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Notre Dame Basketball

Coach | Transfer PG Braden Norris Will Make Next Program Better Instantly

April 20, 2019

Gregg Allocco says Braden Norris was “incredibly underrecruited” coming out of Hilliard Bradley High School a year ago.

That seems to be changing after a successful freshman season at Oakland University.

Late last week, the point guard from Ohio entered the transfer portal as he looks for a new school and before the end of the weekend, he was in South Bend, visiting Notre Dame.

“I know the staff really, really well,” says Allocco, Associate Head Coach at Hilliard Bradley. “I couldn’t imagine Braden going to a better situation.

“A lot of things have to happen. They have to be sure it’s the right fit and Braden has to be sure on his end.”

The Irish haven’t extended an offer yet, but there certainly seems to be some interest.

“If he ends up getting an opportunity at Notre Dame and that’s what he ultimately decides to do, Notre Dame’s program is going to get better instantly because he’s going to really want to be there,” Allocco said. “He’s just going to be a great teammate and on top of it all, he can flat out play.

“He just understands how to play winning basketball. A lot of guys play basketball and a lot of guys are talented. This kid plays winning basketball. Needless to say, I love the kid.”

Allocco says “it begins and ends with the heart and the character that the kid possesses.”

“What I mean by that is he’s just been so committed to the game,” he continued. “In today’s day and age, it’s refreshing to see a young person who really, really plays the game for the love of the game. You see it in his game.

“He’s so highly-skilled and just understands the game so well. He’s the ultimate high-IQ kid combined with an elite skillset; great vision, can handle it and he is an elite three-point shooter.”

Norris started 30 games as a freshman for Oakland, leading the team in assists with 5.2 per game while leading the Horizon League in assist-to-turnover ratio, ranking 23rd in the country. He averaged 8.4 points and 1.42 steals a game and was named to Horizon League’s All-Freshman Team.

Norris made 67 of his 138 three-point attempts, 48.6 percent.

“He was leading the country in three-point shooting percentage for the better part of the season last year,” Allocco added.

“He’s got the game, but I think what enables him to really stand out and where he is such an impactful player to not just a team on game night, but to a program. He’s the ultimate culture kid, where his teammates, his coaches, he just gives you a sense of being all in. Whatever it’s going to take for the team to be most successful. It comes through in his play. He’s so unselfish.”

Hilliard Bradley has had success instructing its players to “make the right next play.”

“If you play that way then you’ll be unselfish, you’ll give it away to others,” Allocco said. “That’s what he does. ‘If I’m open and I’m a good shooter, I’m going to shoot the three and knock it in. If a teammate’s open, I’m going to put it on him. Tonight, I might not get a lot of opportunities to shoot it, but I’ve got to defend.’ Whatever is required, he’s going to do and he’s willing to do.”

Norris’ size probably prevented bigger programs from giving him a long list coming out of high school.

“He doesn’t pass the typical look test, especially at that level,” Allocco said. “He’s 5-11, maybe 6-foot.”

It was probably easy to overlook him on a stacked AAU squad that featured current Irish freshman Dane Goodwin and multiple other players who landed high-major offers.

“He was really an under-the-radar kind of guy because he didn’t have as much of the exposure opportunity coming out of high school,” Allocco said.

But the interest is there now.

“He is getting a lot of interest; definitely a lot of mid-majors calling a ton and certainly getting a good share of interest going at the high-major level as well,” said Allocco. “He’s absolutely going to have some terrific options.”

And Norris wants to take advantage of them.

“He has nothing but respect and appreciation for Coach (Greg) Kampe and Oakland and the opportunity that he got. He earned that opportunity though and did something with it.

“More than anything else, it’s just been his dream to play at the highest level that he could possibly play at. After this year, he was convinced that, ‘I can do this. If I have a chance to, I have to pursue it.’”

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