Aaron Craft’s NBA career projection: Ben Hansbrough

ben-hansbrough

If you want to forecast how the professional basketball career of over-publicized, former Ohio State guard Aaron Craft, then look at the pro career of once over-publicized, former Notre Dame guard Ben Hanbrough.

If SIU is “Floor burn U,” then Ben Hansbrough was “Captain Floor Burn.” During his college basketball career, he was even grindier than his brother Tyler Hansbrough. Ben didn’t make any preseason Big East all-conference teams, but yet he was the 2010-11 BE POY. Ben Hansbrough and Aaron Craft aren’t that similar of players, but they do have some similarities; most importantly the bottom line of what their NBA future holds.

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Notre Dame vs Louisville 5 OTs: instant classic

mike brey

ESPN College GameDay picked the right game to feature this week as Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center gave us the game of the regular season. Notre Dame vs Louisville on Saturday night was a 5 OT masterpiece won by ND 104-101. This was reminiscent of the 6 OT Big East Tournament game between UConn and Syracuse. Contests like these make me sad that this is a soon to be defunct conference. This was easily the college basketball game of the year.

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Notre Dame hoops helping New Jersey, victims of Superstorm Sandy

notre dame cheerleading

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called out the GOP majority in the house for dragging their feet on relief for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. And rightfully so, the Republican do nothing congress did even more nothing as relief efforts continue for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and most notably for those in the state of New Jersey, dragged for weeks behind the aid given for previous hurricanes.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team is now getting involved in the cause. A special online auction will be held from now until January 17th on Notre Dame’s official web site UND.com as fans have the opportunity to bid on several unique items. Proceeds from the auction will be presented to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Christie, a longtime friend of Irish head coach Mike Brey, is scheduled to be in attendance at the Notre Dame-Rutgers game at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 8:00 pm (ET).

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#18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: College Basketball 111 in 111

notre dame cheerleading

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Mike Brey continues to produce results as Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach.  With pretty much everybody back from last year, ND will once again be a major player in what figures to be their final year as members of the Big East Conference.

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Notre Dame is really overseeded at #7, pick #10 Xavier

mike brey

Last year, Notre Dame leader Mike Brey was named national coach of the year, and deservedly so. This year, he did an even better job. Because he had so much less talent to work with. The Irish (22-11), picked for ninth in the Big East Conference back in October before star player Tim Abromaitis was lost for the season in November with a knee injury, came on strong to finish third with a 13-5 league record.

It was “Ewing Theory” in it’s finest form, because despite losing the only player with any accolade, the Irish weren’t far off (at least in Big East play) from last year’s squad, which earned a #2 seed close to home after being in the discussion for a #1 seed and ranked in the top 5 nationally towards the end of the season.

Last year’s Irish team looked like they could make a lot of noise in the tourney if their shooters stayed hot. It didn’t happen though, as the Irish choked, and got upset by #10 seed Florida State in the SECOND round.

This team on the other hand, looks likely to go nowhere in the big dance.

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Notre Dame, once written off, look like NCAA Tournament lock now

eric-atkins

When best player Tim Abromaitis went down for the season, Notre Dame was totally written off for the entire college basketball season. Instead, they’ve had a true Ewing Theory going on, just like they did in 2010 when star forward Luke Harangody got injured and missed a lot of games down the stretch.

The Fighting Irish were written off by everyone after some bad losses in November and December. Yet here they are today, among the best teams in the Big East, and a team that beat four ranked opponents in January alone.

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Notre Dame Basketball Recruiting Class Ranked in Top 20

mike_brey

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 Will Be Tim Abromaitis’ Team This Season

tim abromaitis notre dame

Notre Dame basketball had an unexpected breakthrough season last year, even though it ended very poorly. They had the second best record in the Big East and were just one Big East tournament win away from probably securing a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Of course, there was the disaster upset to #10 seed Florida State very close to home at Chicago’s United Center. Still it doesn’t take away from all that the team accomplished last year.

Last year’s Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough is now playing professionally in Germany.

However, Tim Abromaitis is still in South Bend, and he’s a nightmare match-up due to his ability to stroke it from deep and use his size to back down defenders in the post.

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#34 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: College Basketball 111 in 111

cheerleading

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

In losing Luke Harangody, expectations were lower for Notre Dame last season.  However, their veteran line-up rose to the challenge, finishing with the second best record in the Big East and earning a number two seed in the NCAA Tournament.  With three starters gone from a year ago, the Fighting Irish are again flying under the radar heading into the 2011-2012 season.

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

mike brey

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

ben-hansbrough

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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