Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 2, 2015 Issue

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

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BY JORDAN WELLS O n the heels of one of the best seasons in school history — a 32‑6 campaign that included an ACC championship and a run to the Elite Eight — Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey noted at media day that there is little doubt on who receives the starting nods for this year's squad. It's the rest of the rotation that's still to be determined. "If we started tonight, [Demetrius] Jackson, [Steve] Vasturia, [V.J.] Beachem, [Bonzie] Colson and [Zach] Auguste," Brey said. "That's easy, right? That's not brain surgery. "But after that? Somebody asked me the other day who the sixth and seventh guy is, and I said I have no idea. I think we're still figuring that out. But we cer‑ tainly have a lot of candidates." The major question surrounding this year's team is how it will fare without departed leaders Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton. Grant picked up first‑ team All‑America honors en route to being selected 19th by the Washington Wizards in the 2015 NBA Draft, before eventually landing with the New York Knicks via a trade. Connaughton earned third‑team All‑ACC honors, and was picked 41st overall by the Brooklyn Nets before being dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers. "Last year's group was really ready early, and that was probably because of [the preseason trip to] Italy and cer‑ tainly two seniors," Brey said. "I think this group will be one that develops throughout the year. And I try to re‑ mind our staff and our players that as we're still kind of figuring out some moving parts. But I love what's return‑

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