Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 4, 2023

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 55

48 NOV. 4, 2023 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED MEN'S BASKETBALL BY JACK SOBLE T here have been good prac- tices and there have been bad practices for Notre Dame men's basketball freshman forward Carey Booth while he prepares for his first college basketball season. Born on July 18, 2005, Booth is young for his class, which isn't lost on Irish head coach Micah Shrewsberry. "Carey should be a high school senior," Shrewsberry said. "He's so young. He'd be unbelievable as a high school senior, right? He'd be really good." Before Notre Dame's media day Oct. 25, Booth — the son of former NBA player and current Denver Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth — had three solid practices in a row. "There's days where it's like, 'Man, he is a freshman,'" Shrewsberry said. "You see everything spinning and going 200 miles per hour in front of him. But in the last few days, it's really slowed down for him. We've tried to simplify some things for him on offense and defense so he can get more comfortable quicker, and attack." The way Shrewsberry talks about sophomore forward Kebba Njie, the Penn State transfer is much more ready to be the top forward in his system right now. But the 6-foot-10 Booth, who be- lieves his best attribute is his shot, has made significant progress — particu- larly on the defensive end. "I have to be able to guard guys as small as [5-foot-11] Markus [Burton] or guys as big as [6-foot-10] Kebba," Booth said. "It was tough at first, but the more you practice, the more you watch film, the more you're on Hudl, the more you learn. I've gotten better as time has gone on." Booth is one of four Notre Dame freshmen who, while they might not start and might take their lumps early, should be fixtures in the Irish rotation. "They're gonna have ups and downs," Shrewsberry said. "It's gonna happen. But they're also gonna help us, and we're gonna be better for it as a program with those guys playing right away." IMES IS A 'PROGRAM GUY' Of all the freshmen, Shrewsberry spoke most glowingly about guard Logan Imes. He described his son Braeden's AAU teammate as an "unbe- lievable program guy." "He is a dude that's gonna be here, he's going to be steady," Shrewsberry said. "He's gonna be on the court be- cause everything you ask him to do, he's trying to do it. Every single time." "I do a lot of different things," Imes said. "I'm gonna do a lot of the right things, like what Coach is asking. I'm gonna make the right play, I'm an ac- countable guy. I'm going to be a creator, get downhill, find open guys, create for the team and for myself at the same time." Imes has learned more about basket- ball in the past three or four months, he said, than he had learned in a long time. For a coach who preaches defense, defense, defense, this praise for Imes stands out: "At the end of the game, he's gonna guard the best guy." "You need guys that are out there preaching your culture," Shrewsberry said. "You need guys that are out there exhibiting your culture. And that's what he is." BURTON WON'T LET SIZE STOP HIM Freshman point guard Markus Burton doesn't consider his size to be a concern in the ACC. "I usually don't worry about being small as a basketball player, because there are a lot of college basketball players my size right now that are compet- ing all over," Burton said. "I feel like if you can put the ball in the hoop and guard somebody, you can play basketball at any level." The key to guarding bigger players, according to Burton: Putting pressure on them, get- ting up in their faces and not be- ing scared. Shrewsberry said the key for Burton's development will be playing early and often, because Notre Dame can't simulate the length and physical- ity other teams will bring. But he sees what will make Burton a dangerous point guard for the Irish. "His ability to find cracks, find creases in the defense, that's been evi- dent," Shrewsberry said. NO FAVORITISM IN THE SHREWSBERRY HOUSEHOLD Braeden Shrewsberry does not get preferential treatment from his coach/ dad, who had never coached his son be- fore this season. If anything, he gets the opposite. "He probably gets treated worse than everybody else," Micah Shrewsberry said. "If you know me — you guys will get to know me — I've got a very short fuse." Braeden is stoic, the elder Shrews- berry said, and won't let that rattle him. "He's pretty hard on me, because he knows when I'm going 100 percent and when I'm not," Braeden Shrewsberry said. "He just knows me probably better than everyone else on the team." The younger Shrewsberry described himself as a smart, competitive and tough player who, like Booth, believes his best trait is his shooting. He'll be a factor for the Irish. ✦ Notre Dame Set To Build Its Program On The Backs Of Four Freshmen Forward Carey Booth (left) and guard Logan Imes (right) are among four freshmen who are expected to be fixtures in the Fighting Irish's playing rotation in 2023-24. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Nov. 4, 2023