Nov. 15, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw announced Thursday that two of the nation’s top high school student-athletes have chosen to continue their careers with the Irish, signing national letters of intent to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2002. Megan Duffy (Dayton, OH/Chaminade Julienne HS) and Courtney LaVere (Ventura, CA/Buena HS) are the first players to commit to the Irish during the early signing period, which began Wednesday and continues through Nov. 21.
Duffy, a 5-7 guard, averaged 17 points per game last season for Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton, Ohio. She was a 2001 first-team Division I all-state selection and earned honorable mention All-America accolades from Street & Smith’s. Additionally, Student Sports tabbed her as a junior All-America selection. She was rated as high as No. 24 in the country by the All-Star Girls Report (ASGR) and No. 29 by School Sports.
“We’re very excited about having Megan join our program,” McGraw said. “We felt the missing piece on this team, and in this recruiting class, would be a point guard and Megan is definitely one of the top three point guards in the country. She’s very feisty and and someone who will give you great leadership at the point. She’s also a terrific three-point shooter, so she really is the total package at the point guard position.”
“Megan is a smart player who makes good decisions with the basketball,” said ASGR recruiting analyst Bret McCormick. “She’s so steady running the offense and knows how to get the ball just where it needs to be. She’s the kind of player who looks to set up her teammates first, but she can also step up and shoot the three when it’s needed. She will be a good fit for Notre Dame.”
LaVere, a 6-3 forward, tallied 13.8 points and eight rebounds per game last season for Buena High School in Ventura, Calif. She also shot 54 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free throw line for BHS, which was ranked in the top 10 nationally throughout the 2000-01 season by USA Today. In addition, LaVere was an All-America honoree by both USA Today and Street & Smith’s last year, and she already has been selected as a preseason third-team All-American for the ’01-02 campaign by School Sports. Like Duffy, LaVere also was a first-team all-state selection last season. She is a consensus top-15 player according to all of the major recruiting services – No. 10 by the Blue Star Index, No. 13 by School Sports and No. 15 by ASGR.
“We’re going to be somewhat thin in the post, and Courtney is a player who will give us some much-needed size up front,” McGraw said. “She has a lot of versatility in her game. She can play with her back to the basket, or she can work the high post and shoot the foul line jumper. We’re really looking forward to having her at Notre Dame next season.”
“Courtney is such a versatile and skilled player,” McCormick said. “Because of her good body, she has the ability to post up and also step outside and hit the long jumper. She’s played very well against some tough competition out in California, which is why we rated her as one of our top players.”
The additions of Duffy and LaVere already have given Notre Dame one of this year’s top 10 recruiting classes, according to at least one recruiting outlet. The Blue Star Index has ranked the latest group of Irish signees sixth in the nation, marking the sixth consecutive year in which Blue Star has placed Notre Dame’s recruiting class among the Top 20 in the country.
– ND –