Notre Dame Basketball Recruiting Class Ranked in Top 20

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In recent years, Notre Dame college basketball has been more nationally relevant than Notre Dame college football. Sounds kind of weird doesn’t it? Then again look at who the top three projected teams in the Big Ten: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan- all traditional football powers.

Irish basketball, that is Notre Dame men’s basketball, not a version of the sport from the Emerald Isle, is going to remain strong with the signing class announced this week.

Mike Brey has announced the signing of Zach Auguste (Malborough, Mass./New Hampton School), Cameron Biedscheid (St.Louis, Mo./Cardinal Ritter College Prep) and Austin Burgett (Avon, Ind./Avon)to National Letters of Intent as members of Notre Dame’s class of 2016.

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Notre Dame 2010-11 Season Review, Look Ahead to 2011-12

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Less than 24 hours after his team met a shockingly early exit from the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame college basketball coach Mike Brey was named this year’s Henry Iba Coach of the Year, presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). The duality of emotion was quite indicative of how the 2010-11 Irish season went.

Brey, who was recognized as the Big East Coach of the Year honors for the third time in five seasons just two weeks ago, led the Irish to a 27-7 record (14-4 in conference) as Notre Dame finished second in regular-season conference standings and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the second consecutive year and fourth time under the 11-year mentor.

But a lot of it seems inconsequential as the Irish suffered a monumental upset at the hands of Florida State Sunday night. Any time a #2 seed, the school’s highest since 1981, fails to survive even the first weekend- that’s what you call a choke.

By Paul M. Banks

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#10 Seed Florida State Upsets #2 Seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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You could say this was payback for the storied 1993 #1 vs. #2 college football game of the century between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Florida State Seminoles. It was the first ever ND-FSU meeting in college basketball, and the ‘Noles ran away with it 71-57. In a game that was never really ever in doubt after the first ten minutes.

The east coast really smacked up the hoosier state in this United Center double dip as the VCU Rams beat the Purdue Boilermakers 94-76 in the first game of the Chicago NCAA doubleheader.

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame’s Mike Brey Developing into One of Nation’s Elite Coaches

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If you want to know what makes Mike Brey’s mind work, what makes him such a fantastic coach, his background in education is right there at the top of the list. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish leader has experience motivating kids, and shaping their potential.

“There’s certainly three sets of groups that have impacted me as a teacher. My parents. I’m the product of two educators, so I grew up around the dinner-table talk that way. Morgan Wootten, I was going to his camp when I was 9 years old and heard him give lectures and then was fortunate enough to go play for him, and then I went back and coached with him. So still a voice of reason and a mentor today,” Brey said at the NCAA Tournament Regional in Chicago’s United Center.

“And then obviously eight years with Mike Krzyzewski. I’ve had really great training. But Morgan is an educator and a teacher and a communicator, and that’s probably, between my parents and him, that’s probably the biggest things I took certainly from Coach Wootten. And he watches every one of our games, and I can’t believe he can text because he texts me after games, he is firing off texts left and right. He’s the best.”

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Is Notre Dame the Least Hyped top 10 Team Ever?

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If there’s only school that doesn’t fly under the radar it is Notre Dame. Plenty of pub for the Fighting Irish. Very few schools have seen their university as the star of a big budget Hollywood film; this school has had three.

But that’s college football, not college basketball. Is the overwhelming obsession with the gridiron, at the expense of interest in the hardwood the main reason this Fighting Irish team isn’t being talked about all that much? The Irish certainly take care of business on the court, 17-4, 6-3 in the Big East, the best conference in America. They’re #9 in one poll, #8 in the other and Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports.com ranks them #5.

But yet they’ve all done this very “quietly” because South Bend is like Ohio State and Penn State- the fans just don’t get into hoops on a level remotely close to how much they care about football. Despite the fact that football team never graced the polls for a single week in 2010.

Let’s try to figure out why

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame Hoops Media Day Notes, Quotes and Observations

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When it’s 85 degrees outside, it’s somewhat difficult to think about college basketball season, but practice is underway and Notre Dame Media Day is already over.

It was interesting to see if ND Head Coach Mike Brey would still rock his trademark mock turtleneck underneath a sport coat today, as this afternoon was shorts and flip-flop weather.

And the light-hearted banter I walked in on (a bit late unfortunately) was all about the topic of wardbrobe, the NBA’s new dress code for coaches and how the mock doesn’t work for men who are out of shape.

Then the press conference officially began and it was all business. Well, basketball actually, because that’s the business at hand.

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame’s Mike Brey donning Kilt for Charity

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I’ve always been a fan of the wardrobe of Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey. He’s well known for his suit with no tie and a turtleneck sweater underneath instead of dress shirt look. I rock a similar look often, except I substitute a tight Banana Republic stretch t-shirt underneath instead of the turtleneck sweater.

So I don’t mind following his lead on fashion, especially if it helps out a good cause. And Brey is issuing a challenge to all Fighting Irish fans in an effort to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Michiana.

As part of McDazzle 2010 “Men in Kilts,” Brey is participating in a fundraising effort that will provide a free overnight stay at the Ronald McDonald Family Room for the family of a critically ill child.  Brey is among 12 participants who have joined forces in this unique promotion in an effort to raise money and awareness for the Ronald McDonald charities in the South Bend and Mishawaka region.

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Notre Dame’s Mike Brey elected Chair of NCAA Rules Committee