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.

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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.

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