Notre Dame is so good this season that even when star guard Kayla McBride shoots 7-for-21 from the field on senior night, she's still able to pick up a career-high 8 assists en route to a comfortable 15-point win over a tournament-bound team.
The way that they share the ball is a large part of what makes them one of the best teams to watch in women's college basketball and has kept them undefeated with just three games remaining in ACC regular season conference play. But you don't rack up assists the way they do without people to put the ball in the basket and they have plenty of that: entering today's game against Duke, Notre Dame has four rotation players with a true shooting percentage over 60%, according to WBB State. It's extremely difficult to beat a team shooting like that and McBride has really had an off month.
Of course, there's plenty to be said about sophomore guard Jewell Loyd, who is shooting a ridiculous 69.2% from the 3-point line in February. But for those following WNBA draft prospects, 6-foot-3 senior Natalie Achonwa's play really stands out.
Achonwa has shot 63.8% from the field during February for a 15.7-point scoring average, both above her season averages. What really stands out about Achonwa's February performance is that she has slowly improved since her two games in November: according to WBB State, she shot 55.6% in both November and December and has actually improved to 63.8% in February against a very difficult conference. One contributing factor could be recovery from the early season injury that caused her to miss three games in November: it looks like she's finishing much stronger around the basket rather than trying to finesse the ball in, which is helping her efficiency.
Although Achonwa's rebounding rate has dropped off a bit from where it was in January, the Georgia Tech game was a prime example of what happens when they have so many players scoring efficiently: even a team as athletic as the Yellow Jackets struggles to stop a unit that can move the ball as well as they do with five players on the floor at any given moment who can put it in the basket. Georgia Tech should probably be commended for even hanging around at all in that game - especially with a 4-for-17 shooting performance from Tyaunna Marshall, who was just missing shots she's normally able to make - but beating Notre Dame almost requires a perfect day on both ends.
Good luck to the rest of the ACC.
For more on potential draft prospects, check out our 2014 WNBA Draft prospect watch storystream.