McGraw expects slow start, strong finish for Irish


Notre Dame women's coach Muffet McGraw isn't expecting a rebuilding year after losing three starters from a squad that made back-to-back appearances in the national championship game.

A bumpy road, maybe, but she still expects the road to include a deep run in the NCAA tournament. Especially with first-team All-American guard Skylar Diggins again running the show.

McGraw says she doesn't want to lower expectations; she wants her young players to rise to the challenge. They'll need to do so fast as they open against Ohio State and play defending national champion Baylor in early December.

Like McGraw, Diggins isn't lowering expectations. She expects the Irish to compete with the best of the best. She also expects a third straight title game appearance, and she's hoping for a better outcome.

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