Tag:Notre Dame
Posted on: August 5, 2011 11:55 am
Edited on: August 5, 2011 11:58 am
 

Notre Dame player's career could be over

By Matt Norlander

Eric Katenda, the 6-9 incoming Notre Dame freshman, may never play for the Irish.

Katenda went permanently blind in his right eye after taking a shot during a July pickup game, and since he's not yet approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse because of grades and academic requirements (Notre Dame is a lofty school to get into, after all), his chance to play D-I basketball may already be over.

Katenda is from Paris and is still attempting to finish up requisite courses to enable him to enroll at Notre Dame. The eye injury has set him back in every possible way. He now may go back to Paris to recover, see his family, and attempt to start classes in January.

But the eye injury could very well mean he's no longer able to play basketball at an elite level.
"It was just the perfect storm, he's coming down with a rebound and the guy kind of came up and was going for the ball and got him on an angle where it really caused an injury," Irish coach Mike Brey said.

"The injury, as it was explained to me, the trauma (caused) a build-up of blood and the pressure became so bad behind the eye and that severed the optical nerve. There's no surgery that fixes a severed optical nerve. Modern medicine doesn't have that yet."

Brey said doctors discovered the severed optical nerve when they performed a procedure to allieviate the pressure on the eye. The Irish coach said he learned of the injury July 8, right at the outset of a critical summer recruiting window, and has taken the news perhaps even harder than Katenda.
The good news is that Notre Dame will not take Katenda's scholarship away, even if he won't play. The Irish are certainly hurt, relatively speaking, by this, as the 2011-12 team will be much different from last season's. Notre Dame loses Ben Hansbrough, Ty Nash and Carleton Scott from the group, which overachieved to the point of a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 27, 2011 1:00 pm
 

Ben Hansbrough signs overseas contract

By Matt Norlander

After going undrafted last Thursday night, Ben Hansbrough is heading to Dirk Nowitzki’s homeland to upstart his professional career.

Hansbrough is bypassing workouts and tryouts with NBA teams, instead opting to sign a contract with Germany’s FC Bayern Muenchen, which is based in Munich. The Notre Dame standout who was the 2010-11 Big East Player of the Year (as the seasons pass us by in the future, the fact Kemba Walker did not win this distinction will be a great nugget of trivia) didn’t want to wait around, what with the NBA’s lockout surely set to begin Friday.

“I got a great offer,” he said by cell phone Sunday afternoon from Missouri. “It’s just something that I couldn’t pass up. I feel good about it. … It was tough at first feeling like I should hear my name called [at the Draft] but I can’t change anything about it. For now, I embrace a chance to go make some money.”

Typical honesty from Hansbrough, who was one of the more upfront players I deal with last season.

Bayern went 17-13 in 2010-11, by the way. Hansbrough, who has a one-year deal, will start his season with the team in September, but fly over to the Fatherland a month prior to get acclimated and work on improving his game immediately. Undrafted college players have often spent one, two, three years overseas before getting a chance at earning a living back stateside in the Association.

According to the South Bend Tribune, Carleton Scott, who left Notre Dame with one year of eligibility left, isn’t going to follow his teammate’s lead. Scott will give it a try with NBA teams and wait for the lockout to take its course, losing money and valuable time improving his game on foreign soil.

Hansbrough put up 18.4 points and 4.3 assists per game last season, a year that saw Notre Dame become incredibly formidable in a Big East that sent a record-breaking 11 teams to the NCAA tournament. Hansbrough and the Irish’s run ended prematurely, as the team fell in the third round to No. 7 Florida State.

Photo: AP

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 17, 2011 3:05 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Five-star guard Gary Harris cuts list to top five

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Gary Harris has been notoriously quiet when it comes to recruitment, keeping it close to the vest.

At the NBAPA camp on Thursday, Harris made it clear he’s making advancements in the process.

“Indiana, Michigan State, Louisville, Notre Dame and Purdue are coming at me the hardest,” Harris said. “That’s my top five.”

Harris, a 6-foot-4 guard from Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.), is one of the more intriguing prospects in the class of 2012. He is physical and long, which makes him tough on the defensive end and difficult to stop on the offensively. Harris is deadly with his mid-range game, and is working on getting to the basket.

The five schools on his list will have to wait to see him make his next move.

“After the summer is over, or after this June and July, my parents and I are going to sit down and talk about it,” Harris said. “I’m looking for a school where I can get playing time.”

Harris, rated as a five-star recruit by most services, is also looking to demonstrate his ability to run an offense and facilitate for others.

“I want to come here, play my total game, show off my versatility,” he said. “I want to show what I can do, show that I’m not one-dimensional.”

“I want to be a combo guard, I’m working on my ball-handling,” Harris added.

If the Midwesterner is able to consistently handle the ball and switch between the two guard positions, he will have no problem making an impact at the next level.

Photo:Nation of Blue


Posted on: April 21, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Too soon? A look at next season's holiday games



Posted by Eric Angevine

Our season just ended, but it's never too soon to start thinking about what will happen next. Certainly not for the organizers of early season tournaments, those resume-building events that often give us meaningful matchups. Recall that UConn and Kentucky met on Maui on November 24, 2010 in a preview of an eventual Final Four game. These early battles usually play out in front of few specatators, but they get a lot of scrutiny come Selection Sunday.

So, with that in mind, let's look at some of the evolving fields that organizers are putting together. Not all participants are settled as of right now, and personnel may change radically over the next month or so, but you can keep track of any changes by visiting the CBSSports.com early season tournament guide.

Some highlights:

Coaches vs. Cancer, Nov. 7-11 and 17-18: The automatic qualifiers -- meaning the four power conference teams that advance even if they lose in the first round -- are set. Arizona will be trying to carry over some momentum without Derrick Williams, and they'll be thrown into a field that includes Mississippi State, St. John's and Texas A&M. MSU was an absolute shambles last season, so it will be interesting to see if that's a thing of the past, or if Rick Stansbury is in a downward spiral in Starkville. SJU will be looking to prove that this season's resurgence was no fluke, and A&M has just been consistently good under Mark Turgeon.

Maui Invitational, Nov. 21-23: You don't need my persuasive arguments to see the value in this field. Duke, Kansas, Memphis, Michigan, Tennessee, UCLA, Georgetown and, of course, plucky Chaminade. One thing that jumps out, however, is Michigan getting another shot at one or more of the programs they faced during their growing season last year. Obviously, this will be quite the melee of blue-blood programs.

Diamond Head Classic, Dec. 22-25 & 25: This one isn't as loaded as the first two we looked at, but it has some intriguing possibilities. There are a couple of big-name programs looking for early statement games in Clemson and Kansas State, plus the always-intriguing mid-majors UTEP and Xavier.

Those three tourneys represent the best fields to date. There are several interesting teams in weak fields elsewhere, such as Marquette showing up in the Paradise Jam, experienced Notre Dame in a field of transitioning programs in the CBE Classic and defending national champs UConn slumming it in the amusingly-named Battle 4 Atlantis. The Puerto Rico Tip-Off throws Purdue in with a whole slew of NIT teams like Alabama, Colorado and Wichita State. Both VCU and Richmond show up as unexpected heavy-hitters in off-off-Broadway productions, as well.

These early tournaments are often just something to have on in the background while digesting heavy holiday meals and conversing dutifully with relatives, but there's usually a little intrigue if you scratch past the surface. There will be new coaches, new players and, best of all, a new basketball season coming, just as the weather starts to turn chilly again this year.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: April 15, 2011 11:14 am
 

Making the Leap: Big East forwards test waters

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Louisville has a chance to be one of the deepest teams in the country next season, although the potential loss of Terrence Jennings would throw a wrench into the equation.

Jennings, a 6-foot-9 big man, will test the NBA draft waters but will not sign with an agent.

Head coach Rick Pitino thinks Jennings will return to the Cardinals for his senior season.

“It will be great for T.J. to see how people work in this environment and the type of competition, and I’ll get feedback from every general manager on what he needs to work on,” Pitino said. “I think it’s almost good because . . . all the things I’ve been telling him, they’ll reinforce it.”

Jennings averaged 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds last season, but could return to be part of a loaded Louisville team with Final Four aspirations.

Peyton Siva is poised for a breakout year at the point, while Kyle Kuric, Chris Smith and Mike Marra will man the wings. Jennings, Gorgui Dieng and Rakeem Buckles are solid down low. The recruiting class will make an immediate impact, with small forward Wayne Blackshear leading the way. Chane Behanan is a banger down low, and Zach Price is also effective around the basket.

If Jennings returns, the Cardinals have a chance to make a deep run next season.

NBA Draft

Scott quietly tests waters

In a move that went under the radar of most college basketball enthusiasts, Notre Dame forward Carleton Scott announced he was entering the NBA draft.

Scott, a 6-foot-8 senior with one year of eligibility remaining, will not sign with an agent, leaving open the option of returning to the Fighting Irish next season.

“We’re just going to test the waters to see how the stock is on the next level,” Scott said. “We’ll just see how the process works out and go from there.”

Scott is a versatile forward who averaged 11.2 points and 7.4 rebounds last season, but he is not ready for the next level at this point.

Mike Brey loses Ben Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash, but the Fighting Irish should have a nice core if Scott returns as expected. Guard Tim Abromaitis is capable of carrying the team offensively at times, while Scott Martin is a nice inside-outside forward. Scott gives them another option at that end of the floor. Eric Atkins showed he is capable of running the team from the point guard position, and Jack Cooley is a banger down low. Incoming freshman Pat Connaughton is a big-time scorer.

It was a quiet decision, but Notre Dame can make noise again next season if Scott returns.

Photos: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 10, 2011 10:23 pm
 

Video: Ben Hansbrough talks ND's focus, ability

Posted by Matt Norlander

I wanted to come to New York City to give you something after every game. A quick blog post with some reaction, at the very least.

Then Notre Dame went out and crushed Cincinnati by 38 points. So here's Ben Hansbrough being diplomatic. I'll be back later with a piece on Marquette-Louisville.

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Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 8, 2011 2:16 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 2:37 pm
 

Projecting the first-round destinations

Posted by MATT JONES

I am a dork. Let’s get that out of the way right up front, because otherwise what I am attempting to do below will make no sense. While everyone else on the internet is giving their latest Bracketology projections and attempting to define the bottom half of the field of 68, I have a completely different goal. I want to try and get in the tournament committee’s minds and figure out exactly where the top seeds in the NCAA tournament will play their first round games .

Now this may seem like a silly enterprise, as on the surface it seems impossible to predict. If the process was random, with 68 teams and 8 different locales, projecting any team to any first round destination would be complete folly. But the process isn’t random and there is some logical basis to the assignments. In fact, if you understand two rules, projecting the assignments of some top teams can come rather easily:

1. The committee will try to put teams seeded in the top 4  teams in their region close to home.

2.  Duke will play in the state of North Carolina

Those two rules if not officially set in stone, are nearly always followed and thus give us some logical basis to begin a projection. At this point, our resident bracketologist Jerry Palm has these teams as the top 4 seeds:

  1. Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame
  2. Duke, Syracuse, Purdue, San Diego State
  3. North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida
  4. Louisville, Kentucky, St. Johns, BYU

While the order of those teams may change a bit and a couple of teams could crash the group (Vanderbilt, West Virginia, UCONN), it is likely that the vast majority of these teams will represent the 16 top seeds. For this year’s tournament, there are eight cities hosting first round games:

Cleveland
Chicago
Denver
Tucson

Washington DC

Tampa
Tulsa
Charlotte

Each city will be the host site of two of the top 16 seeds. So using our two rules above, we can begin projecting teams to particular sites based upon location. Cleveland is just a hop, skip and a jump from two No.1 seeds, Ohio State and Pittsburgh. Tulsa is the closest to Kansas and Chicago is virtually an extension of Notre Dame. So after placing the top seeds, the list looks like this:

Cleveland: Pittsburgh, Ohio State
Chicago:
Notre Dame
Denver:
Tucson:
Washington DC:

Tampa

Tulsa:
Kansas

Charlotte

Duke is a 2 seed and Charlotte is in North Carolina, thus making the Blue Devils a lock for the banking capital of America due to Rule No. 2. Purdue is within a quick drive to Chicago and Tucson is the only host city anywhere close to San Diego State. Syracuse would probably prefer to be in Cleveland, but because that locale is full, Washington DC becomes the most likely destination.

Cleveland: Pittsburgh, Ohio State
Chicago:
Notre Dame, Purdue
Denver:
Tucson:
San Diego State
Washington DC:
Syracuse

Tampa

Tulsa:
Kansas
Charlotte:
Duke

North Carolina is apparently still located in North Carolina and thus placing the Tar Heels in Charlotte ensures a packed house for each session. Tulsa is the location closest to Texas, making the Longhorns a likely candidate for that beautiful city. Tampa is in Florida and has a huge arena to fill, potentially enticing the fickle Gators fans to make the short drive. Wisconsin has no obvious destination, as nothing left is very close to Madison. But with Denver in that same general part of America and only one other western team, the Badgers seem likely headed for the Rockies:

Cleveland: Pittsburgh, Ohio State
Chicago:
Notre Dame, Purdue
Denver:
Wisconsin
Tucson:
San Diego State
Washington DC:
Syracuse
Tampa:
Florida
Tulsa:
Kansas, Texas
Charlotte:
Duke, North Carolina

This is when it starts to get tricky. BYU is the farthest west and can’t play on Sunday, meaning that Tucson is the likely home for the Cougars. St. John’s is in New York, which likes to think of DC as its dorky extension, thus sending the Red Storm to the nation’s capital. Louisville and Kentucky are both not close to either remaining destination, but the Cardinals are slightly farther west, sending them to Denver and Kentucky to Tampa. That makes the final split look like this:

Cleveland: Pittsburgh, Ohio State
Chicago:
Notre Dame, Purdue
Denver:
Wisconsin, Louisville
Tucson: San Diego State, BYU
Tampa:
Florida, Kentucky
Washington DC:
Syracuse, St. Johns
Tulsa:
Kansas, Texas
Charlotte:
Duke, North Carolina

Of course it is just as likely that the committee follows none of these parameters and just does what it wants. But if logic is used, you can book your travel destinations now.

Posted on: March 5, 2011 5:08 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Hansbrough and co. overshadow Walker's effort

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The difference in Saturday’s game between wasn’t Ben Hansbrough or Kemba Walker, despite fantastic, Big East Player of the Year-worthy performances from both.

What separates the two teams was clearly demonstrated in the final three minutes, with the last possession providing a perfect example.

With Hansbrough on the bench with five fouls, Notre Dame ended the game on a 10-2 run to take a 70-67 lead with eight seconds left.

On the ensuing possession, Walker couldn’t find a good look, instead passing off to a wide-open Donnell Beverly in the corner. Beverly proceeded to drop the pass, then fumbled it away as the Huskies never even got a shot off.

Simply put, what makes Notre Dame a Final Four threat and Connecticut a first-round upset candidate is the supporting cast. The Fighting Irish have plenty of secondary options, led by Tim Abromaitis, also capable of 30-point games when shots are falling. On the other hand, Connecticut has an inexperienced and inconsistent group of role players. In fact, Walker outscored the rest of the Huskies, 34-33.

When Hansbrough fouled out with 8:24 left, Notre Dame was up 60-52. Connecticut, led by 11 points from Walker, responded with a 13-0 run. The Fighting Irish showed why they can win without Hansbrough, though, getting baskets from Tyrone Nash, Scott Martin and Abromaitis over the next three minutes to take the lead and pull out the win down the stretch. Meanwhile, UConn completely faltered once Walker cooled down.

When Hansbrough is on the court, the Fighting Irish are a national title candidate.

Notre Dame creates as many match-up problems as anyone in the country. Tyrone Nash, a 6-foot-8 center, can handle the ball and initiate the offense, allowing Abromaitis and Hansbrough to run off screens and get open looks. He’s also a very good passer for a player his size. Martin and Carleton Scott are inside-outside forwards who can score in variety of ways, while also hitting the glass effectively.  Then there’s Abromaitis, a lights-out shooter with 11 efforts of at least 20 points this season.

They still aren’t getting the attention they deserve, but the Fighting Irish are a force for the NCAA Tournament.

As for the Big East Player of the Year race, Walker seemed to grab the lead with an unbelievable second-half stretch, when he scored 17 points in 10 minutes. If Connecticut had pulled out the victory, he would have been the man to beat for the award.

Hansbrough was excellent for the first 30 minutes of the game, going 8-for-9 from the field en route to 21 points. He nailed five 3-pointers and also posted four rebounds and five assists. His fifth foul with 8:24 left, when he lowered his shoulder into Shabazz Napier, nearly erased his effort, though.

Walker was poised to grasp the award.

When he passed up a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, however, he was also passed in the POY race by Hansbrough.

Photo: US Presswire

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com