Notre Dame is up for a huge challenge starting 9:30 Tuesday night at Mackey Arena –- namely the Paris twins, two of the very best post players in the country.
That means the Irish will need big games out of Erica Williamson and Becca Bruszewski.
"We’ve got some big bodies we gotta take care of in the Oklahoma game,” explains Coach Muffet McGraw. “Becca's going to be very important for us, as well as Mel and Erica. We're going to have to go bigger and use our body as much as we can, because they are just outstanding players."
Courtney Paris is the reigning National Player of the Year, averaging 19 points and 15 rebounds a contest. An even more impressive stat, she has 91 straight double-doubles. Her twin sister Ashley chips in with 11 points and 8 rebounds a game.
"The Paris twins are definitely outstanding basketball players,” Williamson admits. “I'm just excited to be able to face that challenge and to be able to go up against two of the best players in the nation -- especially in the post -- and just show them what I'm made of, just kinda put up a fight and not back down."
"They're really going to challenge us inside in the post,” explains Bruszewski. “We just have to box out, rebound, and keep going at them."
The Irish have confidence in going with a bigger lineup, thanks to the play of Bruszewski in the 1st round win over SMU. She scored 17 points and grabbed four rebounds in 27 minutes. That was 6 more minutes than the previous month combined, due to a broken finger.
"For a freshman to come in to the NCAA Tournament and have her career-high, I think it’s something you don't expect,” remarked McGraw. “She was so big that we actually went to her in a critical situation to score. She made a shot, she got some rebounds, got fouled. She did a nice job at the free throw line. She was outstanding."
If Becca and the rest of the Irish big players have a big game, the Irish could be headed to the Sweet 16.