Perimeter Versatility on Tap

Irish head coach Mike Brey took time out of preparations for Saturday's season-opener vs. North Florida to discuss 2010's incoming freshman class.

The following is a release courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics:

Guards Eric Atkins (Columbia, Md.), Alex Dragicevich (Northbrook, Ill.) and Jerian Grant (Bowie, Md.) have signed National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Notre Dame, it was announced today by 10th-year head coach Mike Brey. The trio will enroll at the University in the fall of 2010.

"We're thrilled that we filled our needs with guards," Brey says. "Eric, Alex and Jerian fit the mold of the high basketball IQ guards who have been successful in our system. I am excited that these three young men have decided to come to Notre Dame and join our basketball family."

Atkins, a 6-1, 170-pound point guard, averaged 23.4 points, 6.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 steals en route to earning Baltimore Catholic League (BCL) player-of-the-year honorees and leading Mount St. Joseph High School to a final 21-12 overall record and fourth-place conference finish in 2008-09. A three-year starter, he was a first-team all-Baltimore Metro selection by the Baltimore Sun, in addition to all-BCL and all-Maryland Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) honors. Atkins also was named to the Gonzaga DC Classic, Benedictine Holiday Tournament and BCL all-tournament teams.

As a sophomore, he netted 15.2 points, dished off 7.4 assists, grabbed 3.2 rebounds and made 5.0 steals per game as his team finished with a final 31-6 ledger and captured the BCL regular-season championship and the Leon Brogden tournament crown. Atkins earned a spot on the Baltimore Sun's all-Baltimore Metro second team while also garnering first team all-BCL and all-MIAA accolades. As a freshman, he helped guide his prep squad to a 26-9 mark while averaging 6.2 points and 5.4 assists.

Atkins is member of the DC Assault AAU team and in 2009 helped his squad capture the adidas Take 5 championship and the Teak Breakdown Tournament title, while also making the final four at the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas after winning the crown in 2008. He was named to the all-tournament teams at the Bob Gibbons Memorial Day Tournament and at adidas Take 5.

In addition to winning the adidas Super 64 title in '08, DC Assault also captured crowns at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, the Bob Gibbons Memorial Day Tournament in Raleigh, N.C., the Harley Davidson Tournament in Morgantown, W. Va., and the Playaz Spring Fling in Piscataway, N.J.

"Eric got the ball rolling with this class as a first commitment," Brey says. "With Tory (Jackson) graduating, Eric is going to step right in and take his place. He will be the quarterback of our ballclub. Like all the point guards that have come through our program and been a part of our system, the most impressive part of Eric's game is his ability to communicate well on the floor."

Dragicevich, a 6-6, 210-pound shooting guard led his Glenbrook North High School prep team to a 23-5 record in '08-'09 as his squad captured the Central Suburban League North (CSLN) regular-season and tournament crowns. Glenbrook also won regional and sectional titles and reached the Elite Eight of the Illinois state tournament. After averaging 20.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists in his junior season, he was named the CSLN Player of the Year. An all-area selection by the Chicago Sun Times, he garnered first-team all-league honors and was a second team all-state selection. Dragicevich was an all-tournament team honoree at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament and earned MVP honors at the Niles West Thanksgiving Tournament.

He has helped Glenbrook North to a combined 61-19 record over three seasons and three CSLN championships. A three-year member of the varsity team, Dragicevich copped first-team all-CSLN honors while averaging 16.3 points per game and earned all-area honorable mention honors.

He plays for the Full Package Elite AAU team and led that squad reach the Elite Eight of the gold bracket at the adidas Super 64.

"Alex has great size for a guard," Brey says. "What has impressed me most about his game is how well handles the ball. Alex can really shoot the ball well from the perimeter and is a great fit for our program."

Grant, a 6-5, 180-pound guard out of DeMatha High School, will be one of three members of the Notre Dame basketball family in 2009-10 with DeMatha connections as it also is the alma mater of Brey and assistant coach Rod Balanis. In two seasons as a member of the varsity team, he helped DeMatha to a 52-14 record.

As a junior, he averaged 7.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists while garnering first-team all-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) honors and second all-Met accolades from the Washington Post. He helped DeMatha to a final 32-4 mark and led his squad to the WCAC regular-season crown as well as WCAC tournament title. His team won the Washington, DC city crown and was ranked second in the DC Metro Area by the Washington Post in addition to earning a No. 7 ranking in the USA Today poll.

As a sophomore, DeMatha finished with a 20-10 record and finished third in the WCAC as Grant averaged 4.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists.

The son of former Harvey Grant and the nephew of former Chicago Bulls standout Horace Grant, he also is a member of Nike Team Takeover. In 2009, he was named MVP of the Nike Super Showcase championship game in Orlando, Fla., after leading his team to the tournament crown. Grant also helped Team Nike reach the semifinals of the Nike Peach Jam in Augusta, Ga., was named to the all-tournament team at the King James Classic in Akron, Ohio.

"Jerian is an attacking guard who is extremely athletic." Brey says. "He's a great defender with a great deal of potential to help us in that area. I am excited about how he is going to develop in our system."


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories