Huge Day In South Bend!
Mike Brey's career as the head coach in South Bend is just beginning. However, it's off to a pretty good start. With an NCAA appearance in hand and a nice recruiting class arriving on campus this year, he has the makings of a big haul this season.
On Friday, Brey learned that 6-10 Torin Francis, No. 16 on BCH's post-summer list, selected the Fighting Irish over a host of schools like Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Maryland, Florida, Georgetown and Boston College. This was a significant win on the recruiting trail considering the Irish beat out plenty of schools that have basketball "sex appeal."
"In the end, Mike Brey was the part that did it," David First, head coach at Tabor Academy said. "[Torin] liked what he saw at Notre Dame and he was able to visualize the house not fully furnished and he saw what it would look like with Rick Cornett in it and liked it."
Francis is the highest-rated recruit Brey has signed in his short tenure in South Bend. He'll join PG Chris Quinn and PF Rick Cornett in what is now a class that includes a pair of Top 100 players who should be bookend big men in the Notre Dame system in future seasons.
After tossing curveball after curveball at prospective schools during a summer tour of colleges, Francis clearly had everyone stumped. Rumors were abounding as to who was in the lead. This week alone, college coaches from five different schools confidentially offered five different opinions as to where they thought Francis would end up. None of them mentioned Notre Dame, but now it's Brey who sits back holding the trophy.
"We decided that the one thing we kept trying to remember was that this was his decision. It's about his decision so we felt strongly about things and tried to avoid as much craziness and a lot of that meant keeping tight-lipped," First said.
So, who finished second, coach? "It's really hard to say. There's kind of a dichotomy to his whole decision. He could have gone to Florida, which was really high on his list. Or if he decided that academics would drive him then Virginia and BC. North Carolina was still right in there. Georgia Tech was in there."
Just this week, Francis said that he wasn't really thinking about the process, but according to First, that was part of the plan. "We decided that we were close enough to a decision that we were not going to eliminate anyone, even though we really did." So, Francis had trimmed his list behind the scenes and was in the process of getting this done. On Friday, Notre Dame got the good news.
"Torin made a great choice," First said. Brey can't comment on Francis until he signs the letter, but we think he and his staff of Sean Kearney and Anthony Solomon are in agreement.
Kyle Wilson, another forward, is one Notre Dame's campus this weekend and there is plenty of room for him. Francis and Cornett are both big men, but play different styles. Wilson is completely different from either of them in his own right. He's kind of an outside-inside guy who would compliment the interior they already have assembled.