ND Women's Basketball: Cable emerges as vital cog
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 02:02
At the start of the season, sophomore guard Madison Cable was one of the biggest unknowns on a Notre Dame team filled with numerous holes and question marks.
The Mount Lebanon, Pa., native entered Notre Dame in the fall of 2011 as a consensus top-100 recruit. Despite her accolades, Cable did not see a minute of action her freshman season after a stress fracture in both feet sidelined her for the year.
“It was really hard just to sit on the sidelines at practice every day and to not be able to contribute in games,” Cable said. “But I learned from it and got to experience the season, without actually playing.”
Although she had a lengthy recovery in front of her, Cable drew upon the experiences from her freshman year to prepare herself to be a team contributor, Irish coach Muffet McGraw said.
“I think the year off really helped her mentally,” McGraw said. “It allowed her to watch practice and see what it was going to be like, so, when she came out this year, she was a lot more ready than a normal freshman coming in.”
Cable may have been mentally ready to help the Irish, but the question that remained was whether she could physically recover from the stress fractures and log significant minutes on the court. It turned out Irish fans didn’t have to wait long for an answer to that question — McGraw named Cable a starter for the team’s first game, an exhibition against Edinboro on Nov. 1.
Since then, Cable has started only three games, but she has carved out a niche as the team’s sixth man, earning an average of nearly 19 minutes off the bench.
“I’m happy to play any role for my team that will help us win, so, whatever it is I have to do, I’ll do it,” Cable said.
In her time on the court, Cable has provided the Irish with versatility, spending time at various spots along the wing. She’s averaging 5.0 points per game and 3.8 rebounds per contest in 22 appearances.
Cable’s defense and all-around scrappy play, however, have been her biggest assets all season, allowing her to provide the Irish with instant energy off the bench.
“I don’t think I’m really good at one particular element, but I like to hustle and try to get the loose balls and be that type of player,” Cable said.
Cable leads the Irish in one category: 3-point shooting percentage, where she is shooting at a 41.2 percent clip. The sharpshooter said her success from beyond the arc is simply a result of practice.
“I like to get in the gym in our off days and shoot with some of our other players,” Cable said. “I just focus on the shot and think about all the little things I learned when I was young that have contributed to my shot.”
Cable has made all these contributions while battling a nagging ankle sprain, which caused her to miss Notre Dame’s matchup with Cincinnati earlier this month.
“Everyone always has nagging injuries that carry on, but I’m pretty much 100 percent,” she said. “Everyone on our team is tough and fights through the injuries every team has to deal with, so it’s just a basketball thing.”
McGraw said Cable’s toughness has not gone unnoticed, and her play has been much appreciated.
“She’s played a huge role for us this year, and I would say that it’s been a pleasant surprise because, coming off an injury and even dealing with the injury this year, we didn’t know how effective she would be,” McGraw said. “She’s gone through a lot to be out here.”
Cable said she enjoyed contributing to Notre Dame’s blistering 24-1 start, but believes there is much more success to come for her and her team.
“I don’t think there’s been a best part of the season so far,” she said. “We’ve had our success so far, but hopefully it leads to greater success.”
With Cable finally a known commodity, the Irish will look to achieve just that.
Contact Brian Hartnett at email@example.com