Hannah Hidalgo is the parachute that Notre Dame needed

It's time for the world to give Hannah Hidalgo her flowers as she sets the nation on fire with her defensive prowess and playing-making ability. Here are a few ways she has helped rescue Notre Dame's season.

Notre Dame v Louisville
Notre Dame v Louisville / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Fans, analysts, and critics have been focusing on Caitlin Clark, JuJu Watkins, Mikaylah Williams, and MiLaysia Fulwiley (respectfully so). However, it's time for everyone to give their flowers to freshman sensation Hannah Hidalgo.

Last season, the Fighting Irish were well on their way to a deep run in the NCAA tournament. However, Olivia Miles suffered a season-ending knee injury four days before the first round of the tournament.

Notre Dame went on to the Sweet 16 where they were outmatched by Maryland. Despite the Fighting Irish entering this season without their star point guard, they still have high expectations. The team started 5-1 in their first six games and one player who stood out was Hidalgo.

Hannah Hidalgo could be a generational talent

Hidalgo scored 31 points in her college debut and followed up with five games where she scored 20 or more points. She can score in bunches but the versatility in her game is what makes her special.

The 5-foot-6 guard can spot up from 3, pull up on the dime for a midrange shot, and finish at the rim. That and her ability to get others involved separates her from other stand-out freshmen.

Hidalgo helps Notre Dame get into their offensive sets, push the break, and play with a high level of intensity. As of now, she has scored five 30-point games and there is still more basketball left before March Madness.

Hannah Hidalgo is record-breaking

The New Jersey native broke the ACC Rookie of the Week record and has received the honors 11 times. She continues to dominate games and lead the team by example with her intensity on the defensive side of the floor.

Hidalgo is a mastermind on the offensive side of the floor but she also can lock down. Last Sunday, she broke Skylar Diggins-Smith's steal record (114) with Notre Dame, hitting 115 with plenty of games left on the schedule.

In addition to breaking the school record for steals, the freshman standout broke the ACC freshman steal record. Right now, she is averaging 5.1 steals per game. She is physical, jams the passing lanes and will press halfcourt when her team needs to turn up the pressure.

Attitude reflects leadership

Hidalgo is currently averaging 25.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.6 assists while shooting 36.9 percent from 3 and 48.1 percent from the floor. Notre Dame is playing well as a collective and juniors Sonia Citron (16.4 points) and Maddy Westbeld (13.9 points) have been playing superbly.

Needless to say, the Fighting Irish have been looking up to Hidalgo and following her lead. It's evident of the bond that she is building with her teammates and the coaching staff.

Head coach Ivey trusts her freshman point guard and it has paid off. Anytime you hear Hidalgo talk she always puts the team first. The level of grit that she plays with on the defensive floor rubs off on the rest of the team. Even though this team has been plagued with injuries, they have been playing with a high-level of confidence and it's due to the example that Hidalgo sets.