Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

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

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44 JUNE/JULY 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED MEN'S BASKETBALL BY LOU SOMOGYI AND MIKE SINGER F or much of Mike Brey's first 19 seasons at Notre Dame, the re- cruiting balance on the roster was relatively consistent with two to four players in each class. In 2018, though, the Fighting Irish signed a five-man haul for the first time since 1991, which was Digger Phelps' final class in his 20 seasons at Notre Dame. Last year's quintet was comprised of guards Prentiss Hubb, Dane Goodwin and Robby Carmody (medically redshirted last season), forward Nate Laszewski and center Chris Doherty. The group of newcom- ers was classified as maybe the stron- gest in the Brey era, but it took numer- ous lumps during its 14-19 initiation into big-time college basketball. Such volume also resulted in two main storylines during the 2018-19 recruiting campaign. One, Brey and Co., went "outside their lane" in men's basketball recruiting when they pursued top-20 prospects. The unofficial "lane" is about No. 150 to No. 50. However, they believed they could afford to roll the dice with the numbers signed in 2018 because com- ing up empty wouldn't crush them. That resulted in the second story — not signing anyone in the 2019 cycle, which is believed to be a first at the school. The last hope was No. 1-rated point guard Cole Anthony, who this spring chose traditional powerhouse North Carolina, where he is likely to be a "one-and-done" figure. Notre Dame will have 10 scholar- ship athletes on the 2019-20 roster af- ter the transfer of junior forward D.J. Harvey to Vanderbilt, but major re- inforcements are needed again with at least three players entering their final season of eligibility: fifth-year senior guard Rex Pflueger, senior guard and third-team All-ACC for- ward John Mooney, and senior guard T.J. Gibbs. A fourth, senior forward Nik Djogo, has a fifth year of eligibil- ity in 2020-21, but could also use it as a graduate transfer elsewhere. If all four depart, that would leave Notre Dame with seven scholarships available in 2020 to reach the NCAA maximum of 13. As of May 14, nine known or con- firmed scholarships have been offered by the Fighting Irish staff, although one of them — local guard Jaden Ivey, the son of 2001 Notre Dame national championship point guard Niele Ivey, who has been an assistant for Muffet McGraw since 2007 — committed to Purdue April 24. The 6-3, three-star Ivey is unranked by Rivals. OFFER LIST While more scholarship offers are expected to be extended during the busy spring and summer recruiting period (the early signing period is Nov. 13-20), here were some of the initial figures: HUNTER DICKINSON 7-1 • 260 Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha RIVALS RANKINGS: Four star talent, and the No. 6 center and No. 26 over- all player nationally THE SKINNY: Dickinson took his visit to Notre Dame Sept. 1 and then went to Purdue Oct. 19, plus took an unoffi- cial to Maryland in November. Other schools in pursuit are Stanford and reigning national champion Virginia. Meanwhile, 6-6 teammate Earl Tim- berlake (nation's No. 39 overall recruit per Rivals) also could get into the mix. BRYCE THOMPSON 6-4 • 180 Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington RIVALS RANKINGS: Four-star recruit, and the No. 14 shooting guard and No. 58 overall prospect in the country THE SKINNY: Thompson — who is from the same high school as 2000-02 Irish star and current assistant Ryan Humphrey — has already taken of- ficial visits to Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan State and Texas A&M. D.J. STEWARD 6-2 • 165 Chicago Whitney Young RIVALS RANKINGS: Four-star prospect, and the No. 15 shooting guard and No. 60 overall player in the nation THE SKINNY: Considered one of the fastest guards in the country, he also is projected to have the skills to play at point guard. Notre Dame could be among his five official visits, with Illinois, Texas, DePaul and Louisville also in the mix. The 2020 Recruiting Cycle Needs Volume Again D.J. HARVEY TO PLAY AT VANDERBILT For the second time in three years, Vander- bilt became the landing spot of a Notre Dame transfer. After finishing third in scoring (10.7 points per game) and second in rebounding (4.3 boards per contest) as a sophomore forward last season for the 14-19 Fighting Irish, D.J. Harvey entered the transfer portal and se- lected Vanderbilt over Iowa. As a non-graduate transfer, he would likely have to sit out the 2019-20 season and then have two more seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2020-21. The Commodores recently hired former North Carolina Tar Heels and 19-year NBA star Jerry Stackhouse as their new head coach following the firing of third-year head coach Bryce Drew. Vanderbilt was 0-18 in the SEC this past year and 9-23 overall. One of the forwards for Vanderbilt was 6-8 Matt Ryan, who played at Notre Dame his first two seasons from 2015-17 before transferring and sitting out 2017-18. Ryan started 25 of the 29 games he played at Vanderbilt in 2018-19 and averaged 8.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game while shooting 32.8 percent from three- point range (59 of 180). He will use his final season of eligibility as a graduate transfer at Chattanooga. Listed at 7-1, Hunter Dickinson from Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic is literally and figu- ratively one of the biggest prospects on Notre Dame's board in the 2020 recruiting cycle. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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