Last week was a busy one for the Notre Dame women’s basketball roster.
The Fighting Irish brought on three transfer portal additions to help offset the losses endured from earlier in the offseason. Graduate student forward Maya Dodson, one of the two most important Irish players on last year’s team, was selected in the third round of the WNBA Draft. Three bench players — Sam Brunelle, Anaya Peoples and Abby Prohaska — entered the NCAA transfer portal. It’s not clear if she’ll look to finish her college career elsewhere or if she’s finished playing for good, but senior guard Katlyn Gilbert is no longer with the team.
Notre Dame lost five scholarship players from last year’s roster in some form or fashion. The Irish only signed one player in the class of 2022, too; McDonald’s All-American guard KK Bransford. Head coach Niele Ivey had no other choice but to bring in a boatload of transfers. So far, so good on that front.
Stanford guard Jenna Brown was the first to come aboard last Tuesday. Later that night, Oregon State forward Kylee Watson announced her decision to join the Irish. The week was capped with another announcement from Texas center Lauren Ebo on Friday.
So, in total, Notre Dame lost five scholarship players but is already in line to bring on four new ones. One more transfer portal addition would match last year’s total of 10 scholarship players. But as Ivey learned, a number that low can ultimately lead to playing with fire.
Former five-star forward Nat Marshall had season-ending knee surgery in January. She has only played in 13 games in two seasons in South Bend because she sat out her entire true freshman season rehabbing from an ACL injury suffered in high school. Gilbert did not play a single game beyond Christmas for personal reasons. Prohaska missed extended time with a concussion and a fractured orbital bone. For much of the ACC slate, Ivey was working with a rotation of seven healthy scholarship players. Any injuries or other unforeseen issues would create a similar situation in 2022-23 as it stands now.
Here’s a look at the Notre Dame women’s basketball scholarship chart, including a current projection through the 2024-25 season if all players were to use the extra year of eligibility granted to all players who suited up during the COVID-impacted 2020-21 season.