April 13, 2017

Irish in the WNBA Draft

Irish in the WNBA

By Leigh Torbin

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s basketball program’s contributions to the WNBA expanded by one on Thursday night as point guard Lindsay Allen was selected in the second round of the 2017 WNBA Draft by the New York Liberty with the 14th overall pick.

Allen is the first Notre Dame player ever drafted by one of the league’s original franchises. She will be the third Notre Dame aluma to play for the Liberty, joining Coquese Washington (1998-99) and Megan Duffy (2008). The Liberty are coached by Notre Dame alumnus Bill Laimbeer.

Allen earned her third consecutive finalist nod for the Nancy Lieberman Award and a spot on the Associated Press’ All-America third team after racking up 282 assists her senior year alone — setting school and ACC records. Allen also broke the Notre Dame and ACC career assist records, finishing with 841, a sum that stands 22nd in NCAA history. Allen led the ACC this year, and ranked second nationally, with both those 282 assists and her 3.57 assist-to-turnover ratio. Allen earned ACC Tournament MVP honors after recording a tournament record 33 assists over Notre Dame’s three-game run to the title, including a career-high 13 in the championship game win over Duke. Allen also added 83 steals on defense this year, ranking 36th nationally. She is seventh in school history with 229 career steals and has matched Devereaux Peters for 21st place on the Irish career scoring chart with 1,313 career points.

Allen will perhaps be best remembered for her remarkable durability. She started the first game of her freshman year and never missed one. Allen’s 149 consecutive starts are believed to be an NCAA record for the most consecutive starts. She logged a school-record 1,279 minutes of game time this season, ranking third nationally, including all 45 minutes of the overtime NCAA second round win over Purdue and nine 40-minute efforts. Allen’s 4,554 career minutes played are second in Notre Dame history behind only Skylar Diggins’ 4,639. Most notably, the Irish went 139-10 (.933) with Allen in the lineup, the 139 wins accumulated by her and fellow senior Diamond Thompson making them the third-winningest class in school history.

Allen is the seventh Notre Dame player selected in the WNBA Draft in the past six years alone. She is the first Irish selection since Jewell Loyd went with the first overall pick to the Seattle Storm in 2015 before turning in a WNBA Rookie of the Year season in the Pacific Northwest.

Overall, Allen is the 14th Notre Dame player chosen in the WNBA Draft, a run which began in 2001 when three members of the national championship team were selected in Ruth Riley (first round, Miami Sol), Niele Ivey (second round, Indiana Fever) and Kelley Siemon (third round, Los Angeles Sparks).

The WNBA season begins on May 13. The Irish have five active players in the league in Natalie Achonwa (Indiana), Diggins (Dallas Wings), Loyd (Seattle), Kayla McBride (San Antonio Stars) and Devereaux Peters (Indiana).


Leigh Torbin, athletics communications associate director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013 and coordinates all media efforts for Notre Dame’s women’s basketball and men’s golf teams. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.