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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Hoops | NSD Coaches Notebook | Part II

November 12, 2023

Notre Dame basketball head coach Micah Shrewsberry was joined by Irish Director of Recruiting Brian Snow on Wednesday to discuss signing guard Cole Certa‍ and forwards Sir Mohammed‍ and Garrett Sundra‍ (pictured) in their first National Signing Day at South Bend.

On what landing players - like Carey Booth and Sir Mohammed - whose parents played in the NBA says


“I think trust first and foremost. They've trusted. We've recruited those kids now - Carey and now Sir - for a few years. I think they've come and watched us practice. They've come and watched us work out. They've seen the film that we've sent them. They've seen the player development that Grady Eifert and Trey Witt and our assistants are doing with those guys and they see how they're getting better. They see our style of play and it reminds of them of the NBA experience that they had. They're both in front offices right now and I think they're seeing some of the stuff that they're doing in Denver and Oklahoma City that we're doing the same exact things. We're playing the same exact way and they trust that these guys are going to become better basketball players here because of that. Then from there, it's the relationships. Those guys are NBA executives and they trust that we're going to do right by their kids as basketball players, but we're going to take care of them as well and this Notre Dame community is going to take care of them and they felt comfortable in that.”

On impact of current roster on recruiting needs


“That's the interesting thing. We knew what we had even coming into this year from a human being perspective. Everybody we had on this roster that we brought over, we knew. Tae Davis is someone Coach Shrews and I have known since before he was even in high school. Markus Burton, he's watched because he played against Braeden forever. Obviously, Braeden's his son, Logan Imes we've known. So we knew what we had as human beings as skillset. Now you never know exactly how everything's going to translate until the games start, but we had an idea and we knew these kids as well because we'd already been recruiting them, so it was kind of a seamless transition. We felt their specific skillsets would fit the holes we had with what we already knew we had coming in. So it was a very seamless transition for us and it was kind of easy for us to project them into what we were doing going forward.”


“We knew a little bit coming in, but also to be able to get them all together and now be able to grow with them. That's the thing. Our vision is we want to be good in the present and the future. We're going to recruit high school kids and we're going to keep them here. We're going to make them ours. We're going to get them better. It allows these guys to grow together.

“I know we're going against the grain of what everybody else is trying to do. If you look at signing day around the country, people don't celebrate this like they used to because they're recruiting during the handshake line. I'm recruiting high school kids and so they know. We know who we got and who's coming, but they know too. Sir Mohammed knew who was going to be on our roster. I'm not going to pull a rabbit out of my hat in the transfer portal in the spring and now he's saying, 'Well, I didn't know you had this guy.' Or, 'We didn't know this was going to be here.' They can look at our roster and see who's going to be here and how they all fit together. As a parent, that has a kid that's a junior in high school, he can look and see this is Notre Dame's roster, this is who they're going to have. This is how I fit with them and I can see it. We're not going to beat down the doors of the transfer portal to sign these kids and then bring in a whole bunch of different kids and now you have no idea where you stand. You're going to know it with us.”


“Also, I think you have to know what job you have. We're at Notre Dame, you can't get everyone in, but the kids who are coming here are coming here for a lot of different reasons. It's not just basketball. It's the school, the community, the connections. So we have to take that into account when we're recruiting. We know we're not going into the portal because we can't get them into school anyway. So we specifically focus on the job we have. Not every job is the same. Where we came from, it's different. Other jobs in our league are different, but we know here, you're going to have kids and that's why we're going to build it the way we are.”

On potentially recruiting five-star or potential one-and-done prospects


“If somebody's a good fit, we're going to recruit them. That's it. If you're a good player and you're a good fit for Notre Dame and you're a good fit for our basketball program, we're going to recruit you. If you're not, we're not. So, I'm not going to recruit some guy that's a one-and-done if he's not going to fit us. The one thing is, whoever does the rankings isn't coaching my team.


“Those guys used to be really good, by the way. I don't know about now, but they used to be really good.”


“They're not coaching our team. So I've got to find guys that fit me. If that guy is the Top 10 player in the country, I'm going to recruit him because I know he fits me. If he's the 480th player in the country, I'm going to recruit him because I know he fits me because I'm coaching him. You don't coach paper. You don't get to coach a ranking. You don't coach a star. You coach people. And I recruit people because I believe in them. So we're going to take the best, whoever the best is. If there's a top 10 player that's here, that's close, then we're going to go get him. We're going to go after him and I'm going to make him a priority. If he's further away, then we'll do the same exact thing. If they fit us. We don't change for somebody else. They've got to become us.”

On importance of recruiting players who have played with and against other top players


“Iron sharpens iron, so you're going to see them against the best all the time. Sir was at NBA camp and he was really good there. Cole's been playing against top competition for a long time with the Illinois Wolves and obviously Garrett every day in practice, I mean his teammates are signing with power conference schools everywhere today. You're going to get a good look at them, and the way that they react gives you a better idea of how they function around other good players. When you see someone who's never played with another good player, let alone against another good player, sometimes what they do isn't going to translate as well. By the way, you see that in transfer portal as well. Guys who are transferring up levels and all of a sudden what they did doesn't work. So there's a lot of things to consider, but you get the best look you can get when you recruit good kids from good programs.”

On Snow’s background as a former media recruiting analyst 


“I don't want to be the cynical college staffer who says, 'I don't pay attention to that stuff.' Yes, you do. With that said, because I was in that for so long, I also know where the holes in the system are, and they were different when I worked than where they are now just because of the people who all left when I did. But I don't necessarily pay attention to what they're ranked or who's offered them, but it can give you a guide and there is a historical level of success of five-star guys, four-star guys, three-star guys, and anyone who denies that is just ridiculous and lying to themselves. So you pay attention to it, but I'm not calling those dudes like, 'Hey, should we recruit them?' No, that's what we do. We figure it out.”

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