The 2017 NBA Draft is set to take place Thursday night and two former Notre Dame Fighting Irish standout will look to either hear their name be called out or to sign with a club following the draft.
But if you were to look up some NBA mock drafts, you will find that majority of these predictions leave Steve Vasturia and VJ Beachem out of the draft.
It may be shocking to see these two names off of NBA mock draft lists considering they helped lead Notre Dame to their first conference championship in program history, back to back elite eights, 12 conference wins in 2016 in what some may say is the most challenging conference in the nation and another trip to the ACC conference final.
Vasturia and Beachem even held their own against top prospects like North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, Duke Blue Devil’s Luke Kennard and Florida State Seminoles’ Jonathan Isaac.
SOUTH BEND, In. — The Notre Dame Fighting Irish may have found Bonzie Colson’s successor early Saturday morning, as former Connecticut Huskies’ power forward Juwan Durham tweeted his commitment to the Irish.
The incoming transfer wrote:
Blessed to have the opportunity to do is this again. I'm going to Notre Dame! 🍀🍀
Durham tweeted out his intent to transfer from Connecticut back on April 3rd, following a mediocre season for the Huskies that saw them go 16-17. Their season ended in the American Athletic Conference tournament by 10 at the hands of the Cincinnati Bearcats, and no post-season tournaments followed.
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”.