Notre Dame Season Preview
|Record Last Season
||25 - 10, 11 - 7 Big East
||Jack Cooley, Pat Connaughton, Scott Martin
||VJ Beachem, Demetrius Jackson, Steve Vasturia, Austin Torres
||Eric Atkins, Jerian Grant, Cameron Biedscheid, Tom Knight, Garrick Sherman
||12/3 @ Iowa, 12/14 @ Indiana, 12/21 @ Ohio State
|Notre Dame Schedule
|Notre Dame Scouting Report
Things to Watch
Switching from the Big East to the ACC is not going to be much of a big deal for Notre Dame. They are still sort of an outcast from the rest of the conference. The nearest school is a 10 hour drive. But most importantly, they will jump in to a conference that they have a legitimate shot at winning. The Fighting Irish return three of their top four scorers from a 25 win team.
Notre Dame comes in with one of the best backcourt duos in the conference in Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant. Atkins is the true definition of the term workhorse. He played every game, and averaged 38 minutes per game, and played at least 31 minutes in every game. He also averaged 11 points and 5.5 assists per game. Grant was the team's leading scorer last season, averaging 13.3 points, along with 5.5 assists. The one issue with his game is that he is turnover prone. Grant averaged nearly three turnovers per game last season. He also shot 40% from the field last year, and that can be better too. Should either of these guys get rest, the Fighting Irish will rely on true freshmen VJ Beachem, Demetrius Jackson, and Steve Vasturia.
As good as the backcourt is, the frontcourt is going to be a bit of an issue this year. None of the returners averaged more than 15 minutes per game. Look for Garrick Sherman, Tom Knight, Zach Auguste, and Cameron Biedscheid to handle the frontcourt duties. Sherman and Knight are both 6-10 seniors who can score when needed to, and are solid rebounders. Auguste only averaged about 11 minutes per game, but did average 3.7 points, and Biedscheid is a 6-7 sophomore who can score, but needs to improve on his 35% field goal shooting.
The nonconference schedule is pretty easy. The Irish should go undefeated through November. The first big test is at Iowa in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in early December. The only other tough nonconference games on the schedule are against Indiana and Ohio State just before Christmas. The first conference test for the Fighting Irish is a home game with Duke, followed by another home game against NC State, before playing four of the next five on the road. After that follows a stretch of four of the next five at home, which includes game agaisnt Virginia and North Carolina, before playing four of the final six on the road.
There is no doubt that the backcourt will be a point producer. But how well this season goes depends on the success of the frontcourt. The leading returning rebounder averaged just 4.7 rebounds per game last year. Someone will step up in the rebounding department. Mike Brey likes to rely on his starters a lot. All five starters avearged at least 29 minutes per game last year. Despite the rebounding question, Notre Dame is still a talented team, and they will finish in the top half of the ACC this season.
by Will Ojanen @WillsWorldMN
Fantasy Player to Watch
Jerian Grant is Notre Dame's best scorer, averaging 13.3 points per game last season. He also averaged 5.5 assists, which tied him for the team lead with Eric Atkins, and his 1.3 steals per game was second on the team. He can help in three different categories.
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