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Notre Dame Basketball

Irish Add Talent, Toughness With 2018 Class

November 8, 2017
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Notre Dame has now signed what is considered by many to be the best recruiting class it has had under head coach Mike Brey as the early signing period for basketball opens up today.

Regardless, the group will be judged by what it accomplishes over the next four or five years in South Bend and Brey, his staff and players have raised the standard considerably over the last few seasons.

Sources close to the situation have told us the Irish don’t get overly concerned with where their prospects fall in the recruiting rankings, but know they’re “getting really good, tough dudes who have a great feel” and fit Notre Dame’s style of play.

The Notre Dame staff may not pay too much attention to the recruiting rankings, but there’s plenty to like there too as the Irish have inked four consensus four-star prospects who are all Top 100 players nationally.

And the Irish remain active looking for a potential fifth member of the group.

Prentiss Hubb

Washington, D.C. point guard Prentiss Hubb got the class started when he gave his verbal commitment back in May. Some list him as a shooting guard or combo guard, but the 6-foot-3, 170-pounder is being brought in to play the point all of the way for the Irish, which they’ll need when senior Matt Farrell departs after this season.

Hubb will miss his senior season after tearing his ACL last week, but the Irish love the fact he’s won a ton of games for Gonzaga Prep in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, which they consider to be the best high school league in America. The Irish aren’t about to start comparing kids to Jerian Grant just yet, but at times he looks almost like a left-handed Grant and he's ranked higher coming out of high school. An active defender, Hubb chose Notre Dame over offers from Maryland, Virginia and Villanova.

Robby Carmody

Maybe the most surprising aspect of Robby Carmody’s commitment a month later was the fact that Hubb beat him to it. The Irish seemed like the team to beat for the Pennsylvania shooting guard from the start.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder averaged 26.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game as a junior at Mars Area High School and picked Notre Dame over offers from schools like Pitt, Maryland, Auburn, Michigan and Ohio State among others. He was excited to sign with the Irish today.

“It's going to be a surreal experience,” he told Irish Sports Daily. “It's something I've dreamed about since I was little and for it to actually be happening is amazing. I can't wait to officially be a part of something special.” 

Carmody is one guy who will definitely bring a toughness to the roster along with his ability to shoot. His father is his high school coach, so it’s no surprise he has a great feel for the game and is probably more athletic than he gets credit for. He’s got some bounce and is a very good rebounder. One source told us, “Very similar to (Pat) Connaughton I would say.”

Carmody is excited about being a part of the Irish’s 2018 recruiting class.

“I think we just bring a little bit of everything,” he said. “Honestly, each guy has a specific skill set that will play well off the others’ strengths.” 

That being said, if there are two players in the class who are similar, it’d be Carmody and Ohio guard Dane Goodwin, who came onboard in July. The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Goodwin committed to Ohio State before he even began his playing career at Upper Arlington High School, but reopened his recruitment when Thad Matta left the Buckeyes. The Irish swooped in.

Dane Goodwin

“I've been looking forward to signing day for a while now,” Goodwin told us. “I am very excited to officially sign and become part of the Notre Dame family!” 

Outsiders wondered whether the Irish would take Goodwin when they already had Carmody, but they’re different enough to complement each other, according to sources. Still, like Carmody, Goodwin is a coach’s son who is tough and can shoot the rock.

“I think our class brings a lot of different things to the table,” Goodwin said. “All of us are versatile players and we can all play different positions. Ultimately, we will all be willing to do whatever Coach Brey needs us to do.”

By the time summer came to a close, Notre Dame was focusing virtually all of its energy and attention on Nate Laszewski, a 6-foot-10 stretch-four from Massachusetts. The Irish hosted Laszewski on an official visit in September and Brey followed up with visits to Northfield Mount Hermon for three straight weeks, including one trip when he brought his entire staff with him.

Nate Laszewski

From the time the Irish offered, it was obvious they would be a fit when considering playing style, academics and geography (his family is from Wisconsin), but he emerged as one of the top prospects in America following the AAU season and the Irish had to beat out North Carolina, Wake Forest and Arizona to get his pledge.

While talented enough to succeed in any system, it seems like Laszewski will be set up to flourish in South Bend given his length and his knockdown shooting ability.

“I think he’ll be great for them,” one Division-I head basketball coach told us. “I’m not sure he could have just gone anywhere and definitely been a stud, but in the right system with people who value shooting and floor spacing, I think he’ll be really good.”

And the Irish are still in the race for Laszewski’s AAU teammate with the New England Playaz, forward Chris Doherty. The 6-foot-7 Doherty took an official visit to Notre Dame this past weekend. He didn’t come into the trip looking to make a quick decision, but after seeing Notre Dame, he’s definitely thinking about making a decision soon.

The early signing period opens today and closes next Wednesday, so he’s got a week to decide if he’s seen enough. If he needs more time, he could still sign during the spring period in April.

While not as highly-rated as the current commits, Doherty is another kid Notre Dame believes would bring a great amount of toughness to the program.

Juwan Durham, the 7-footer who transferred into the program from UConn over the summer, could also be considered a member of this recruiting group since he’ll also become eligible for play next season.

Coming into the day, Rivals ranks Notre Dame's 2018 recruiting class as 11th-best in the country while 247Sports has the Irish at 7th.

 
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