Notre Dame Hoops Uses Unconventional Formula for Success

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“My theme is a lot of interchangeable parts,” Notre Dame Fighting Irish Head Coach Mike Brey said of his team this season. And it’s true, while last year’s team leaned heavily on Luke Harangody in the post and Tory Jackson at the point, this unit often sports a very unconventional line-up.

The Irish have ascended to the #15 national ranking in college basketball by sometime playing a set of five that includes four four-men.

“Certainly Ben and Abro are the most most confident to make plays, especially against are our early non league slate, and that’s not lost on me. They’ve been in the battles a little longer than the other guys,” Brey said of his system.

Indeed this team has won with experience, as seniors Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis lead the way.

By Paul M. Banks.

Tim Abromaitis Notre Dame

“I think it’s going to be really good for us because teams won’t know what to do with match-ups and mismatches, us having size but at the same time a lot of athleticism and a lot of talent,” Abro said of the system which doesn’t include a true point guard or a true center.

“Especially in the Big East, those teams don’t face a lot of teams like us,” he continued.

I guess we’ll find out Thursday, when the Irish open up conference play versus Georgetown. The team’s best attribute is personified by forward Carleton Scott, who described his best attribute thusly:

“My length, it helps me out defensively, being able to cover ground, recover and block shots.”

And it’s true this team has a lot of length, and it helps them out in disrupting passing lanes, getting deflections and getting run-outs. Brey has another front-line weapon in another one of his upper classmen, Tyrone Nash.

“You’ve heard of a point-forward. we may have a point-center in Ty Nash,” he said.

Nash spoke about the point center concept.

“That’s kind of cool, I’ve never heard of that, but I guess I can vibe with that, but we have a lot of ball-handlers, a lot of guys to work with and it’s exciting to see what we can do.”

We’ll see what they can really do when the conference season begins. So far the early returns have  been favorable.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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