AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa AnitaErwin’s business on the court is as a role player for the Irish, who are 10-5 overall and 1-3 in the Big East. The former Daily News Player of the Year has handled her transition from the go-to player for the Swordsmen to her role with the Irish well. “It’s been a huge adjustment,” said Erwin, who is scoring 5.8 points per game and is averaging a team-high 5.9 rebounds. “It’s tough going from being the star, scoring 20 points a game to a (role player). My role on this team is also as a team leader. I will always be a leader. “I can still do all the things I could do in high school. It’s just a different game in college, and I have to do my part. The role I have is to be a rebounding machine. I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far. It’s been difficult, but I’ve had to adjust.” She has also found a niche in the Midwest lifestyle. “I’m junior now, so I’ve gotten used to it,” Erwin said. “But I’m not used to the winters at all. I don’t think I ever will. “It’s a different pace here. It’s a lot more slower and everybody is more laid back. It’s a whole different lifestyle than Southern California. I feel people are a lot more friendly here. I like it. But I love California, and I will always be a California girl.” Erwin is also hoping a strong close to the season. “I think we can do some great things,” she said. “We’re a young team, but I think we can finish in the top three in the Big East. “We are going to have our ups and downs. We’re (10-5), and I feel we’re ready, if we can all get on the same page. We just have to learn from the games we lose, and we’ll be fine.” Individually, her goal is the same as it was when she committed to Notre Dame during her senior season at St. Paul. “I just want to be one of the most improved players in the Big East,” Erwin said. “I think I’ve started off pretty well in achieving that goal. “I’ve had some double-doubles and have played well. But those have been my goals since I was a freshman. It’s what I’m pushing for.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I worry a lot,” said Erwin, who has started all 15 games in her third season with the Irish. “But this is the third time he is going overseas. He assures me he is not going to be in any danger, that he will be working with computers and not dealing with civilians. But I know things can happen, so I’m always going to be worried. “But I know I have to focus on basketball, on school. I just have to continue to pray. It’s very hard. But I have to balance everything out. I miss him and want him to be home, but at the same time I have to take care of business here.” These are trying times for Crystal Erwin, a former St. Paul High School girls basketball standout who is now starting at Notre Dame. Not on the basketball court, where Erwin is key player for an Irish team that could do some damage in the NCAA Tournament. No, Erwin’s biggest worries comes from the personal side, where she is concerned about the safety of fiance Jammel Boothe, who will soon serve his third tour of duty in Iraq.