Irish Staff Getting In Good With Recruits

Notre Dame men's basketball coach Mike Brey had one of the most visible faces on the road during the recent recruiting evaluation period.

Brey and his staff were all over the country in July, and one other time out of the States, evaluating committed and offered players, as well as potential prospects for the program.

"July, I get in such a mode that it's going to be crazy and the days are going to run together," Brey laughed before Notre Dame's basketball practice on Monday evening. The team is preparing to play in next week's Emerald Hoops Program in Ireland.

"The use of the plane has been really helpful, especially the first week of the period because you can cover a bunch of stuff quickly."

This week, it's a nice change of pace for Brey to be back home, working with his own team, and sleeping in his own bed.

"It kind of energizes me a little bit," the ninth-year coach said.

From what recruits are saying, they're energized about Notre Dame as well.

Competing for a Big East championship last year, the offensive prowess the team has shown on the floor, and Brey's personable approach with prospects, is a few of the many things prospects have recently listed about why they're interested in the Irish.

Wing player Joey Brooks from Houston, Texas, and power forward Jack Cooley of Glenview, Ill., have already verbally committed to Brey in the class of 2009. Five-star forward Ryan Kelly just named Notre Dame one of his six lucky finalists, and will take an official visit to South Bend when the Irish football team hosts Michigan the weekend of Sept. 13th. Fellow big man Mike Broghammer also appears to be very high on Notre Dame.

That's just this year's senior class. The Irish are doing well with the rising juniors as well. Players like Anthony Johnson, Anthony Lubick, Ray McCallum and Russell Byrd are interested in hearing more from Brey and Notre Dame.

"I think one of the things we try and do by design, is an offensive style of play that is very attractive," Brey said. "Leading the league in scoring, leading the nation in assists, I think that is something that we've really tried to do and sell, and I think it's been met real positively."

So far. Now it's about landing a few more commits.

"We would lean towards getting size bolstered up in 09, and maybe come back with point guard and then size in 10," Brey explained.

"But there's always the transfer wire."

Which of course has been good to the Irish. With the transfers of Ben Hansbrough and Scott Martin to the program, Notre Dame can key in on bigs this recruiting season with all the losses the team's going to suffer over the next two seasons. Brey will soon have to say good bye to guys like seniors Luke Zeller, Zach Hillesland, and junior Luke Harangody before he knows it. Kelly and Broghammer would be nice replacements.

The Irish staff was definitely visible to the 6-foot-10 Kelly in Argentina, while he was playing for the United States U-18 team. In fact, Kelly couldn't play anywhere without seeing the Notre Dame logo. MacCallum mentioned that he's also seen the staff at a lot of his AAU games.

Kelly and MacCallum definitely aren't the only two that can claim that.

Brey could also bring in another shooter in this year's class. One of the players on the radar is Matt Vogrich.

Some other class of 2010 prospects are Taran Buie, Tyler Thornton and Cameron Ayers, the younger brother of current Irish senior Ryan Ayers.

"San Diego State and Michigan weekends will be big visit weekends," Brey stated of the upcoming fall.

Another opportunity for he and his staff to improve upon the strong recruiting momentum. Top Stories