Cable doing the little things

South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND -- The superstitious side of Madison Cable dates back to her high school days in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., when her mother, Suzie, would make her scrambled eggs before every game.

When she got to Notre Dame, Cable realized that she, Michaela Mabrey and Hannah Huffman all removed their warmup pants around the same time, so now that has become ritual. And when it's gametime, you're sure to see Cable tying her shoes.

"Little things like that," Cable said, "I have to make sure I continue to do throughout the season."

It's working. The Irish are 34-0, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and face Oklahoma State on Saturday in a regional semifinal at Purcell Pavilion. And while Cable may not be a household name, she's done a lot of the little things to help the Irish enjoy a magical season.

Prior to the season, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw identified ball-handling as an area in which Cable could improve.

"We're a team that likes to get it and go in transition," McGraw said, "and she wasn't really comfortable dribbling the ball."

The 5-foot-11 Cable, a junior who did not play as a freshman because of stress fractures in both feet, had 29 assists and 29 turnovers in 2012-13, but entering Saturday, has improved that ratio to 34/20.

In addition to protecting and pushing the ball, McGraw also wanted Cable to bump up her scoring after averaging 4 points last season. Cable has nudged that figure to 5.6 points.

"She defers a lot to the other players, and she needed to take a little more aggressive role. And I think in the last two games especially she's really stepped up and been that aggressive next scorer that we can count on," McGraw said.

Cable scored 13 points in the first round rout of Robert Morris and chipped in four against Arizona State. In the first game, she also added eight rebounds, which tied for the team-high. It was the fourth time this season that the guard had led the team in that category.

Cable identified becoming more confident this season as something she's worked on, with assertiveness helping her improve.

"Just don't be afraid to go in and do what you know you can do. Take your shot; be assertive, because it only helps the team," she said. "When Coach calls on me to go into the game, I try to do whatever I can to help the team and help us win. I just do whatever is needed of me."



Twitter: @BobWienekeNDI

Notre Dame's Madison Cable (22) gets pressure from Arizona State players as she brings the ball downcourt during the second round NCAA women's basketball tournament game on Monday, March 24, 2014, inside Savage Arena at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN