Status remains uncertain for Notre Dame's Olivia Miles heading into ACC Tournament

Anthony Anderson
Feb 16, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Niele Ivey and guard Olivia Miles (5) leave the court after Notre Dame defeated the Louisville Cardinals 78-76 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

SOUTH BEND — The status of Olivia Miles, who injured her right knee in Notre Dame's 68-65 women’s basketball win Sunday at Louisville, remains uncertain heading into ACC women's basketball tournament that begins Wednesday in Greensboro, N.C.

Irish head coach Niele Ivey said during her ACC teleconference on Tuesday that Miles saw the doctor on Monday and that the team is "still trying to wait," as more tests were conducted on Tuesday. Notre Dame, the No. 1 seed for the tournament after claiming the ACC's regular-season title, doesn't play until 2 p.m. on Friday after receiving a double bye.

More:Notre Dame women overcome loss of Olivia Miles to clinch ACC regular-season championship

"We're going to meet later at the airport (Wednesday)," Ivey said Tuesday, "so our trainers and doctors that are traveling with us can give me a little bit better understanding of what the week will look like for her."

During and interview Thursday on ESPN's SportsCenter, Ivey continued to guard her cards, calling Miles' status as "day to day."

"She's still getting looked at," Ivey said of her star point guard, "so we won't really know until probably after the weekend."

Miles on Monday was named among the five finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award that is presented annually to the nation’s top point guard. She was also named Tuesday to the All-ACC first team.

Though no significant contact appeared to be involved, the sophomore floor general landed awkwardly during a second-quarter drive toward the basket Sunday.

Wincing and rocking in pain, Miles grabbed her right knee, tossed her signature goggles aside and stayed down for several minutes, but eventually left for the trainer’s room under her own power. She did not return to the game.

The coach was asked what happens if the Irish do lose Miles for an extended period.

Notre Dame's Olivia Miles (5) was lead off the court by head coach Niele Ivey, left, after she was injured and had to leave the game against U of L during their game at the Yum Center in Louisville, Ky. on Feb. 26, 2023.

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“It’s hard to replace somebody like Olivia Miles, but our resilience and our goal are not changed,” Ivey said. “We just have to play a little bit harder.”

The No. 10-ranked Irish (24-4, 15-3) own experience in that regard.

Against the Cardinals, they trailed 26-22 when Miles was hurt, and later by a high of 38-28 early in the third quarter, but rallied for the win that gave them the ACC regular-season title outright.

They’ve also had to navigate losing grad student guard Dara Mabrey to a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 22 and grad student center Lauren Ebo recently being out for five games due to injury.

With Miles scoring just two points Sunday and fellow sophomore guard Sonia Citron erupting for a season-high 27, Citron slightly passed Miles as the team’s scoring leader on the season, 14.5 per game to 14.3.

Miles, though, continues to pace the Irish in rebounds (7.3), assists (6.9) and steals (2.1). She’s a certainty to land on the All-ACC team scheduled to be announced Tuesday evening and a top contender for league player of the year.

"She’s in great spirits," Ivey said Tuesday. "Obviously, it was super scary for her. She’s never really gone down with any type of injury., but I know the team really picked her up. I saw (Citron) hugging her, (Kylee Watson) hugging her on the bench, so I think she’s OK but it’s always a shock when you go down, and the way that she went down ... of the uncertainty of what the future holds."

Check either southbendtribune.com or NDInsider.com for the latest updates.