Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2017 Issue

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

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Page 47 of 63

48 MAY 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED MEN'S BASKETBALL team's most valuable defensive player in 2016-17, will likely step into the starting lineup after averaging 4.7 points per game as a sophomore. Sophomore point guard T.J. Gibbs will see an increased role after a rookie campaign in which he aver- aged 4.7 points and 1.7 assists per contest. Brey frequently played both Farrell and Gibbs at the same time, a combination that allows Farrell to play off the ball. Incoming freshman D.J. Harvey — a 6-6 wing from Hyattsville, Md. — is rated as the No. 48 overall prospect in the country in the class of 2017 by Rivals and has the chance at playing major minutes as a rookie. Forward Austin Torres returns as a fifth-year senior off the bench and se- nior forward Martinas Geben could work his way back into the starting lineup after an up-and-down junior season. Notre Dame's other post options are unproven, but Brey has high hopes. Sophomore forward John Mooney and junior forward Elijah Burns enter the mix for playing time this coming season, which gives Brey and the Irish a sizable front line. "We do have good size up there," Brey said. "You kind of look at dif- ferent lineups and maybe even put Bonzie on the perimeter a little bit with two big guys. "You've got to experiment with a little bit of everything throughout the summer." ROSTER MOVEMENT The biggest hit to Notre Dame's roster for 2017-18 came March 28, when rising junior wing Matt Ryan announced his intention to transfer out of the program. Ryan averaged 3.6 points per game this past season as a sophomore off the bench. The 6-7, 228-pound na- tive of Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., had a larger role as a freshman in 2015-16, averaging 5.1 points while logging 14.5 minutes per game. The best game of Ryan's sopho- more campaign came in the ACC Tournament semifinals against Flor- ida State, when he scored 11 points in 13 minutes off the bench. Ryan played in 72 career games for Notre Dame, making four starts (all as a freshman). A lethal outside shooter, he made 82 of his 206 career three-point attempts (39.8 percent). Ryan was expected to have a siz- able role for the Irish next season be- cause head coach Mike Brey's team must fill the void left by the depar- tures of seniors V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia. Brey was asked about Ryan's deci- sion to transfer out of the program. "We talked right after the season and for Matt, it's a little crowded on the perimeter," Brey said. "There's no sure thing for like a Vasturia minutes or Beachem minutes. For him he felt it was a little risky. "I don't blame him. You can't guar- antee anybody anything and he felt he needed to explore." As of April 17, 472 Division I play- ers had announced their intention to transfer. Last year, more than 700 players transferred to different schools. ✦ In his first year as a starter, point guard Matt Farrell averaged 14.1 points, 5.4 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals over 34.4 minutes per game. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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