Personnel Preview: Irish 7-Man Rotation

A closer look at the recent trends among Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey's seven-man rotation.

JERIAN GRANT
-- Wrong guy to foul: Drilled 28 of 31 free throw attempts during the team's ACC Tournament run and has hit 61 of his last 71 -- 85.3 percent -- since a curious 1 for 8 outing from the charity stripe at Duke on Feb. 7.

-- Right guy to leave open outside the arc? Has connected on just four of his last 25 three-point shot attempts over the last eight games and converted better than 50 percent of his long-range offerings just once this season in league or tournament play, and not against one of the four major college programs the team faced otherwise (UMass, Providence, Michigan State, Purdue).

-- Distribution Channels: Grant has 69 assists in his last nine outings including three games with 10 or more. Each of his five assists Thursday vs. Northeastern led to teammate's a layup or dunk.

PAT CONNAUGHTON
-- Inside and Out: Has connected on 20 of his 40 field goal attempts over the last five games: 10 three-point buckets and 10 more inside the arc.

-- Needs to Find His Way to The Line: Connaughton has hit nine of his last 10 free throws over the last five games and 21 of his last 23 since the beginning of February. Of note -- that's not enough attempts from your most active forward in a 13-game span.

-- Wearing Down a Touch? After securing 15 boards in a Feb. 24 loss to Syracuse, Connaughton has just 23 over the last six games combined.

DEMETRIUS JACKSON
-- Road (and Neutral) Warrior: Hit an impressive 41 of his 81 field goal attempts in nine ACC road game this season. Toped that with a ludicrous 31 for 48 shooting effort in the team's six neutral site games (and counting).

-- Perimeter Pest: Jackson has recorded 14 steals over the last six games and has forced four jump balls by tying up a foe defensively, to boot.

-- Quite a Quartet: Jackson's recent four-game tournament run includes 47 points, 20 assists, 14 boards, 8 steals and 3 blocked shots while hitting 19 of 33 shots from the field.

STEVE VASTURIA
-- Warming Up: The sophomore's last five outings include a 9 for 16 shooting effort from long range, 18 for 34 overall.

-- Taking it Away, Part II: In addition to Jackson's steals numbers noted above, his classmate Vasturia has registered 11 thefts over the last five and 14 over the last seven outings.

-- Wrong Guy to Foul, Part II: Has connected on 18 of his last 20 free throw attempts over an 8-game span.

ZACH AUGUSTE
-- Hitting His Stride: Last five outings have featured 79 points, 37 boards and only 7 turnovers. His five previous games

-- …And his Free Throws: After a nine-game stretch that included 12 missed free throws in just 20 attempts, Auguste has responded by drilling 27 of his last 40, that despite a 3 for 9 effort against Miami in the ACC Quarterfinals.

-- Neutral, But Not Impartial: In Notre Dame's seven neutral site games played to date, Auguste has produced a combined 98 points and 69 rebounds while hitting 37 of his 62 field goal attempts (59.6%).

BONZIE COLSON
-- Back to Earth: After connecting on an eye-opening 34 of 42 field goal attempts over an 8.5-game span (halftime of the semi-finals win over Duke), Colson has misfired on 8 of his last 10.

-- Get Back on the Boards: After snaring 42 boards in a six-game span in which he played 107 minutes, Colson has secured only two rebounds in his last two outings, a combined 16 minutes of action.

-- Keeping up with the Gang: Like the rest of the Irish, Colson is coming through in the clutch from the charity stripe. The freshman has nailed 24 of his last 30 and hit 35 of 43 since he joined the rotation in mid-January.

V.J. BEACHEM
-- Fire Away, Man! In 35 combined minutes of action off the bench, Beachem has attempted just three shots in Notre Dame's four tournament games (hitting two.) He had launched 24 shots in his previous five contests to conclude the regular season.

-- Crisis of Confidence? After hitting for double figures four times over a five-game span in January (including 10 points against Virginia, Beachem has reached 10 points just twice since (back-to-back outings against Wake Forest and Boston College in which he hit 8 of 17 shots.)

He has just 18 points in the six games played since.

-- Big Shot Beachem: Among the sophomore's three field goal attempts in tournament play are a pair of crucial three-point buckets:

1.) A top-of-the-key three on Notre Dame's final possession of the first half to stretch the team's lead over Duke to 41-26 with 22 seconds remaining…
2.) One night later, a wing triple in the second-half vs. North Carolina just seconds after the Tar Heels had taken their largest lead of the day, 58-49 with under 12 minutes to play.


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