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Muffet McGraw Chat Wrap

Nov. 5, 2001

Muffet McGraw: Hello everyone. I’m ready for your questions!

Barry (Phoenix): Last year, Ruth Riley was your “go to player.” Will Alicia Ratay emerge as your new go to player?

Muffet McGraw: We are couting on her to be somebody we can look to give the ball to in critical situations.

Greg Fowler: Last year Ruth Riley and Niele Ivey were the vocal floorleaders of the team. Niether Alicia Ratay or Erika Haney are known for being vocal. Who do you see filling this role this year?

Muffet McGraw: I see LeTania Severe as the PG who will hold most of that leaderhip on the court.

Chris (Atlantic City): Last year using a 2-3 zone you had one of best defenses in the country. This year ND seems to have more depth and athleticism. Are you going to switch to man defense as your base or will you keep the 2-3 zone?

Muffet McGraw: We are going to play both. We would like to play more man to man though. We won’t be as worried about foul trouble as we have in the past.

Stephanie-Okla. City: Have you ever been ejected from a game?

Muffet McGraw: No, in fact I have only had two techincals in my career and one of them wasn’t justified!!!

Streets- Munster, IN: First of all, Congratulations on a wonderful Championship season! Aside from the 6 new freshman coming in, what is going to be the toughest aspect for the team to overcome this season?

Muffet McGraw: Good question .. I really think we are just inexperienced overall. Alicai and Ericka have lots of experience but LaTania this is her first chance to get lots of minutes. When you have a rookie at the point, you are a little worried. But just our inexperience will be the biggest cocern.

Julia Kentwood: Coach I was wondering if you think your team can make it to at least the final four this year without Ruth Riley?

Muffet McGraw: I think we have a lot of talent and lots of depth. We are very talented. I’m just concerned with getting ready for the season. We have the talent just not the experience.

RONDELL NEW YORK: u probley been ask this a thousand times well imma ask you this a thousand and one times how does it feel winning 400games not only for notre dame basketball but for the woman in this society which is men dominated?

Muffet McGraw: I think milestones speak more to longevity. It wasn’t that big of a moment for me really. I’m just not into the numbers thing. It is becoming more balanced though between men and women in our sport. There are so many great coaches, men and women, in the game right now.

Rachel (Detroit): Who do you see as the teams to beat in the country this year, what team will suprise everybody, and who will win it all?

Muffet McGraw: I think UConn definitely. They have pretty much the same team. Vanderbilt is a great team. They have everybody back adn are so well coached. After those, I imagine Tennessee will be pretty good.

Mobile,Alabama: Amanda Barksdale is a great shot blocker. Will she get more playing time?

Muffet McGraw: I’m expecting her to get a lot of playing time. She is out right now, she is having pain in her leg so she has been off for 3-4 days now. Hopefully when she comes back she will get lots of playing time.

Terry, Houston: Muffet,

How do you like the way Borton has played so far in scrimmages. I watched your workout before the USC game and she looks very smooth on the court. How much playing time do you see her getting early on this year?

Muffet McGraw: She is starting right now. I am so pleased with her. Her work ethic reminds me of Ruth Riley. She has great fundamentals and is very coachable. She is emerging as someone we want to score on the block. She is just so unselfish. But she is looking to score more.

Wheeling: What do you have in mind to help replace the presence of Ruth and Kelly and Nicole? I saw them as freshman play in WV. They developed tremendously! Bev GO ND!!!!

Muffet McGraw: That is exactly what we are missing. I don’t know we can replace that. We are trying to replace leadership with freshman and that is tough. Hopefully our leaders will emerge as the season progresses.

lakeville: who are your five starters going to be good luck your best fan ever jeremy

Muffet McGraw: Batteaste, Bordon, Severe, Alica Ratay, and Ericka Haney.

Kesem Omer Madrid Spain: Muffet,Were you ever a professional basketball player? And if you were why did you decide to becom a womens basketball coach and at Notre Dame?

Muffet McGraw: I did. I played for the California Dreams in 1980, in one of the first women’s league. We folded before the season ended but the league lasted for three years.

Nanticoke: Hi Ms. McGraw I recently was given your name thru my family physician and friend, Dr. Cozzone. My daughter Sara is a Junior in High School and is a Center for the Nanticoke Area Basketball team. She is 6’2″ and has a dream of playing WNBA one day. What would you say to her to one day make her dream a reality? She would also enjoy talking with Ruth Riley. Does Ruth have a email address? Thank you. Diane Brace

Muffet McGraw: Well, I guess the first thing would be to go to the summer camps to get exposure. You can work on fundamentals at home but to be seen, you need to go to the big AAU tourneys or Adida’s type camps.

Troy Phillips (Fort Worth, TX): Coach McGraw:

I cover women’s basketball for the Fort Worth paper and was wondering if I could throw you question via this chat.

I was talking to Sandora Irvin, a high school All-American signed by TCU, and she said Notre Dame was one of the elite programs she chose not to sign with. I know every school can’t get every player they want (or so coaches say) but I’m curious about the ability of up-and-coming programs to attract this caliber of player. Is the playing field more level now than 10 years ago, with regard to recruiting? Do high school kids recognize that they don’t have to sign with a UConn, Tenn., ND etc. to play big-time ball? (Sorry, that was two questions.) Thanks.

Muffet McGraw: I think the playing field has leveled. There are just more good players. Now, thanks to all the grass roots programs, there are so many good players who are’t going to the top schools. Jackie Stiles is a great example. You will see more and more of that in the future. We are finally starting to see more parity in the game.

Francis Salem Mass: Do u think u can match up with the Huskies this year ???

Muffet McGraw: Well, they are very talented and picked to win the Big East. We play them in Hartford this year. I’m hoping by that point we will be more competitive than we might be early in the year.

Muffet McGraw: Thanks for the questions everybody .. this team will be very different than last years team. We are moving at a slower pace than last year. I think we will use all of our timeouts this year for sure. We will struggle through this adversity though. This is a refreshing challenge for us. We will be good for the next four years and I have to remember to be patient with this team. Keep pulling for us and we’ll talk again soon!!