The 2017 NBA draft took place yesterday, and a record 16 freshman were taken in the first round and two in the second; some of which were players Notre Dame’s V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia played against.
The remaining picks in the draft were a variety of upperclassmen, all of which were not Beachem and Vasturia.
Notre Dame has not been a program like the Kentucky Wildcats or the Duke Blue Devils who some call NBA development factories as they consistently send players to the draft year after year. The Irish have always been opposed to recruiting the one and done talent as it does not align with their vision.
However, Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey is starting to change that, sending four players to the NBA in the last two years and now V.J. Beachem who is expected to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Multiple reports have indicated that the Minnesota Timberwolves will be signing Beachem but there has still been no word on any teams picking up Steve Vasturia.
The Timberwolves stole headlines yesterday as they sent Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine to the Chicago Bulls, adding superstar Jimmy Butler in the process to their young roster of Karl-Anthony Towns and Canadian Andrew Wiggins.
V.J. will need to have a big summer league performance and refrain from playing inconsistent if he wants to prove he belongs in Minnesota.
While the Notre Dame fan base would have loved to see the Irish better represented in last nights draft, the future is looking bright. Mike Brey is transforming Notre Dame into a legitimate basketball school that contends with top ranked opponents and that is starting to garner interest from highly regarded recruits. With improved recruiting, player development, and the success that the overall team is experiencing, expect Brey to send more players to the draft in the coming years.
Stay tuned for more news regarding everything Notre Dame basketball as well as the results of former Notre Dame players in the summer league.