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Two signed to class of 2009

Heather VanHoegarden | Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Notre Dame announced this week that two players have signed during the early signing period to play for the Irish.

For the ninth consecutive year, Notre Dame has a top-20 recruiting class, leaving it as just one of three schools with that distinction. Notre Dame shares these honors with Tennessee and Connecticut, who have won eight of the last 10 national championships.

The 2009 Irish class of 6-foot guard Lindsay Schrader and 6-foot-2 forward Chandrica Smith is ranked 15th in the nation by Blue Star Index.

Schrader, a native of Barlett, Ill., is ranked among the nation’s top 30 seniors by three different publications – Blue Star Index (No. 14), All-Game Sports (No. 21) and All-Star Girls Report (No. 26). Schrader has averaged 20.1 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.1 steals in her prep career at Barlett High School.

“Lindsay Schrader is someone who is more of a scorer. I think she’s more of a 3-point shooter, who is a very strong player inside,” Irish coach Muffet McGraw said. “She can rebound, she’s got great hands”

Schrader has been atop the basketball world in the Chicagoland area, as a three-time All-State selection, a two-time Illinois Miss Basketball finalist and a two-time All-American selection by Street & Smith’s.

Schrader also participated in the 2004 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs, Co. She played for the North Team, which won the silver medal, and averaged 14.8 points per game, third at the festival. As a result, Schrader was invited to the 2004 USA Women’s Junior World Championship Qualifying Team Trials. She was one of 17 finalists for the 12-player team that won a gold medal in Puerto Rico in August.

“[Schrader] is somebody who you want to take the last shot of the game because she’s really a big game performer,” McGraw said. “She’s really scored a lot of points with her team and certainly the perimeter threat is a weakness of ours right now.”

Schrader expressed her excitement about playing for the Irish as she watched the Irish take on Nebraska with her father.

“I visited the school at the beginning of my junior year, and I just fell in love with it – I fell in love with the campus, the coaches the girls, everything,” said Schrader, who chose Notre Dame over the University of Virginia, the University of Illinois and Penn State. “Every other school I went to I compared it to Notre Dame. And nothing could top it.”

Schrader will be joined by Smith, who hails from Stone Mountain, Ga., but plays at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., where she transferred prior to her senior year.

Smith averaged 12.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.4 blocks per game as a junior at Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, where she shot 62 percent from the field. She has been named a two-time honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith’s, and was a Student Sports All-American as well. Smith is ranked No. 29 in the nation among high school seniors by All-Stars Girls Report.

“I’m really excited about Chan-drica Smith be-cause she brings is the same traits that Tulyah Gaines and Charel Allen have brought to this team,” McGraw said. “So I think the fans are going to love her. She’s someone who can run the floor, play up tempo, press, score. She really is a great defender and is going to fit in really well with the new up-tempo style that Charel and Tulyah play.”

Smith also played at the 2004 USA Basketball Youth Development Festival, averaging 5.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game en route to a bronze medal.

“I think that she’s going to be a great addition to our team, particularly in light of losing Jackie [Batteast],” McGraw said. “We’re very excited about what she can add to our team.”