Notre Dame’s Hannah Huffman Making Strides Her Junior Season


With the talent that flows in and out of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Women’s basketball team, it can be easy for a player to get “lost” in the shuffle. That seemed to be the case for Hannah Huffman in her first two years. But Huffman, now a junior, is finding her way for the No. 2 Irish and providing key minutes for coach Muffet McGraw.

"“I think Hannah is playing like a junior, McGraw said. She’s starting to figure things out. She understands what her role is. She’s accepted her role. She wants to contribute, and she’s found a way to contribute. The more she plays, the better she’s going to be.”"

Huffman came to Notre Dame as a guard, and is still listed at the position. But she’s adapted to more of a physical post player, not afraid to mix things up underneath. It’s that physicality, mixed with her non-stop motor that makes her so valuable. when McGraw needs a lock-down defender, she’s not afraid to turn to Huffman.

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From Skylar Diggins, to Kayla McBride to Jewell Loyd, the Irish have always had solid defensive guards. But now when Loyd needs a break, Huffman offers a reliable option.

"“It’s so important when (Notre Dame All-American) Jewell Loyd needs a rest, because Hannah is the one person who can get up and defend a really good player on the perimeter,” McGraw said. “She’s very important to us when we start looking at the need to shut down one particular player. Hannah is really good at focusing on that one job. I’m very comfortable and confident in her ability to do that.”"

Her stats can be misleading, as it’s the intangibles that have made her a value in the eyes of the Irish coaching staff. The spark she provides of the bench, as well as her defense is what coach McGraw has asked her to embrace. The scoring will come, but it’s her intensity and focus that has helped her become more comfortable in her time at Notre Dame.