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ND Women’s Basketball: McGraw lands top 20 class

Joe Hettler | Friday, November 21, 2003

For the eighth straight year, Notre Dame has landed a top 20 recruiting class after bringing in three of the country’s top players during the early signing period. “We are really pleased and proud to welcome to Notre Dame three young women of this caliber, both athletically and academically,” Irish Coach Muffet McGraw said.The Irish signed Charel Allen, Melissa D’Amico and Tulyah Gaines Wednesday and the group was named No. 13 by Blue Star index.Allen had an outstanding season as a junior when she averaged 29.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, 7.2 steals and 4.8 assists at Monesson High School. She was the top recruit in the East region of the country and could make an immediate impact for Notre Dame.”She has a wonderful gift for getting to the basket and putting points on the board, and I believe she will be a major asset in our transition game,” McGraw said. “I am also impressed with her work ethic and intensity on the court, which fits well with our program.”Blue Index ranks Allen No. 27 in the nation.McGraw helped add some height to the future by signing 6’5” center Melissa D’Amico from Manorville, NY. D’Amico will be the tallest player on the team, and she averaged 16.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks last season for her high school team. D’Amico had a very solid summer camp, which helped put her on the map for many schools and she considered a rising star entering her senior season.”For a post player, she is so multidimensional.,” McGraw said. “She can play with her back to the basket or step out and knock down the outside shot. She’s also a solid defender and someone who will be a great addition to our team at both ends of the floor.” The third signee, Gaines, averaged 18.9 points and 5.1 assists. Her biggest asset is her quickness, and she will make the Irish a more athletic and fast team.”Tulyah may be the quickest player we’ve ever had come through our program, and that includes some of our current players,” McGraw said. “She is a great on-ball defender and has great court awareness. She also is a strong passer and like Charel, we think she will help with our ability to get the ball up the floor quickly in transition.”With its eighth straight top 20 class, Notre Dame is only one of three schools to claim such an accomplishment.