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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Freshman Ven-Allen Lubin Flashing Early

November 30, 2022

When scanning the practice floor at a Notre Dame hoops practice, one would see many familiar faces.

Notre Dame fans know the faces of the Core Four and even freshman guard JJ Starling. 

Yet when Ven-Allen Lubin walks into the gym, he catches your attention at 6-foot-8, 226 pounds. It’s a body type Mike Brey hasn’t had for a few years and the freshman forward falls into the NBA-type physical appearance with his length. 

On the floor, Lubin has impressed as he's averaged 7.2 ppg and 5.0 rpg through the first six games of his career, which also includes scoring 10 points and pulling down 13 rebounds in last Friday’s loss to St. Bonaventure. 

“Hopefully we can build on that,” said Brey. “That was one of the positives out of it. I think we have his role a little more defined around the basket. He’s not worried about his three-point shot or floating to the corner or shooting threes from up top. That’s not his fault. I don’t know if I did a great job defining that for him.”

Well, that role is defined now and look for the Irish to start to find Lubin on the block more going forward as he’s shooting 66.7 percent from the field. 

“Now, I think we have to look to throw it into him almost like we did with Paul (Atkinson). We’ve been searching for a post feed guy. We throw it into Dane (Goodwin) sometimes and Nate (Laszewski) a little bit. 

“Ven is a good passer and like sixth in field goal percentage in twos. I think maybe him blossoming as a low post guy would be good.” 

Lubin himself doesn’t lack confidence in his abilities, including providing that low post presence on the offensive end. 

“I did that pretty much all my years because I always had that mismatch advantage,” Lubin explained. “I always have that to my advantage. Whenever I get down low and I can make a play to score or pass out, I’m going to take it every time. My teammates have the trust in me to make smart decisions, then I know it’ll be beneficial.” 

The Orlando native might be just six games into his career, but you’d never know it as Lubin is more than eager to contribute on both ends of the floor. 

“I feel great,” Lubin stated. “I feel like I’m making an impact on the court. I feel like my role here is really important to this team. I feel if I can continue to produce the way I produced the last game, I can make an impact here in games. I can always keep positive energy and make energy on the court, so my teammates can pick it up.” 

Notre Dame’s veterans embraced Blake Wesley a year ago and have done it once against for Lubin and Starling this season. 

It might not always be easy to stay patient with a freshman, but Cormac Ryan and the other veterans know the importance long-term of guiding both players along.

“Ven has been amazing,” said Ryan. “I think he brings physicality and athleticism to our group. We need him playing with confidence just like everybody else. We need to be connected on both ends of the floor. 

“I think these guys are ready and they’re talented and capable.” 

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