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ND Women’s Basketball

Ali Patberg to miss 2015-2016 season with torn ACL

| Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Irish freshman guard Ali Patberg will miss the entire 2015-2016 season after tearing her right ACL in practice Monday, the team announced in a press release Tuesday.

The Columbus, Indiana, native was a McDonald’s All-American and 2015 Indiana Miss Basketball. Patberg is one of three guards who make up the Irish freshman class, along with Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale, both of whom were McDonald’s All-Americans as well.

“Our hearts go out to Ali, and we are disappointed she won’t be able to play this season,” head coach Muffet McGraw said in the press release. “However, Ali is an extremely tough young woman, both mentally and physically, and I’m confident this is only a temporary setback and a brief delay to the start of what will be a terrific college career. All of us in the Notre Dame women’s basketball family will be behind Ali 100 percent during her rehabilitation and give her all the resources she needs to be ready to go next season.”

Patberg will undergo surgery on her ACL, a recovery process that will take 8-10 months, the release said.

Before the injury, Patberg had been expected to contend for playing time in Notre Dame’s rotation this season. With the departure of guard Jewell Loyd for the WNBA, McGraw said at the team’s media day Oct. 12 that junior guard Lindsay Allen would be expected to take on a greater scoring load. In Allen’s place, Patberg would have been expected to run the point, McGraw said.

“Lindsay is really playing like an All-American right now. She can pretty much play any spot,” McGraw said. “I like her with the ball in her hands, but I think Ali is more of a setup, traditional type of point guard.”

McGraw also compared to Patberg to past Irish point guard greats.

“She’s going to be a tremendous leader,” McGraw said. “I think she’s going to be one of the best leaders we’ve ever had as she matures and grows into her game. She is very strong with the ball, and she’s a great communicator, which is something that we really need, so we’re really excited about her.”

As an Indiana native, Patberg was also expected to draw fan interest this season, McGraw said.

At media day, Patberg did not mention any specific goals for her season, but did say she was hoping to grow throughout the year.

“It’s a learning process,” she said. “I’m going to play and work my hardest.”

Patberg is now the second Irish player to miss time with injury before the season has even started. McGraw said on media day that junior forward Taya Reimer has missed practices to rest her Achilles.

No. 3 Notre Dame will begin its season Nov. 7 with an exhibition game against Wayne State at Purcell Pavilion.

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About Greg Hadley

Greg Hadley is a senior from Rockville, Maryland, majoring in political science with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He served as The Observer's Editor-in-Chief for the 2015-2016 term and currently covers Notre Dame baseball and women's basketball.

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