With Skylar Diggins graduated, the Irish women's basketball team is searching out a new identity and they are getting a chance to discover it in a very unique environment.
Muffet's Squad departed for a 10-day journey of Europe on Saturday. They'll play three games along the way in London, Barcelona and Madrid.
"It's exciting---I've never been overseas," says Irish senior Kayla McBride. "We went to the Bahamas my sophomore year but that was it. Just to experience a different culture, a new experience. It's just a great opportunity."
The Irish last traveled overseas in 2009 when they went to Italy and France.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the royal baby," Irish coach Muffet McGraw says with a laugh.
The Irish have their own set of 'babies' on the trip as the program's four incoming freshmen are on the trip. And three of those 'babies' aren't tiny. Notre Dame has size in this freshmen class.
"Now when we roll, we roll deep and we roll big," senior Natalie Achonwa says with a big smile. "At least four of us that are over 6'2' , 6'3."
"We're a bigger team," McGraw adds. "We're going to look really good in the lobby. Whether we look good on the court--that's what we are trying to find out."
So now is Muffet's first chance to see how this new blend of the Irish will look. Taya Reimer is the frosh expected to contribute immediately.
"Its definitely good to have this experience and be able to get used to everything a little bit quicker," Reimer explains.
Lindsay Allen is the non big freshman. But she might take over for Skylar at point guard from day one.
"It can help us get adjusted to how everyone plays and their style right away," Allen says.
Notre Dame's traveling party is 40 people. They'll have the chance to enjoy several of the greatest historical sites in Europe, from Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London, to the La Sagrada Familia and Montjuic Hill in Barcelona, and on to the Museo del Prado and Gran Via in Madrid.
“This is a wonderful and unique opportunity for our team to continue to bond and strengthen its chemistry for the coming season, while enjoying some of the world’s greatest cities and landmarks along the way,” McGraw said.