Three Top Prep Standouts Choose Notre Dame During Early Signing Period


The Notre Dame Women’s basketball program just continues to reload each season, and the 2015 season will be no different. Coach Muffet McGraw received National Letters of Intent from three top prep players, who will continue their education at Notre Dame in the fall of 2015.

Marina Mabrey (Michaela’s sister) from Belmar, New Jersey (Manasquan High School), Arike Ogunbowale from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Divine Savior Holy Angels High School), and Ali Patberg from Columbus, Indiana (Columbus North High School). All three are rated among the top 20 prep players by multiple recruiting services. The Irish class has been ranked as high as No. 3 (All-Star Girls report and Prospect Nation), and among the top five by major outlets (No. 5 espnW Hoopgurlz and No. 4 Blue Star Basketball).

What it means is the Irish women should have a top 25 class locked up for the 19th consecutive season. Only two other schools can boast a record like that (Connecticut and Tennessee). Final class rankings will come out after the early signing period ends, which began November 12 and runs through Nov. 19.

Following four consecutive Final Four appearances, and a No.3 preseason ranking in the AP poll this year, the Irish look to be adding to an already talented roster for next year. And with the timing of things, all three could be playing together very soon. With Michaela Mabrey, Whitney Holloway, Jewell Loyd and Hannah Huffman set to graduate by the time this class hits their sophomore year, the possibility is there.

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"“I’m so excited about this class,” McGraw said. “This group really addresses our needs. We needed some ball-handling guards, we needed some defensive guards and we got everything we could have asked for with these three."

Coach McGraw has turned Notre Dame into one of the elite programs in women’s sports. Recruiting classes like these only solidify their place among the best in women’s basketball. Pat Summitt and her Tennessee Volunteers battles Geno Auriemma for years before the UConn ladies finally got the upper hand. Maybe this 2015 class will be the one to give Notre Dame that same pleasure over the UConn women.