Monday, April 27, 2009


April 27, 2009

Verbal Commitment ALERT: Eric Atkins, 6'1 PG from Mt. St. Joseph (MD) High School

Projected 2009-2010 Roster

Seniors: Luke Harangody* (BF), Tory Jackson (PG), Jonathan Peoples (G),
Juniors: Carlton Scott (F), Tyrone Nash (F), Tim Abromaitis (F), Ben Hansbrough* (SG)
Sophomores: Scott Martin** (SF)
Freshmen: Joey Brooks (SF), Jack Cooley (BF), Mike Broghammer (PF), Thomas Knight (PF/C)
2010 Commitment: Eric Atkins (PG)

* Harangody has declared for the 2009 NBA Draft, but has not hired an agent. He still has the option of returning to school.

A source with knowledge of the situation, has informed the NBE Basketball Report that 6-foot-1 point guard Eric Atkins committed to Notre Dame earlier this evening. Atkins is the first commitment for Irish head coach Mike Brey and staff in the class of 2010.

Read More...Click 'Read More' Below!!!


Probably the biggest position of need for Mike Brey in the Notre Dame recruiting class of 2010 is point guard. The Irish hope to have that position taken care off with the verbal commitment of Eric Atkins, a 6-foot-2 guard from Mt. St. Joseph High School in the Baltimore (MD)-area.

Atkins has been on the NBE radar for over a year now and our staff has been impressed with him on and off the court with each encounter. On the court, Atkins is long and lean, pushing 6'3 nowadays and working diligently at adding to his frame and is up to about 175 pounds, maybe a little more by now. Atkins has always shown a willingness to defend, set-up teammates while running the team and his own ability to score points when needed. Off the court, Eric has always been well spoken and is a good student that will be an asset to the Irish program.

Throughout his recruitment, schools such as Georgetown and Pittsburgh were very involved until receiving commitments from other guards and schools like UMass, Vanderbilt and Alabama were showing increased interest in his services.

Atkins very likely could be the only true point guard on the roster when he arrives in South Bend as Tory Jackson and Jonathan Peoples are seniors in the 2009-2010 season. The Irish were also very active in the recruitment of NJ-native Kyrie Irving and were 'probably' going to receive a visit from Irving this summer, from what the St. Pat's standout told NBE this past weekend at the Providence Jam Fest. However, the competition for Irving was steep and the neighbors at Indiana have put themselves in very good position.

At this point, the Irish will likely have three more scholarship open in the class of 2010. With point guard out of the way, Pittsburgh-area G/F Tom Droney, a pair of Illinois shooter-extraordinaires in Ben Brust and Alex Rossi as well as Delaware big man Malcolm Gilbert are other current targets, with certainly more to emerge in the coming weeks.

Thomas Knight joined an intriguing Notre Dame recruiting class that already included Joey Brooks (SF), Jack Cooley (BF) and Mike Broghammer (PF) just before the November signing period. Coach Mike Brey is certainly looking to add some beef inside to a roster that will likely have only 2009-2010 season senior Luke Harangody as a true post player. Knight stands 6-foot-8 and weighs in the vicinity of 250 pounds, definitely giving the Irish some more bulk in the paint.

After visiting Davidson, Maine, Northeastern, Rutgers, and finally Notre Dame, the trip to South Bend blew Knight away and he made his decision earlier this week. Knight, even though he is built like a potential right guard, will surprise people with his perimeter skill set that will allow him to face-up and knock down shots. Knight is a hard-working player that is intelligent both on and off the court, making him a nice fit for Mike Brey's program at Notre Dame.

Earlier this fall the Irish picked up a third commitment with Minnetonka (MN) native Mike Broghammer pledging for ND.

Broghammer is a 6-foot-8, 215 lb power forward that knows his role on the floor and goes to work in the paint. Last season at Hopkins High School, Broghammer averaged about 12 points and 10 rebounds for coach Ken Novak and the Royals. A player like Broghammer provides depth behind Big East player of the year Luke Harangody upon his arrival and should be a nice compliment to Jack Cooley in the class, giving ND another physical player in the tough Big East, which will naturally help the NCAA Tournament Odds of the Irish in the future.

Cooley is the heir to the throne in the post for Notre Dame that is currently occupied by Harangody. Cooley is a very similar player to Harangody as he comes to work every game and thrives in a rugged game. He is well equipped for the physical play of the Big East. Cooley is a double-double machine with Glenbrook South and knows his place is in the paint.

Cooley joins Joey Brooks, who chose Notre Dame over Arizona State, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest back in early Novemeber of 2007. He was an AAU teammate of former Irish target Steven Tchiengang who the Irish pursued until he committed to Vanderbilt.

Notre Dame, which did not sign any high school players from the class of 2008, does have a pair of new faces that will also make their debuts on the court in 2009-2010 with the incoming freshmen. Scott Martin played a vital role on the Purdue Boilermakers NCAA Tournament team of the 2007-2008 season. Martin averaged 8.5 points a game and nearly 4 rebounds a contest in 22 minutes a game, appearing in 32 contests for the 25-9 squad.

Martin hit 31% of his three-point attempts as a freshman and was second on the team with 78 made free throws, showing his ability to play inside and out offensively. The 6'8 wing played high school basketball at Valparaiso High School and was an AAU teammate of Irish big man Luke Harangody. After transferring from Purdue, Martin also visited Butler and Valpo, but he looks like an ideal player in Mike Brey's scheme and should step immediately into the position vacated by Ryan Ayers in the line-up after Ayers graduates. Martin will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2008-2009 season.

Last spring Notre Dame added Mississippi State transfer Ben Hansbrough, the younger bother of national Player of the Year recipient Tyler Hansbrough. The native of Poplar Bluff (MO) averaged 10.5 points a game as a sophomore, connecting on 36% of his shots from beyond the arc. Hansbrough played over 33 minutes a game in his 30 contests this past season, helping Mississippi State to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. Hansbrough could be the heir to Kyle McAlarney when he graduates and will have two years of eligibility ofter sitting out the 2008-2009 season.

Thanks for stopping by!


Read more!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


April 16, 2009

In Billy Gillispie's short time as head coach at the University of Kentucky, the hard-working recruiter seemed to have the market cornered with early commits. While the wins on the court were not coming as frequently as the decision makers at UK would have preferred, Gillispie was subsequently fired after just two years as the Wildcats' head coach.

With John Calipari now the head coach of Kentucky, many of those early verbal pledges have decided to look elsewhere, including one of the Bluegrass State's top prospects in the class of 2010, Scott County HS power forward Dakotah Euton.

"[Dakotah] de-committed from Kentucky with the coaching change and has Notre Dame very high on his list," said Euton's AAU coach, Ritchie Davis of the Wisconsin Playground Warrios, to the NBE Basketball Report.

Euton on his AAU teammates got the spring travel season off to a great start by going 7-0 and capturing the 17-U championship last weekend at the KnoxVegas Heat Invitational at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Euton, who is not the most athletic 6-foot-8 power forward on the scene, set the tone for his team with intense play and effort in the post, piling up solid numbers all weekend. His production was highlighted by a 22-point, 11-rebound performance in a semifinal win over the CP3 All-Stars of North Carolina.

"Dakotah is not very athletic but he makes up for his limited athleticism by playing so hard," said Davis. "His desire really started to rub off on some of our younger players this past weekend during our first event."

A skilled forward, who can step away from the basket and drain shots out to the three-point range, Euton has some similarities to current Irish star Luke Harangody with his constant effort and diverse offensive game. Other highlights over the weekend included a 21-point, 9-rebound performance against the Worldwide Renegades (GA) and a 14-point, 13-rebound effort against SYF Players (IN).

"Dakotah is a very skilled forward," says Davis. "He is easily one of the best shooters on our team, and his ability to step away from the basket and consistently knock down the three-point shot really enables our structured high/low motion offense to really work."

In addition to the Irish, Boston College, Davidson, Iowa State, North Carolina State, Oregon State, Purdue, Stanford and Virginia are among the other schools making it known they would like to recruit Euton now that he is not committed to Kentucky.

This weekend, Euton and his Playground Warrior teammates will be in Little Rock (AR) for the Real Deal in the Rock, followed by a trip to Akron (OH) for the King James Shooting Stars Classic. They will close out the month in Fort Wayne (IN) for the Spiece Run ‘n Slam where the NBE Basketball Report will look to check in on Euton and his team in action.

Check the NBE Basketball Report for more coverage of the Irish and the efforts of the Notre Dame staff on the recruiting trail.


Read more!

Monday, April 13, 2009


April 13, 2009

by Matt Whitfield

Shortly after letting go of Tyrone Willingham as head coach, Notre Dame agreed to a six-year deal with then former New England Patriot’s offensive coordinator Charlie Wies. Despite being heralded as Notre Dame’s savior, Wies’ four years in South Bend have been anything but smooth and the college football odds of the Irish continue to flounder. While things were fine the first two years with Brady Quinn, a Willingham recruit, behind center, things got down right nasty the past two seasons as the Fighting Irish combined for a 10-15 record overall.

This past season tons of fans were calling for Wies to be fired, however, all that talk was quieted with an impressive Hawaii Bowl victory. This upcoming season will be Weis’ fifth season and landing another top recruiting class will no longer cut it. While Jimmy Claussen is no longer just a baby-faced QB, and the top recruiting classes have stock-piled in South Bend for several years now, players and coaches alike both know the sign all too well hanging in the locker room, ‘play like a champion today.’ Anything less than that won’t be accepted this season in South Bend and could ultimately lead to the end of the Weis era.

NBE had the opportunity to catch-up with New Jersey native and Notre Dame-bound RB Theo Riddick recently to discuss his future at Notre Dame as well as the future of the Fighting Irish football program.

4,026 yards and 52 touchdowns, those are gaudy numbers, they are Riddick’s career high school totals and they prove why he was perhaps New Jersey’s most prized recruit this past season. According to Riddick, who is also a talented basketball player, though, “football came naturally,” and “that’s why it became my first love.”

That natural talent led Riddick to his choice of schools including Boston College, Penn State, West Virginia, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, and Maryland, however, he choose Notre Dame in the end because of it’s academics.

“Overall, academically,” said Riddick of what led him to Notre Dame. “You know you can’t play football forever. It’s a great sport when you go to college, through high school, through Pop Warner, but you know day to day you got to rely on something and with that degree I can do whatever I want.”

Riddick told NBE he took a visit to Notre Dame only once going up there for the Michigan game.

“What stood out so much was that it was a great variety of guys up there,” said Riddick of his impressions from the visit. “It’s not like they just recruit from one state.”

While out there in addition to meeting the entire team and hanging out with several of the players including Jimmy Clausen and Armando Allen, Riddick got to walk on the hollowed grounds of Notre Dame Stadium. Riddick told NBE that, “It was crazy. It was just nuts, man,” said Riddick. “I had visions of Jerome Bettis running through, and everything else, so it was just a great time and I loved it so much.”

Riddick won’t be the only freshman from New Jersey to take to the field this fall either. Notre Dame whose recruiting class was ranked 14th by ESPN, has two other incoming recruits from New Jersey in Tyler Stockton and Carlo Calabrese. Riddick told NBE that he has already connected with the two adding that he’s hung out with both players before. Riddick also added, “us jersey guys you know we love each other, [but] we really don’t get a lot of respect. “

Riddick will be leaving for South Bend June 18 knowing there is stiff competition for the RB spot. Despite there being a number of other RB’s vying for time, Riddick told NBE that he expects to make a contribution, “Whenever, [as] it’s in Gods’ hands, it’s in Coach Weis’ hands, [and] if I can prove I can play, I’ll be on the field.”

Riddick also interestingly enough grew up a Miami Hurricanes fan telling NBE, “I loved the Hurricanes. They were a monster. Growing up [though] you start being realistic with your future, [as] I didn’t really want to go that far, I didn’t want to go that route, but [now] ND is my favorite place.”

Riddick also has a message for the Fighting Irish faithful, “Watch out because we’re up and coming.” Hopefully this holds true, as for Weis’ sake they need to carry off of last years bowl win momentum and impress as they go through a manageable schedule in 2009.


Read more!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


April 1, 2009

by Ray Floriani

NEW YORK CITY – Notre Dame battled back from a poor first half but it wasn’t enough. The Irish fell to Penn State 67-59 in the semifinal of the NIT. Penn State moved on to the championship game to face Baylor, a 76-62 winner over San Diego State.

The final numbers….

…………………….POSS…………. PPP…………. eFG…………TO Rate
…Penn State…………66……………1.02………….46……………9…….
…Notre Dame……….66……………0.89…………..40……………11…..

The keys to the contest…

The start. Notre Dame shot 8 of 35 (22%) in the first half. At the break the Irish trailed 31-18 and were truly fortunate the deficit wasn’t twenty. Penn State defended as Luke Harangody (2 of 10 for four points) and Kyle McAlarney (1 of 7 for two pts) struggled on the offensive end.

Defensively Mike Brey’s club was getting beat in transition and Penn State guard Talor Battle proved to be a tough matchup on the break or in half court with his penetration.

The second half Notre Dame found the range. And what threatened to be a twenty point deficit was whittled to a three possession game with just under eight minutes to play. Harangody, bodied down low to the point of frustration was now getting effective and scoring. The Notre Dame full court pressure and half court traps caused problems. With the Irish down four and just under four minutes to go, Penn State’s Jamelle Cornlery hit a big , hotly contested, jumper in the lane to give the Lions some breathing room. Penn State went on to seal it from the charity stripe.

The Irish, paced by Harangody’s 17 points, ended the campaign 21-15. Battle led Penn State with 17. A crowd of 11,352 was on hand.

Notre Dame went through the NIT with a good mindset. Often teams not getting an NCAA invite approach the tournament with a little disappointment and are eliminated first round. The Irish, who finished as NIT runners-up on four occasions, planned to be around a while. “After we lost in the Big East Tournament coach (Mike Brey) told us in the locker room, we’ll be back here,” said ND assistant Anthony Solomon. “All along we worked and pointed to getting back to New York.” They did but the stay was a game shorter than hoped.

Harangody, as noted was frustrated by the physical play. He did setrlle down and play a big part in Notre Dame’s run the last eight minutes. Consencus of NBA scouts on hand, is he would best be served with another year in South Bend. “In the NBA he (Harangody) will see bigger defenders who are quicker and stronger than what’s he’s seen tonight.”

Joe Pa, Penn State’s legendary Joe Paterno, entered MSG with 6 minutes left in the first half to a rousing ovation from the Penn State faithful.


Read more!