HomeBasketballNotre Dame Women’s Basketball: Fighting Irish Team Data Review

Notre Dame Women’s Basketball: Fighting Irish Team Data Review

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The Notre Dame WBB team’s 2024 season ended Friday afternoon with a 65-70 Sweet 16 loss to Oregon State. Side note: It was the Beaver’s first win against the Irish in the six game head-to-head history. The ND football team gained its first postseason win against Oregon State this year so the tit for tat cycle continues in probably the most obscure Notre Dame sports rivalry.

Fellow OFD writers and the community have documented the WBB squad’s run through the 2024 tournament pretty well so I’m just here for a team-level review of the regular season, to provide some more perspective on this year’s outcomes as well as what next season might look like.

So let’s dig in.

Season Summary

This year marked head coach Niele Ivey’s fourth season at the program’s helm. During Ivey’s first season, 2021, the team went 0.5 but has gotten significantly better. The 2022 season ended with a 0.73 record, the 2023 season ended with a 0.818 record and the Irish wrapped up 2024 with a 0.8 overall record. They were a #5 seed in 2022, a #3 seed in 2023 and a #2 seed in this year’s Tournament. All three of the Tournament appearances ended with Regional Semifinal losses.

Of their 29 regular season games played, the Irish WBB team walked away victorious from 23 of them for an overall record of 0.79. The team dropped single games in November and December and two games in January and February, respectively.

Point Differential

The point differential for the team’s regular season games was approximately 18.8.

Things got kicked off with a 71-100 loss to South Carolina. That game’s -29 point differential was the steepest that the Irish would experience. In December, they dropped a -5 game to Syracuse which was followed up by a -4 loss to the Orange shortly afterwards. Teams from The Tar Heel State proved to be a thorn in the team’s side with North Carolina delivering a -14 loss in late January and NC State (on their way to the Elite Eight) walking away with a 7 point win in February. The squad’s last loss before the Tournament exit came by way of a -16 point loss to Louisville in mid-February.

Notre Dame’s win differentials ranged from 78 to 4. That big, 78-point victory came in the 113-35 rout of Chicago State early on in the season and the thinnest, 4-point victory came via the 98-94 2OT game against Florida State in February.

In summary, they loss games by an average of 12.5 points and won games by an average of 27 points, with the win margins starting to taper off in mid-January.

Field Goals

In general, the Irish were dominant in terms of comparative field goal efficiency. They had the advantage in 19 of their regular season games and won all of the games when they were more efficient in field goal shooting.

They had the efficiency disadvantage in ten of their games, six of which ended up being losses and four that ended in victory. Their field goal efficiency disadvantages ranged from -21.5% to -0.5% in those ten games.

For their wins, the difference in field goal efficiency ranged from -12.9% (the mid-February win over Florida State) to 35.2% (the Chicago State blowout). For their losses, the difference in field goal efficiency ranged from -21.5% to -2.1% (the 81-86, late December loss to Syracuse).

3PT

The Irish’s performance in terms of comparative 3PT shooting efficiency was inconsistent throughout the season, ranging from -33.3% to 34.5%.

In November, the efficiency difference ranged from -28.6% to 20.5%. The values ranged significantly but didn’t impact overall outcomes in a real way. In the month’s only loss to South Carolina, Notre Dame had a -1.3% 3PT efficiency disadvantage but had a -28.6% disadvantage in their 74-69 win over Tennessee.

For December, they had the 3PT efficiency advantage in all of their games, ranging from 0.6% to 16.7%.

In January, the WBB team had the 3PT efficiency advantage in six of the eight games played. The difference ranged from -9.6% to 34.5%.

Two of the worst, comparative 3PT games came in the two February losses. In the 66-73 loss to Louisville, ND had a -27.8% 3PT efficiency disadvantage and in the 43-59 loss to NC State they had a -33.3% efficiency difference.

Assists

The 2024 WBB team’s assist numbers were exceptionally strong through the first two months of play. In November they averaged +7 assists per game, a stat that was significantly dragged down by the -17 performance against South Carolina.

From the assist perspective, things got rockier in January. The Irish averaged +2.6 assists in January and +1.7 assists in February.

The squad lost only one game when they had the comparative assist advantage. This came via the +1 assist difference in the 57-61 early January loss to North Carolina. In the seven games where they had the assist disadvantage, the team lost four and won three.

Total Rebounds

Notre Dame’s total rebound trend was very similar to the assist trend.

They averaged an approximate +5.7 total rebound advantage for the regular season with the most significant advantages being posted in November and December.

The team loss one game where they had the comparative total rebound advantage. This loss was the 43-59 mid-February loss to NC State. In the eleven games where they had the rebounding disadvantage, they won five and lost six.

Blocks

The team was consistent in terms of blocks through the regular season’s first two months, ran into challenges during January but generally found their way in February.

In January, they had the comparative block disadvantage in six of the eight games played. During February, they had the disadvantage in four of the nine games played. Their performance in this area didn’t have definitive impacts on the final game outcomes, from a strictly numbers perspective.

Fouls

The Irish had a consistent advantage in terms of fouls throughout the regular season. They had an overall difference of -1.6 fouls per game and didn’t drop a game when they had fewer fouls than their opponent.

They had the comparative fouling disadvantage in eleven games. The team loss four of those games but ended up pulling out a win in seven despite having the foul disadvantage. Their worst games in terms of comparative fouling were against ACC opponents Boston College, Miami, UVA and Wake Forest.

Turnovers

Log – Turnovers

Similar to fouls, the 2024 WBB team had a consistent advantage in terms of turnovers. They averaged -4.2 turnovers per game during the regular season and loss three games where they had the turnover advantage. Two of those losses were delivered by Syracuse and the third came by way of the early February game against Louisville.

The team had the turnover disadvantage in seven games. Three ended in loss while four resulted in wins. The worst comparative turnover game for the Irish was +8 in the November matchup against Ball State that still wrapped up with a 90-59 win for ND.

Final Thoughts

It was another strong season for the Note Dame WBB program. They consistently performed strongly throughout the regular season and their only real challenges game in relatively close games against conference opponents with the exception of the face-off against the South Carolina juggernaut.

With a #2 seed and deep run into the Tournament, it definitely seems like Ivey has the program on track to maintain the Irish’s status as a WBB powerhouse. Stay tuned for a more detailed breakdown of the player-level data.

Cheers and Go Irish!!

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 10 ACC Women’s Tournament - Notre Dame vs NC State

Photo by Nicholas Faulkner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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