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By Alan Tieuli
That didn't go over real well with Carroll, as you might
Torrian Jones, true to his
number 20, is a dead ringer for Gary Payton. Red-shirt freshman Omari Peterkin is a stunning likeness for
When they came running through the tunnel promptly for a
practice time Wednesday, if not for the baggy shorts and tattoos, Notre Dame could have been
mistaken for Milan High, circa 1954, even though the fifth-seeded Irish will be
significant favorites Thursday night versus No. 12 Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Yes, the Notre Dame men's basketball team did indeed
collectively shave and/or buzz cut their heads late Tuesday night in Thomas' downtown
And who did Thomas' perfectly shaved head, with nary a nick.
"Hey, I got skills man," Thomas said, taking proud
ownership of the work.
All 12 Irish who dress – including walk-on Dan Lustig and the seemingly forgotten Jere Macura – were shorn. There was even some talk that the coaching staff
might be convinced to follow suit if the Irish were two win two games here this weekend
and advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen next weekend in
While it may be fun to ponder Mike Brey bald, the head coach realizes that the
only way his team will defeat sharp-shooting Wisconsin-Milwaukee Thursday night is by
playing significantly better team defense. If
less hair makes the Irish feel quicker, stronger and more motivated to lock down the
opposition, the coach is all for it. A reverse
Samson and Deliah affect would be nice.
Brey and his staff were not consulted in advance about the coiffures,
and Brey was caught a bit off-guard when he saw his team Thursday. "So what is the thinking on that?" Brey
asked them collectively.
"When they explained it, I said, ‘I respect that,'"
Brey said. "Any thing Matt Carroll comes back with from this team, I have no problem. If they are doing something together as a group, it's
"We talked about and realized it could bring negative attention,"
said Carroll. "But we look at it as we starting new and we're all in this
together. We're a team, and we all look
the same and we're on the same page together. And
with everything that is going on with the war, this could be something good for the
"We need to come together," Carroll continued. "We
have gone through some adversity. We are
wiping out what happened in the past. It's
a new team coming out here."
The Irish looked loose and confident – if not particularly sharp
– during a 60-minute workout at the RCA Dome. One
troubling element: Sophomore forward Jordan Cornette is nursing a sprained left big
toe. He basically took the day off, icing it
and enduring a painful cortisone shot.
"I should be good to go," said Cornette. The sophomore played 25 active minutes in the Big
East first-round loss to
Cornette wants to be on the floor Thursday in the worst way. His brother Joel played 38 for
And the Cornettes saw first hand how dangerous the Panthers (24-7) can be. Ranked the sixth-best "mid-major" team in the country by collegeinsider.com, Wisconsin-Milwaukee has been performing like the big boys all season. Share on Twitter