While the Notre Dame Fighting Irish only signed one recruit to their class of 2017, the Irish got the ball rolling early as they secured a commitment from class of 2018 four-star point guard, Prentiss Hubb.
The on-court success of the Irish seems to be transpiring on the recruiting trail, as Notre Dame has been starting to secure some blue chip recruits. Demetrius Jackson led the way, followed by soon-to-be sophomore T.J. Gibbs, incoming freshman D.J. Harvey and now Hubb.
Hubb’s commitment marks the second straight recruit Head Coach Mike Brey has landed from the state of D.C in two years. Both Hubb and Harvey come from D.C. where they squared off against each other in high school.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are heading home early this year from the NCAA Tournament as their dreams of being national champions came to an end Saturday afternoon thanks to an outstanding all around performance by the West Virginia Mountaineers.
“They’re really good, they’re really good, they got the look, they could play for a while” said Head Coach Mike Brey concluding the game.
Notre Dame was close to being a first round tournament exit on Thursday, after a sluggish performance against Princeton, only beating the Tigers by two points.
But if the past has told us anything, it was that first round matches have always been tough for the Irish. Even when the Irish narrowly lost to the Kentucky Wildcats in the Elite Eight back in 2015, they were close to going home early on the first day.
After Thursday’s win and the then thought “tournament jitters” were gone, the Irish were expected to turn it up a notch with a more formidable opponent knocking at their door.
West Virginia proposed a tough matchup with their defensive intensity and their ability to alter offensive rhythm through their tight full court press.
Mike Brey Stated:
“Our start really hurt us, you know we were in a 10-0 hole and you’re kinda digging out against them the whole day, it was hard to get over it. Their style of play is really hard to deal with, I think you know it wore on us at times”.
The #5 seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish will begin their road to the Final Four on Thursday March 16th at 12:15 PM when they take on the #12 seeded Princeton Tigers at the KeyBank Centre in Buffalo, NY.
Notre Dame is coming off a loss in the ACC tournament finals against the Duke Blue Devils, who made a late push to put the Irish out of reach of their second ACC title.
Regardless of the outcome, the Irish are going dancing, and have been seeded in the West Region.
The quadrant includes teams such as the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the #1 seed, who dominated the West Coast Conference, finishing the season with a 32-1 record, and the Arizona Wildcats, who came away victorious in the Pac 12 tournament final.
“Thrilled to be back in this thing again (NCAA Tournament) and we are kind of making it an annual event, which is what you want your program to be doing” said Coach Mike Brey right after Selection Sunday. “To not sweat on Selection Sunday, which we haven’t in a long long time, is good for the blood pressure and the hair line”.
Wednesday night was a bitter sweet night when the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Boston College Eagles. On one hand the Fighting Irish solidified their spot in the double bye club in the up and coming ACC tournament and are still in the hunt to share the regular season title with North Carolina.
The Irish also won their 12th league game and sent seniors Steve Vasturia and VJ Beachem out with a win; something the two of them both deserved considering what they accomplished in their Notre Dame career.
“Couldn’t have script it any better”, said Head Coach Mike Brey following the game. “Two seniors have fun, you can take them out of the game to a standing ovation with a minute and a half left…certainly a great way to finish our season in front of our home crowd”.
Saturday was a big day for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as they won their 10th ACC game of the season, defeating the NC State Wolfpack 81-72.
In addition to their 10th ACC win, Notre Dame will finish the season with a winning league road record, something Mike Brey is very proud of.
“10 league wins in this league this year, is something to be really proud of”.
NC State is a well coached team; a team that Mike Brey knew the Irish couldn’t take lightly.
“I talked to them [players] very openly and said ‘you know fellas I think we’ll get their Duke effort tonight’”. He later went on to say to the media, “don’t be surprised if you know they do somethings interesting here in the regular season, especially in Brooklyn”.
Brooklyn will be the location of the upcoming ACC tournament as Notre Dame will try to win the league title since taking it in 2015.