Mar 1, 2014, 11:40 PM EDT
November 12, 2010: Notre Dame played Georgia Southern in Eric Atkins and Tom Knight‘s first regular season home game the duo participated in (Knight preserved a year of eligibility in his first year on campus). Atkins scored nine points in 22 minutes and Knight scored seven points in nine minutes as Notre Dame won, 98-61.
November 12, 2011: Notre Dame played Mississippi Valley State in Patrick Crowley‘s first regular season home game. Crowley played in the team’s 80-67 win.
November 10, 2012: Notre Dame played Evansville in Garrick Sherman‘s first regular season home game. Sherman scored three points in 15 minutes in the team’s 58-49 win.
March 1, 2014: Notre Dame played Pittsburgh in the final regular season home game for these four student-athletes.
Despite clutch shots by freshmen, VJ Beachem and Steve Vasturia, the Irish could not earn one final win in Purcell for the seniors as the team fell to the Panthers in overtime 85-81.
Nevertheless, these four “seniors” (Knight is a graduate student) had great careers as a part of the Notre Dame basketball program.
In his four years at Notre Dame, Atkins has scored 1,387 career points to go along with 576 assists. He became the 54th member of the 1000-point club at Notre Dame and was also just the fifth Irish men’s basketball student-athlete in history to join the 1,000 point, 500 assist club. He is currently tied for 19th all-time in scoring at Notre Dame. Atkins has scored in double figures in 71 career games while donning the blue and gold, nine of which he score 20 points or more.
Additionally, Atkins is also one of just 23 players to be named to the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard Of The Year Watch List. Atkins ability to not only score, but also move the ball to other players, makes him a difficult replacement once he leaves campus.
In just two years playing for the Irish, Sherman scored an impressive 618 points. At Notre Dame, he has compiled 29 games in which he has scored in double digits, with six of them being 20 or more points. In the team’s first year in the ACC, he is averaging 13.3 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game as well. He has developed his post moves while at Notre Dame and has proved himself as a big body underneath the hoop.
Personally, his best game with the Irish came in the exciting five OT win over Louisville last year. Despite not playing a single second during regulation, Sherman checked into the game during overtime composed and confident. He proceeded to score 17 points in 22 minutes as he helped his team gain the victory over the eventual NCAA Champions.
Although he spent much of his career coming off the bench in games, Knight has developed nicely over the years. This statement was proven last year as he received Notre Dame’s Most Improved Player Award at the conclusion of the season. He rarely started; but when he got playing time he made the most of it. He has 363 career points as a member of the Fighting Irish.
Knight was also recognized for his work off the court. This year he has been nominated for the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Allstate Good Works Teams. The “White Knight” is a fan favorite and will be missed next year.
This three-year walk-on is one of the toughest workers on the Irish squad. He rarely sees action, but you will never see him complain. Crowley netted a career-high five points when Notre Dame played Sacred Heart in 2011.
Crowley received the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award in 2013.
In his career he has never missed a free throw and has never been called for a personal foul. His dedication to the team and his determination to get better each day he is on the court cannot be matched.
These four seniors have one final regular season game in their career as they face off against North Carolina on Monday night in Chapel Hill. The game starts at 7:00 PM and can be seen on ESPN.
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