ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason poll released on Tuesday.

McGraw and Turner met at South Bend International Airport to board the university charter at 5:45 a.m. Much to their excitement, they arrived at the ESPN Headquarters at 8 a.m. for a quick appointment with the studio’s makeup artists.

McGraw’s day at the ESPN studios began with an interview on the Mike & Mike Show. Elle Duncan later hosted McGraw and Turner for a segment of Face-To-Face on SportsCenter.

The day included visits with ESPNW and ESPN Magazine as well as an interview for ESPN’s FastBreak with Rebecca Lobo and sit-down interviews with Doris Burke and Kara Lawson along with a podcast with LaChina Robinson.

Top Spot

The Associated Press today announced the Irish are ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll for the first time in program history.

Notre Dame ranks ahead of No. 2 Baylor, No. 3 Connecticut and No. 4 South Carolina. The last time the Irish were ranked No. 1, in 2001, they won a national championship.

“It really doesn’t mean a lot in terms of the game, obviously,” McGraw said. “It does show some respect for the program in terms of where we are and where we’ve been the last few years. I would like to earn it; I think preseason polls are kind of a waste of time. I think people should have to earn their ranking.”

Highlight of the Day

Walking up and down staircases and through long hallways across ESPN’s campus, Turner recognized some familiar faces. One particular television personality stood out: Jemele Hill.

Turner and Hill chatted while Hill got her makeup done in the morning. Following their conversation–which was unarguably Turner’s highlight of media day–Turner broke down their encounter with LaChina Robinson on ESPN Radio.

Robinson asked, “If you could invite any three people to dinner, who would they be?”

“Jemele Hill, LeBron James and Beyonce,” Turner answered.

“I bet Jemele would be thrilled to eat with Beyonce,” Robinson said, laughing.

Quotes of the Day

McGraw on Lindsay Allen’s leadership and on-court playââ’¬¦

“I don’t know how many point guards in the country could step in for Skylar Diggins and take our team to the national championship and go undefeated as a freshman. That was an amazing accomplishment. She was so steady, and she just continues to get better every year. She can score, she’s a pass-first point guard. There’s more on her shoulders this year as a senior. She’s really got to do a lot more. “

McGraw on Brianna Turner’s upcoming seasonââ’¬¦

“Brianna Turner hasn’t been through two full seasons yet. Every year, she’s had to miss some time due to injury with her shoulder. Now she’s had surgery, she had to miss the whole summer, so she didn’t really have a chance to work on her game. I think this year’s going to be a big year for her. I think she’s going to explode on the national scene. Everybody’s obviously aware of her, but I think she’s going to really expand her game.”

McGraw on the parity in women’s basketball this seasonââ’¬¦

“This year’s wide open. Preseason, you look at South Carolina, Baylor, Ohio State, Louisville, obviously Connecticut, having won four in a row. There’s so many good teams. This year it’s going to be a little different, and I think you’re going to see that No. 1 moving around a little bit.”

Turner on Notre Dame’s preseason No. 1 rankingââ’¬¦

“We don’t really talk about rankings that much amongst our team. I think it’s an honor to get that spot, but we need to worry about where we’re at at the end of the season as well and try to be No. 1 at the end.”

Turner on her style of playââ’¬¦

“I’m most effective using my athleticism. Lindsay [Allen] does a great job finding me, so a pick and roll or getting a lob, running the floor, just using my athletic abilities.”

Turner on playing for McGrawââ’¬¦

“Playing for Coach McGraw is really exciting. We see all the different sides of her; she’s really funny and makes a lot of jokes. She keeps us on our toes. On the court, she’s really serious. Game days, in general, you can tell how focused she is.”

Taco Tuesday

Those who know Turner know she loves eating tacos. Aside from questions regarding the team’s No. 1 ranking, several media inquired about the power forward’s ideal “Taco Tuesday.”

“I go to a taco place down the street from campus, but when I’m at home, I like homemade tacos,” Turner said.

Asked during a different interview what her favorite emoji is, she answered, “The taco.”

Tweets Of the Day

?? @ESPN! ☘️

– NOTRE DAME WBB (@ndwbb) November 1, 2016

Coach chats with @espngolic following @MikeAndMike this morning! ☘️?

? Follow us on Snapchat @ndwbb for more!

– NOTRE DAME WBB (@ndwbb) November 1, 2016

Great catching up with Doris Burke! ☘️?

Check out @ndwbb on Snapchat for a behind-the-scenes look!

– NOTRE DAME WBB (@ndwbb) November 1, 2016

We are off and running for @NCAAWBB National Media Day at @ESPN & @_Breezy_Briii wanted to share her highlight so far involving @jemelehill!

– LaChina Robinson (@LaChinaRobinson) November 1, 2016

LIVE on #Periscope: Hey @ndwbb #AroundTheRim @LaChinaRobinson is live with Briana Turner for #NCAAW Media Day

– Terri Foster-Brasby (@SheKnowsSports_) November 1, 2016

âÅ”ˆ️ Goodbye South Bend

? Hello @espn

? Tune in to see @_Breezy_Briii & @MuffetMcGraw for National WBB Media Day!

– Tamara Brown (@NDSportsBlogger) November 1, 2016

#aroundtherim @LaChinaRobinson goes 1-on-1 w/ @ndwbb Coach @MuffetMcGraw for #NCAAW Media Day!

– Terri Foster-Brasby (@SheKnowsSports_) November 1, 2016

Headed back to South Bend to earn that No. 1 ranking! #GoIrish ☘️?

– NOTRE DAME WBB (@ndwbb) November 1, 2016

Coming Up Next

The Irish play their first game of the season at 7 p.m. on Thursday, when they take on Roberts Wesleyan in an exhibition game at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.

Follow the Irish behind-the-scenes by following @ndwbb on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.


Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.