Making those reads as a starter -- not in one of the four November games Reimer started when Achonwa was hurt but in the Final Four -- is the challenge. Associate head coach Carol Owens, the team's post guru, said her message all week has been for Reimer to focus on the little things that are easily controllable -- intensity on every possession, defense, rebounding. But hers is not a small role in the offense if it is running at full steam.
"The way the offense is, you take some risks," Owen said. "So she might have a couple of turnovers trying to hit Jewell or hit K-Mac or trying to take someone off the dribble and pass. But that's the freedom in the offense, freedom of movement."
Reimer didn't lack for company Saturday, her locker surrounded by a steady flow of people with questions during the 30 minutes media were allowed in. She appeared to take all the attention in stride, the grins that frequently escaped in stark contrast to the poker face and politely businesslike demeanor Achonwa maintains in almost any public setting. A McDonald's All-American from Indiana, a state that cares about high school basketball, Reimer is not unfamiliar with the spotlight, even if not one as bright as what will shine on her Sunday night. It came sooner than expected, but her turn was always going to come.
She doesn't need to win the game for Notre Dame, but it's going to be difficult for the Fighting Irish to win it without her.
"At the end of the day, Taya needs to be Taya Reimer," said Achonwa, who said Saturday that surgery to repair her torn ACL has not yet been scheduled. "She needs to play her game, and she needs to do what she can do. I've seen it all year in practice. I saw it even before she came here. Coach McGraw recruited her because she's a great athlete, a great player, and she's smart. She just needs to go out and be Taya Reimer."