And a bit of a synthesis...or combo reasons....
by dillon77 (2018-02-07 07:05:11)
Edited on 2018-02-07 08:55:20

In reply to: 4th reason  posted by Orangutan

As a veteran Mabrey watcher, ND's decision not to go for a trifecta was painful at first, but with a little bit of distance, I can see reasoning and/or at least how the pieces may have fallen.

- Up until this year, Dara -- like her sisters before her -- was a scoring guard. A 5'7" (or 8" at the most generous) scoring guard. Michaela and Marina are 5'10" or 5'11" and Jackie is 6'0". Arike is 5'8" but a freak of nature...built solidly and able to jump. Dara is fast, relentless but not that big.

She probably should've been manning the point from early on but Stella Clark -- a 5'4" all-stater -- manned the point ably for Manasquan HS and was good enough to get a D1 offer herself, for Northeastern.

And while Dara spotted Clark at the point last year, she didn't take over PG duties full-time until this winter; or after commitments were made.

So Dara was something of a tweener: at position; in height; and, in experience.

- Katlyn Gilbert, 5'10", is a legitimate combo guard, playing PG for HS and spelling Anaya Peoples in AAU. While she'll play off-guard for the Irish, Hoopgurlz refers to her as a PG to this day.

- With Ali leaving and Jenna Brown vaboosing to Stanford, MM wanted to make a run at a top-flight, experienced point guard. She and Niele went full-stop to procure Jordan Nixon's services. Nixon is really of the best players in New York City, New York State and the country (she's a McDonald's All-American). MM wasn't going to start a season without a PG in pocket next year. Jordan herself is probably 5'8" and in this day and age, MM won't go with that many shorter guards in the lineup.

- Then 5-10"(11") Anaya Peoples, verbally committed and added the caveat that she'd play any position the team needed. And recent tapes have shown she can man the point, score, rebound and even jump center.
So the Irish have two combo-guards committed (one formally, one informally). That's the position Dara probably would've been slotted to.

Abby Prohaska, as many have pointed out, will fill a different role: the Mallory/Huffman defensive plugger, with hopefully a bit of Novosel and/or Cable offensively as she comes along.

- Lastly, did Dara want to come here? Maybe she did, as some reports suggest, want to go her own way. Michaela/Marina call each other best friends...Dara is the kid sister.

Also, did Dara see the personnel signings at ND and figure out playing time was a better option elsewhere? These highly talented/trained athletes want to play and have spent years doing so.

- Lastly, 2019 and 2020. Like Orangutan said, the Irish have Anaya Peoples coming in in '19. My gut tells me the major focus at the guard position next year will be the wing/bigger guard/small forward position, such as Beal, Jones, Miller or Bell. (Forwards/Posts are another story).

But in 2020, you've got all those PGs who are already capable of being combo guards: Alli Campbell, Caitlin Clarke and the I-Can-Do-Anything Paige Bueckers, among them.

Anyways, I agree with the personnel reasons mentioned, plus the way they mix with each other and MM's roster needs. That said, all power to Dara and I'll root for her in virtually all her games.... :-)