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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Report: Notre Dame's Turner won't play against UConn

Notre Dame sophomore forward Brianna Turner missed last year's regular-season game against UConn due to a shoulder injury although she was able to come back after only missing three games and help the Fighting Irish reach the national title game.

Well, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw told reporters that Turner won't play in Saturday's UConn/ND game because of an issue with the same shoulder. This time, however, it is sounding like Turner could be out for a while.

Also, fellow former Taya Reimer is considered to be a game-time decision for the Fighting Irish,

Turner, who only played in four of the first seven games, is Notre Dame's second-leading scorer at 14.3 points per game and the top rebounder (6.8) while recording 15 of the team's 34 blocked shots. Reimer is averaging 6.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in the four games she has played in.

At the NCAA's women's basketball media day I asked McGraw if the Fighting Irish might become more dependent on its post players for offense after being a guard-heavy team in recent years which seems ironic considering the injuries to Turner and Reimer.

"This year I think we will be post orientated, that is a little bit of change for us because we have been so guard heavy with such great guards over the years," McGraw said. "Now we have really good guards who can shoot the ball really well and do a lot of things but I think our posts are the best part of our game. Brianna, Taya and Kathryn Westbeld we are expected big things from all three of them."

McGraw also spoke about Turner's improvement.

"This summer she came back as a free-throw shooter, she had to work on that and she can hit the free throws now, she can put the ball on the floor, she is a better passer and I think she is a little more mature, she is a little more poised in her game and be a little more aggressive looking to score this year."

Notre Dame still has plenty of talent led by Madison Cable, who if she isn't the most improved player in women's college basketball she is on a very short list. Cable went from averaging 21 minutes and 6.2 points per game to averaging 16.4 points (in 28.6 minutes per game.). Cable has always been an outstanding 3-point shooter but this year she is a staggering 19 for 33 from 3-point range. Freshmen Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale are both averaging at least 20 minutes per game, Westbeld is taking on a much larger role as a sophomore while Lindsay Allen is one of the best point guards in the country. McGraw is a top-notch coach and has plenty of talent to work with but still, if Reimer isn't able to go, Notre Dame won't have three of the top four scorers from last year's team (Jewell Loyd left a year early to head to the WNBA) to go against the Huskies.

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