Oct 28, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT
Mike Franz, the official 2013-14 men’s basketball beat writer for the In The Paint blog, is currently a sophomore at Holy Cross College. Over the course of the year Mike will bring you insight from within the student section, interviews with Fighting Irish players and stories from inside the team circle. You can follow Mike (and the rest of the Notre Dame student beat writing staff) on twitter at @JrNDBloggers.
The Notre Dame Men’s Basketball team played their first exhibition game of the season against the University of Indianapolis on Monday at Purcell Pavilion. Although the team got off to a little shaky start, once Notre Dame got rolling there was no stopping them. The Irish handled the Greyhounds, defeating them 95-69.
The four freshman (Demetrius Jackson, V.J. Beachem, Austin Torres, Steve Vasturia) played extremely well, with all four of them scoring at least one bucket in their first game with the squad. However, the upperclassmen stole the show tonight with an absolute clinic on the offensive side of the ball.
The two seniors from Maryland, Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant, proved why they are the leaders of this team. Scoring 13 and 14 points, respectively, this tandem is a force to be reckoned with this season. Grant and Atkins have some of the best communication between one another on the court, knowing exactly where the other is at all times.
This was best exemplified tonight when Atkins was inbounding the ball in the middle of the second half. Atkins threw a little alley-oop in front of the basket with Grant charging in from the top of the key, unbeknownst to the players of Indianapolis, to put in the easy layup.
Another East Coast student-athlete, Pat Connaughton, made his presence known to the Greyhounds. This junior proved he can not only throw a wicked curve ball as a pitcher for the Irish baseball team, but he also can score buckets from inside the paint as well. This multi-sport Irish student-athlete ended the game with 12 points.
The things that impressed me with Connaughton were his ability to stay strong when underneath the basket and get chances to complete the “old school” three-point play, along with his free throw shooting ability going a perfect 3-3 from the line.
The real star of the game for me was Garrick Sherman. Scoring 21 points in the game, rebounding the ball well, and being that big presence underneath the basket were just a few of the things that Sherman did well tonight in Purcell. With Knight and Auguste out due to injury, it was great seeing this grad student from Ohio step up and be that big guy underneath that players could toss a pass down to and have Sherman put it in for the easy bucket.
Head Coach Mike Brey was really proud of Sherman’s performance tonight, saying “Sherman’s gotta be a really rock solid guy for us and I think he can do that.”
Brey suggested this was the start of a great senior year for this kid. “Guys have great senior years here… Why can’t he?”
This game tonight was a great showing of what is to come for these four upperclassmen and the rest of the Notre Dame men’s basketball team this upcoming season. Notre Dame’s last exhibition game is this Friday, November 1, against Tusculum at 9 PM in Purcell Pavilion. The game will be televised for free online at WatchND.tv.
About In The Paint
Women’s Basketball on YouTube
Notre Dame Women's Basketball Defeat French All-Stars in Madrid
Length: 1:54 | August 12, 2013
Kayla McBride Talks About The 75-57 Win - Women's Basketball
Length: 1:14 | August 12, 2013
Notre Dame Women's Basketball Defeat French All-Stars in Barcelona
Length: 1:28 | August 12, 2013
Skylar Diggins Look Back - Notre Dame Women's Basketball
Length: 4:19 | May 2, 2013
- #NDFAMILY - Become a Social Ambassador for @NotreDame on #NDday 2014! Click here to sign up sot.ag/2CyzW/ 25 minutes ago
- "Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen." -Michael Jordan 2 hours ago
- Last, but not least, a big THANK YOU to @NDfidm's Megan Bastedo&Lesea Broadcasting's Robin O'Sullivan for the time&work put into our videos! 13 hours ago
- RT @ndwbbsid: .@kaymac_2123 earns MVP honors to highlight Tuesday's 2013-14 @ndwbb awards banquet and Final Four celebration: http://t.co/t… 13 hours ago
- A SPECTACULAR banquet put on by our very own @SharSharND! Huge thanks to all the work she & her helpers put into this event! #EOYbanquet2014 14 hours ago
Men’s Basketball on YouTube
Meet The Freshmen, Demetrius Jackson - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:08 | August 1, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, V.J. Beachem - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:13 | July 30, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, Steve Vasturia - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:06 | July 25, 2013
Meet The Freshmen, Austin Torres - Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Length: 1:13 | July 23, 2013
- See who we'll be playing during our next two ACC campaigns… tinyurl.com/kuu93dp 23 hours ago
- RT @NDSportsBlogger: How many times has Pat Connaughton (@PlanetPat24) been on ESPN this year? I don't know, but add another one tonight! h… 1 day ago
- We will be on @ESPNU tonight! Well, we won't, but Pat (@PlanetPat24) will! He takes the bump tonight for the rubber game against #11 Miami. 1 day ago
- .@gsherm11 registers double with 22 pts. and 10 rebs. in final game at Portsmouth Invitational as his team drops 85-71 decision. 3 days ago
- .@EAtkins0 with 5 pts. and 8 asts. in final game of Portsmouth Invit. as his K&D Rounds Landscaping team downs Mike Duman Auto Sales 87-69 3 days ago
- W. Basketball. McBride Earns MVP Honors At 2013-14 Women's Basketball Awards Banquet
- M. Golf. Irish Claim Four-Shot Win At Oak Hill Intercollegiate
- Baseball. Irish Return To Region With Wednesday Matchup Against Central Michigan
- Softball. #21 Irish Split Midweek Doubleheader With North Carolina State
- W. Tennis. Notre Dame To Compete In First-Ever ACC Championship