Olivia Miles, a freshman, leads Notre Dame in the Round of 16

Olivia Miles doesn’t remember when she realized she was good at basketball. What does she remember when other people felt that she was good at basketball, which happened almost as soon as she started playing in fifth grade?

“People were just telling me I had the ability,” he said.

It was just as obvious for anyone to see as it has been in the NCAA Tournament so far, where Miles, the Notre Dame 5-foot-10 point guard, has already made history either in the women’s or men’s tournament first. Become the latest player. Three times two In his first tournament game, an 89-78 victory over Massachusetts, Miles had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

“Seeing the Triple Double has always been good for me, because it convinced me that I was putting a lot in court,” he said. “It’s fun to get that statistic – my mark and a legacy.”

Mel, 19, could talk about Triple Double as an old friend because what he recorded in the first round was the second of his college career. And she comes regularly with only one return or the other.

In the second round dubbing of Oklahoma’s Notre Dame, the No. 4 seed, Miles Fifth-seeded Fighting Irish, was eliminated by 108 points, the program scoring the highest in its tournament history. In that game, she had 9 points, 7 rebounds and 12 assists.

These numbers are a testament to Miles’ ability, but he is also trusted by Neely Ivy as head coach of Notre Dame in his first job on the planet. Miles, who was ranked No. 8 in his class by ESPN HoopGurlz, promised Notre Dame just two days later, with Ivey, a former Notre Dame star player and assistant coach, taking over the top job in 2020.

“I’ve basically given him the ball and said, ‘Give me the ball back in four years,'” Ivey said.

As it turns out, Melvin loves to pull the ball away. She is Notre Dame’s leading scorer, but she averages 7.4 assists per game – second only to Iowa’s Caitlin Clark in that category.

These assists are one of the most eye-catching parts of his highlight reel, often coming in transit when only a few seconds have been shot-off.

“My first practice with him, he immediately gave me three open shots,” said guard Dara Mabry, a senior. “I was like, ‘Wow, this is going to be fun.’

Miles can read defenses at a near-professional pace, is ready to review them immediately and is usually looking for a teammate. She watches the court through her signature sports specs (no, she never wants to try contact lenses).

“She’s probably the best vision I’ve ever had,” Ivy said.

Mel attributes this ability, in part, to football, which he played on as a kid in Philipsburg, NJ, before he stepped on the hardwood. It was her first game, and she played every fall in high school – even to the point when she could focus on basketball alone.

“I feel like reading the guards, looking at the open places and finding the right pass at the right time – these parts of soccer really translate to basketball,” Miles said. She also believes that diversifying her athletic efforts has made her more sustainable. “It helped me a lot in adapting to different movements, different moods and cuts,” he said.

Miles also studies NBA and WNBA players, which helps him to imagine a wide array of options for any sport. This is hardly a revolutionary strategy, but watching Miles play, his passing and his tactics seem very close to the professional level compared to most of his peers.

“Sometimes we will be rushing to court as soon as the transfer is made, and she will see and pass,” Mabry said. “I’m like, ‘Dude, how do you do that? How did you know this was going to happen?'”

As she explains it, Mel realized that she had to take the word “student of the game” literally because she hadn’t seen much basketball. His father is a runner and loves football, and his mother had no interest in sports. Together, they had little sense of the possibility that the match was inside the game and the way it would take them to feel.

“I didn’t even know that you could go to college to play baseball,” Mel said. “Other people just had to sing to us, like, ‘This is the next step for him.’

As serious as she is about basketball, the more time she spends studying YouTube videos and Twitter clips from Terry Young and Stephen Carey, Arike Ogunbowale – another Notre Dame basketball player – and, of course, she is. Mercilessly acknowledged, Sue Bird.

“Even though she’s been to UConn and it’s a great thing, I really enjoy watching her play,” Miles Bird and his teammates said of the competition. “I mean, his dream is ridiculous.”

Cultivating her own look has become Miles’ main mission, one she is so focused on that she chose to count on her senior season at the boarding school at Blair Academy, New Jersey. The season was already postponed several times due to the Corona virus outbreak, so Miles suggested to Ivy that he be joining the team in late January 2021 to become Notre Dame’s first entry into women’s basketball. General Chat Chat Lounge

“I was like, okay, we don’t have the weather and I’m just going to faint,” Miles said. “In my high school, I didn’t do anything – while I was learning and growing both in education and in court.”

Early enrollment is common for athletes who like to play fall sports, especially football, because they have a chance to ease into the college experience. But for miles, that meant starting between college and college athletics in both conference play – and running the floor for his older and more experienced teams.

The lessons of these early games are given at just the right time, with the Notre Dame offense under the command of Miles. Miles has led the way to a convincing victory in the tournament so far. Next, she will try to repeat one of the biggest victories of the season for Notre Dame, a regular-season victory over North Carolina State when the teams meet again in Round of 16 on Saturday – with Wolfpack as the No. 1 seed. with the .

“I want her to enjoy it, I want her to lead our team and build momentum, and I want her to play freely,” Ivey said. “In other words, I want Olivia to play her brand of basketball.”

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