NOTRE DAME BASKETBALL PREVIEW
October 22, 2013HOOSIER SPORTS 365
2012-2013 record: 25-10, 11-7 Big East
2012-2013 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike Brey
Coach Record: 285-142, 359-184 overall
Projected Starting Five:
Eric Atkins, Senior, Guard, 11.2 points per game
Jerian Grant, Junior, Guard, 13.3 points per game
Patrick Connaughton, Junior, Guard, 8.9 points per game
Tom Knight, Senior, Forward, 5.5 points per game
Garrick Sherman, Senior, Center, 7.0 points per game
Scoring Offense: 70.0 (107th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.5 (94, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.2 (39, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.0 (133, 12)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (127, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.0 (55, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.9 (119, 4)
Rebound Margin: 4.2 (51, 4)
Assists Per Game: 16.8 (6, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.2 (31, 3)
The Notre Dame basketball program has been a more consistent winner than the football program over the last 10 seasons. Head coach Mike Brey has coached this program to seven straight 20-win seasons and four straight NCAA tournament bids. Notre Dame will return four starters as they move into the ACC this season.
The biggest loss for Notre Dame will be Jack Cooley. Cooley averaged a double-double (13 points and 10 rebounds) per game, was the conference leader in rebounds and top-15 in the nation in rebounding average. When was out of the line-up, the Irish struggled to find any sort of rhythm. The Irish also lose Scott Martin who contributed valuable minutes when he did play. Martin 46 percent from the arc.
Brey has four freshmen coming in that will provide depth and should play extended minutes. Two of them will be V.J. Beachem, who is a top-20 small forward that will provide much needed versatility. Demetrius Jackson, considered a top-10 point guard by Rivals.com, is Coach Brey’s prized recruit. Eric Atkins played about 39 minutes per game last year and will have Jackson in the line-up to give him some rest. Notre Dame will also welcome PF Austin Torres, and SG Steve Vasturia.
Jerian Grant led team in scoring leader last year, and he will be the team’s go-to guy. Grant averaged 13.3 points per game. Grant is also strong at the free-throw line which adds to his value as a scorer. Pat Connaughton will be the trigger man from behind the arc. He shot 37.7 percent last year. Notre Dame was the best team in the Big East at shooting threes last year. Coach Brey has one of the most experienced and deepest teams he has had in South Bend. Returning starters, plus some very good freshmen, should add up to another 20-win season for the Irish. The X-factor for the Irish will be the move to the ACC but the Irish were in the mix every season in the very tough Big East.