April 17, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – As any women’s college basketball fan will attest, you can’t watch the NCAA Women’s Final Four if you don’t have cable. Ask any member of the University of Notre Dame women’s basketball program and they’ll tell you the Fighting Irish wouldn’t have reached this year’s Final Four without cable — Madison Cable.
Days after Notre Dame completed a run to its fifth consecutive Final Four and made its fourth appearance in the NCAA championship game in five years, head coach Muffet McGraw announced Cable (Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) will return for her final season of eligibility in 2015-16, following approval from the University’s Faculty Board on Athletics.
“Madison has been such a valuable part of our program for the past four years and we are so thrilled that she will be with us for one more season,” McGraw said. “She’s a leader by example, a winner on and off the court, and a true team player who never cares about statistics or awards.”
“I would like to thank the Faculty Board on Athletics and Coach McGraw for giving me the opportunity to return to Notre Dame next year,” Cable said. “I’ve been so proud and honored to wear the Fighting Irish uniform the last three years and I’m grateful to all of my coaches, my teammates, my family and the amazing Notre Dame fans for their support. I’d also like to offer a special note of thanks to our support staff, especially our athletic trainer Anne Marquez and our strength and conditioning coach Craig Cheek, who have done a tremendous job of keeping me healthy so I can continue playing the game I love.”
A 5-foot-11 guard, Cable did not play for the Fighting Irish as a freshman in 2011-12 due to stress fractures in both feet. She has recovered in time to play the past three seasons, appearing in 110 career games while averaging 5.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game with a .444 three-point percentage, the latter mark currently the second-highest in school history (Alicia Ratay set an NCAA career record by shooting .476 from beyond the arc from 1999-2003).
Cable also is in a remarkable position of having led her high school and college teams to the state or national semifinals in each of her seven seasons on the hardwood, including six appearances in the state or NCAA championship game (all but her first active season at Notre Dame in 2012-13 when the Fighting Irish lost in the NCAA semifinals). All told, with Cable in uniform, her teams have posted a combined 222-20 (.917) record, including a 108-6 (.947) mark during the past three years at Notre Dame.
Cable is completing work on her bachelor’s degree in political science through Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. She is expected to receive her undergraduate degree during the University’s commencement exercises next month and then will begin graduate studies at Notre Dame.
With Friday’s announcement, Cable will be the seventh Notre Dame women’s basketball player in program history to return for a fifth year, and the fourth in seven seasons, following a path previously walked by Lisa Kuhns (1989-90 season), Danielle Green (1999-2000) current assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Niele Ivey (2000-01), and more recently by Lindsay Schrader (2009-10), Brittany Mallory (2011-12) and Devereaux Peters (2011-12).
Cable is coming off her best season at Notre Dame, averaging career highs of 6.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while playing in all 39 games, starting six times. Cable also shared team-high honors with 59 steals this past year, becoming the first Fighting Irish player since 1980-81 to lead the squad in steals while playing primarily as a reserve (walk-on guard Molly Ryan had a team-best 39 steals in that ’80-81 campaign, Notre Dame’s first as a Division I program).
In addition, Cable led the Atlantic Coast Conference with a career-high .476 three-point percentage, the third-best single-season mark in school history and best since Ratay’s NCAA sophomore-record .547 mark in 2000-01.
Cable scored in double figures nine times in 2014-15, doubling her career output in that category. She also chalked up her first career double-double on Dec. 10 in an overtime win at No. 25 DePaul, collecting 20 points and a season-high 11 rebounds.
The versatile wing was even more valuable in the postseason, beginning with the ACC Tournament, where she averaged 9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in the three-game series, culminating with 13 points in the championship game victory over No. 7/6 Florida State. Cable subsequently earned a spot on the All-ACC Tournament Second Team, one of four Fighting Irish players to receive all-tournament recognition at the event.
In the NCAA Championship, Cable traded statistical accolades for timely contributions, starting in the NCAA Elite Eight win over No. 5/6 Baylor in Oklahoma City, when she recorded a key blocked shot in transition on BU All-America forward Nina Davis, then sank the clinching basket on a runner in the lane with 57.9 seconds to play.
That served as a prelude to what will go down as one of the signature postseason moments in Notre Dame women’s basketball history. Trailing No. 3/4 South Carolina by one point in the final minute of the NCAA Women’s Final Four national semifinal on April 5 in Tampa, Cable alertly grabbed a missed shot by teammate Jewell Loyd, pivoted on the right baseline and tossed in a fadeaway jumper with 19 seconds remaining to give the Fighting Irish a 66-65 lead. Moments later, Cable and her teammates clamped down on the Gamecocks, preventing a clear look at a last-second game-winning shot attempt, securing Notre Dame’s place in the national championship game.
Notre Dame will have four starters and 10 monogram recipients returning next season from this year’s squad that posted a 36-3 record (15-1 in the ACC) and became the fourth school in NCAA Division I history to make five consecutive trips to the Women’s Final Four (and seven overall), as well as the third program to make four appearances in the NCAA championship game in a five-year span.
Next season, the Fighting Irish also welcome the nation’s No. 3-recruiting class, a three-player group that features three McDonald’s High School All-America guards — McDonald’s High School All-America Game MVP and 2015 Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year Marina Mabrey (Belmar, N.J./Manasquan), three-time Wisconsin Player of the Year Arike Ogunbowale (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels), and 2015 MaxPreps National High School Player of the Year and the reigning Indiana Miss Basketball Ali Patberg (Columbus, Ind./Columbus North).
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter pages (@NDsidMasters or @ndwbb), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/ndwbb) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director