Notebook: Notre Dame All-American Brianna Turner undergoes surgery

ND Insider Staff
ND Insider

Notre Dame women’s basketball All-America forward Brianna Turner has undergone shoulder surgery and will be out four to six months, Irish head coach Muffet McGraw announced Tuesday.

The 6-foot-3 sophomore played with a harness on her right shoulder virtually the entire season. She missed six games, including a regular-season loss in December to eventual national champion Connecticut, after in November aggravating a shoulder injury she suffered during her freshman season. 

Turner played through the pain and led Notre Dame (33-2) in scoring (14.7 ppg), rebounding (7.3), blocked shots (3.0) and field goal percentage (.593).

“We were just glad we were able to have her for the season," McGraw said. "That was not a definite. What a team player. She was not going to let her teammates down.”

Turner suffered a dislocation of the same shoulder during her freshman season and missed three games with the injury.

McGraw was also positive and upbeat on the progress freshman Ali Patberg has made in her rehabilitation from preseason ACL knee surgery.

“She won’t be ready until this fall,” McGraw said. “She’ll be able to do some things in the summer, but full release, August or September.”

Co-MVPs

Lindsay Allen and Madison Cable came away with the big honors Tuesday night at the Notre Dame women’s basketball banquet.

Allen, a junior point guard, was selected as the Notre Dame Monogram Club’s Most Valuable Player. Cable, a graduate student guard, earned the Woody Miller Player of the Year (media vote) award.

Other top honors went to sophomore posts Kathryn Westbeld (most improved) and Turner (defensive player of the year), senior guard Hannah Huffman (Spirit Award) and Patberg (Rockne Student-Athlete Award, 3.625 GPA).

Recruiting wars

An important time of the basketball calendar begins soon when McGraw and her staff fan out across the country to try to land the top talent. NCAA rules prohibit coaches from discussing specific recruits, but McGraw did talk about her wish list.

“We’re in some battles,” McGraw said. “We’re focusing on the post position and a guard. (We’re) down to three or four, but that could go south in a hurry.”

In 2017 recruit rankings by HoopGurlz, 6-4 Kasiyahna Kushituah of Alpharetta, Ga., is the top-rated post in the country and No. 5 player overall. The No. 9 player overall and No. 2 post is 6-4 Sidney Cooks of Kenosha, Wis.

Obviously, McGraw was unable to say if the Irish are interested in either.

Tip-ins

• It hadn’t been an issue until last year, but McGraw was at least a bit relieved when she was able to say she won’t be losing any underclassmen (Allen, who turned 21 last month, would have been a candidate) to the WNBA Draft this year. Last year, Jewell Loyd stunned everyone around the program by leaving a year of eligibility on the table.

• Cable is interested in continuing her basketball career beyond Notre Dame. She will be watching closely when the WNBA Draft unfolds Thursday. McGraw is convinced that Cable would be a solid pick in the third round of the process.

Notre Dame sophomore Brianna Turner (right) was named to the Associated Press Preseason All-America team on Thursday. (Tribune Photo/Robert Franklin)