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Notre Dame Basketball

Brey: 'Everybody coming back knows it's Prentiss Hubb's team'

April 18, 2020

 TJ Gibbs, John Mooney and Rex Pflueger have left the program and Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey will now turn to find new leadership in 2020-21. 

It’s not easy replacing three guys who played a ton of basketball over the last three seasons, but junior point guard Prentiss Hubb is the answer to that question. 

In fact, Brey boldly said it was Hubb’s team during the final stretch of last season. 

“Everybody coming back knows it's Prentiss Hubb's team,” stated Brey. “It was Prentiss Hubb's team the last half of the season. Even Gibbs, Pflueger and Mooney knew that.

"He ran things. He called things. The stuff he said in huddles. He was running stuff. We'll smoothly get back into that in September."

Notre Dame isn’t on campus, so it won’t be an easy job for Hubb to step into the lead role full-time, but his head coach is extremely confident in him. 

“He was our quarterback,” explained Brey. “His voice is out there. It's too bad we can't be together more where I can develop it.

"I think we'll lose some leadership development long-distance. Hopefully, we can make up for that in the meantime.”

Now, Hubb will have help and Brey is counting on his veterans to also step up, but those questions likely won’t be answered until the season starts. 

“Nik Djogo has always been a team guy and a good voice,” Brey said. “Where is Nate Laszewski and Dane Goodwin by November 1st as far as voices? They've played a lot of basketball in two years of their college career.

“This will be Prentiss Hubb's team. Cormac Ryan has a great voice. He has been such a great supporter and I see him emerging once we get back on campus as well."

Ryan could be the X-factor when it comes to Notre Dame’s season and the Irish might have been a lock to the NCAA Tournament if the Stanford transfer didn’t have to sit the 2019-20 season. 

“I think our fans will be really excited about watching Cormac Ryan, who’s got some Ben Hansbrough,” said Brey. 

As a true freshman at Stanford, Ryan averaged 8.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists a game. Expect those numbers to go up, but Brey wants him to play with a little more pace.

"He is the whole package but we have to talk to him about slowing down a little bit,” explained Brey. “That's why I make the Ben Hansbrough comparison. Hansbrough played too fast when he first got to us, especially the year he sat out. Cormac - I had flashbacks.”

The goal might be to have Ryan play slower, but if he’s getting buckets, Brey might have to live with a couple bad decisions because of his ability to score. 

“Cormac is the whole package,” said Brey. “He can put it on the floor, shoot the basketball and he's more athletic than people think. He can get into the basket and get up to finish. He's a very good passer. He has to be better with his assist to turnover. He's learning in our culture that you don't throw the ball away.” 

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