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Local HS star Alli Campbell enters transfer portal at Notre Dame

Photo by Notre Dame Athletics: Alli Campbell

Alli Campbell’s college career got off to a strong start at Notre Dame, as the freshman from Bellwood-Antis High School scored four points in 28 minutes against Ohio in the opener, then eight points in 28 minutes against Miami, Ohio in game two.

But after logging 56 minutes in those two games, Campbell barely saw the court the rest of the season. She played only 17 more minutes and scored just one more point over the final 18 games of the season, and the Fighting Irish finished just 10-10 in a down year for the program.

It came as no surprise, then, when word trickled out Thursday afternoon that Campbell has entered the transfer portal. She’s looking to leave Notre Dame, will be eligible to play immediately next season and will still have four years of college eligibility remaining, since this season is not counting against players’ eligibility.

It’s hard not to wonder: What happened with Campbell at Notre Dame?

How does a prolific high school scorer — a Blair County-record 3,019 points for two-time state champ Bellwood-Antis — and a star prospect who was ranked the No. 25 recruit in the country, go from playing 28 productive minutes in each of the first two games to getting buried on the bench the rest of the season?

Here are the important particulars:

** Notre Dame had a new coach this season in Niele Ivey, who replaced legendary coach Muffet McGraw, who retired.

** The Fighting Irish were short-handed the first couple of games because of roster issues with some starters, so Campbell was able to play a lot. When the starters returned, Campbell’s playing time vanished.

** It is not believed that Campbell was injured to the point where she could not play much. That issue never seemed to be addressed during the season by any public comments from Ivey. It would appear that Ivey simply must not have felt Campbell was ready to contribute much as a freshman.

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** The team was not very good, finishing 10-10. So, one would think that Ivey might have wanted to get more of a look at Campbell to see what she had in the 6-foot guard. The following tweet from a fan addresses that:

We’ll see if more information comes out about Campbell’s decision to transfer. She was such a highly rated recruit that she certainly will have a lot of major programs as potential suitors, so it will just depend on where she wants to go.

If by some chance Campbell wants to return and play close to home, Penn State coach Carolyn Kieger could be looking to make a strong push to try and land the local star out of the transfer portal. Then again, Campbell almost certainly will be drawing interest from programs that have been a lot more successful than Penn State.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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