If the Irish are going to be factors in the Big East and NCAA tournaments, it will be because of Devereaux Peters.
Skylar Diggins is the leader. Becca Bruszewski, Brittany Mallory and Natalie Novosel have their roles. But, Peters is the difference.
Good thing. The 6-foot-2 senior is just starting to play like a veteran who is accepting that fact.
Sunday's 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots gave Peters her fifth double-double in the last nine games. Movement's better. Attitude's on track.
"She's a little more active," Irish coach Muffet McGraw said of Peters' recent improvement. "She really hit the boards on both ends (Sunday). She's looking to score more. She's being a much bigger offensive threat. The guards are looking for her more. She's gettin' a lot in transition."
"At one point, (the coaches) sat me down in (a) film (session) and were pointing out all the times I was standing," Peters said. "I really try not to stand as much. I try to be more active, so I can get the ball more."
Standing. Walking. And, most of all, running. None of it's easy for the warrior who has both knees braced up after a career of pounding on those joints.
"They hurt from time to time," Peters said of her knees. "It's kinda at the point where I really want to play, so it's like, 'All right, it hurts; as long as I can walk, it's ... whatever.'
"When I'm playing, I really don't think of it much. When I'm walking around campus, it hurts a little bit. In the game, there's so much goin' on, I don't even think about it."
Peters still shows flashes of the dynamic athlete who arrived on campus with a world of potential - but not a lot of respect - four years ago.
"Early on (in my career), I wasn't really part of anything," Peters said. "People kinda pushed me to the side. Early on, walkthroughs, everybody would say, '(the opponent) isn't going to guard you. Dev, you should do this because they're not gonna guard you.'
"I kinda took that to heart. I tried to make a difference, whatever way that could be.
"I was getting made fun of all the time. Freshman year, when we played UConn, I was literally on the wing and (Huskies star) Maya Moore was in the lane guarding me. I didn't know what to do because I'm not used to nobody guarding me.
"(McGraw) said, 'You have to do something for them to notice you.' Right now, I'm trying to get noticed. I want people to guard me. If they don't want to, I'll do the little cleanup job and get on the boards, which is fine with me."
The Red Storm noticed Peters on Sunday. She was a factor inside, on both ends of the floor. She scored off the quick passes inside. She rebounded. She forced as many shots to be adjusted at the last second as she had blocks.
Irish assistant coach Carol Owens has toughened up the post.
"I don't like getting hit all that much, I'll admit it," Peters said. "(Owens) has showed me when I can go inside and when I have an advantage on girls; when I could post up and get the ball. I'm starting to look for it more. I can get the lob. I'm starting to look for that right now."
And the Irish are looking for her.
"I can kinda be that push over the top," Peters said. "We do have a lot goin' on with us now."
Lot on the line in the next five weeks. Will Peters be the key?