Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 24, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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48 SEPT. 24, 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BASKETBALL RECRUITING BY LOU SOMOGYI T here is no such thing as having too early a start in recruiting. Thus, while head coach Muffet Mc- Graw's reigning national champions are concentrating on signing at least two more players in the 2019 haul, they received a huge head start to 2020 when 2018 Pennsylvania Gato- rade Player of the Year Alli Campbell announced Sept. 13 on Twitter she will enroll at Notre Dame in 2020. Ranked No. 1 academically in her class with a 4.32 grade-point average, the 5-11 point guard is rated as the No. 23 player nationally in the class of 2020 by Prospects Nation and No. 24 by ESPN HoopGurlz. As a sophomore last season, the Al- toona, Pa., native Campbell led Bell- wood-Antis High to the Pennsylvania Class 2A state title while averaging 26.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 4.1 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. She capped her stellar season with a 34-point effort in the state title contest in which she converted 10 of 18 from the floor, 4 of 6 from three-point range and 10 of 11 from the foul line while tallying 24 of the team's 25 second- half points in the 45-42 victory. She stepped into the starting lineup as a freshman a year earlier and earned second-team all-state no- tice while averaging 17.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.2 steals, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals per contest. Among her suitors were 2017 na- tional champ South Carolina and pe- rennial Pac-12 power Stanford, but she told The Altoona Mirror that the choice was not difficult to make so early in the process. "The coaching staff is amazing," she said of Notre Dame. "The academics are second to none. The opportunity to play for a Hall of Fame coach is once in a lifetime. "After watching them fight through all of their adversity last season, I feel extremely proud, excited and honored to become a member of the Notre Dame family." She is the first verbal pledge in the 2020 class for the Irish. Notre Dame has two in 2019 with forward/wing Sam Brunelle and guard Anaya Peo- ples, ranked No. 4 and No. 21, respec- tively by ESPN HoopGurlz. The Irish had official visits from for- wards Aliyah Boston (No. 3 in Hoop- Gurlz) and Malu Tshitenge-Mutombo (No. 56) for the Michigan football game Sept. 1. Boston still has visits set up, including UConn in November, while Tshitenge-Mutombo is down to Notre Dame and North Carolina. Two more official visitors will be in town for the Stanford game Sept. 29. California wing Haley Jones is the nation's No. 1 overall prospect and recently pared her list down to a final five of the Irish, Stanford, Connecti- cut, South Carolina and Oregon. Also visiting that weekend will be Laeticia Amihere from Canada, No. 10 overall on HoopGurlz. She recently had an official visit to Louisville. ✦ For the third straight week, Mike Brey and the Notre Dame men's basketball program hosted a five-star prospect on an official visit. Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic center Hunter Dickinson, the nation's No. 17 overall player in the class of 2020 per Rivals, began the run during the weekend of Sept. 1. Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy power forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Rivals' No. 10 player overall in the 2019 class, followed the next weekend. The third player, however, has even a higher profile than Robinson-Earl or Dickinson. Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Acad- emy 2019 point guard Cole Anthony made his first trip to South Bend to check out the Irish program up close. The 6-2, 180-pounder is the son of former UNLV star and NBA veteran Greg Anthony, and Rivals rates him as the No. 1 point guard and No. 3 overall player in the country. Notre Dame has made Anthony a priority throughout the process, so securing an official visit was a huge win for the staff. The Irish sit in the five-star's top 12 along with Duke, Georgetown, Louisville, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami, North Carolina, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Villanova and Wake Forest. The Anthony camp has taken a calculated approach to the process by not letting information out to the media and public to tip where the talented point guard is leaning. Actions speak louder than words and based off that, the Irish appear to be squarely in the mix and not just a name in his top group. Anthony is expected to take ad- ditional official visits during the fall, and the time frame for a decision remains unknown. It would not be shocking to see a spring commit- ment occur. With just two scholarships available, Brey and company can afford to spend time on the "big fish," and Anthony qualifies. The Irish would not be wasting their time if the Anthony family wasn't reciprocating the interest. — Corey Bodden 2020 Point Guard Alli Campbell Commits To Notre Dame Campbell was tabbed as the 2018 Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year as a sophomore after averaging 26.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 4.1 steals and 1.7 blocks per game while leading Altoona (Pa.) Bellwood-Antis to a state title. PHOTO COURTESY MANNING PHOTOGRAPHY Irish Men Host Another Five-Star Recruit Cole Anthony, the No. 1 point guard and No. 3 overall player nationally per Rivals, took an official visit to Notre Dame during the weekend of Sept. 15. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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