Chat Transcript: Talking recruiting, swagger and more from Notre Dame men's basketball

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

Tom Noie: Welcome to the latest installment of the Notre Dame men's basketball chat. It's a good day to talk hoops - the Irish are coming off Wednesday's victory at Georgia Tech and get a week off from game action. To ask a question or make a comment, be sure to include your name AND hometown. And with that, you know the drill.... let's light this chat candle!

Matt from Virginia: Tom, I always enjoy reading the chats. My question is taking a bit of a wider lens. If ND misses the tournament for a third straight year, is Mike Brey on the "hot seat" next season? This level of regression, at this stage of Brey's program, shouldn't be acceptable to Jack Swarbrick. And taking a peek at next season, do you think ND could really be better without Mooney, Gibbs and Rex? Hard to see it, even with Ryan stepping in. On paper we seem to be in a bench depth crisis again next year. Thoughts? Thanks!

Tom Noie: Matt: Any coach that misses the NCAA tournament for a third-straight season would be the first to admit that their seat's a bit warm. Uncomfortable. It should be, and will be. Especially since this program really did very little to make sure they'd be better than 3-15. It's basically the same team that's back that went 3-15. There were a good chunk of fans who slammed my 10-10 league projection, saying that Notre Dame should be better than an average program. But given where they were (3-15), getting to 10 league wins would be a massive leap for this program. Sadly, 10-10 likely won't get them into the NCAA tournament. The resume's just too....empty. So say Notre Dame misses the NCAA tournament...what do you do? Max out the available scholarships. Go the grad transfer route for one guy. For two guys. Do everything you can do to try and max out next season - something Brey and his staff didn't do this season. We're seeing the results. They're still a player or two short.

Christian from Chicago, IL : Tom, my intention was to ask a question about whether if ND spends time on late game situations in practice, specifically the last 4 minutes, but since I know we do not have enough players for 5 on 5 for the 3rd consecutive year I know this is not possible. Kidding aside this is a troubling issue with missed free throws, lapsed defensive assignments, and horrible turnovers consistently during crunch time. Indiana, NC State, & Louisville are all recent examples. How does Brey get this squad over the hump? At a certain point you have to wonder if coaching is the source of the problem?

Tom Noie: Christian: Hopefully last night was the night and the game where Notre Dame finally climbed over that hump. Cleared the close game hurdle that's really been an issue for two years. Yeah, Georgia Tech's not Duke or Florida State or Indiana or Louisville, but being able to make the plays needed to be made down the stretch to win a close game might finally flip the confidence switch. Mike Brey said it earlier this week - nobody in the league is going to hand them an ACC win. They had to go do it. And they did it in a building where they hadn't won in five years. Coaching does play a part in it - Brey's long been a guy who has a veteran group that he believes will figure it out. Too young last year. Maybe they still need to be coached at times this year. Now if we can only figure out how they can get a home league win.... that's the NEXT step. Then the next one is to run off three, four in a row.

Dan: Tom, I look at next year's team as of now and I can't remember a time where the bench looked so dismal. Your thoughts?

Tom Noie: Dan: I don't want to look at next year. Not just yet. Not without John Mooney or T.J. Gibbs, who eat up a lot of those minutes. If you thought it was thin THIS year....we haven't seen anything yet. That's why it may be required to go the graduate transfer route next season. Get older, stay experienced. Trouble is, Mike Brey's really weary of adding grad transfers and how that translates to overall team chemistry. After the last two seasons, it's a risk you just have to take.

Joey from Highland Indiana : When does Mike Brey enter the hot seat?

Tom Noie: Seat's warmer than you think....and that heat often comes from within. Who most wants/knows Notre Dame has to get back to the NCAA tournament? See Brey, Mike.

Joey from Highland Indiana : what was the last possession vs Louisville? Why no timeout? Why no Goodwin?

Tom Noie: Joey: Still trying to figure that one out. Even almost a week later, it made zero sense. I get that Brey wants to keep the game flowing and not give Louisville a chance to set its defense and get organized....but when you look that unorganized and you don't have the one guy on the floor who was capable of getting a clean look on the floor, that's a major issue. I don't agree with Brey when he says the game was lost before the final possession. Why not at least go down fighting. Instead, it was like, oh, well, good try, but not good enough. That's not good enough.

RJam: I see Nate playing hard, mixing it up down low, but his offensive contributions are below expectations. Has this just been an extended slump or does he not fit with the flow of this offense?

Tom Noie: Rjam: Nate Laszewski's a guy that's taken a lot longer than many (like me) anticipated he would to figure out how and where he fits at this level. He's shown flashes, especially with the way he's embraced having to get in there and rebound. But he needs a few more shots to go down consistently. Like two or three in a row over two and three games. If he ever gets flowing, then you can see the pieces coming into place.

Mark Kruz from Mishawaka: Tom since you have covered Notre Dame in both the ACC and in the Big East which conference have you preferred and why? Btw your Dayton Flyers would be a nice fit for the Big East

Tom Noie: Mark: Great question, one that doesn't have an easy answer. If there's one aspect I really miss about the Big East was that there really was nothing like being in midtown Manhattan for the week of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. There was an energy, a pulse about being in the city and it being all about hoops. The ticket scalpers outside Penn Station. Hearing former President Bill Clinton hold court on hoops in the backstage area. Watching Patrick Ewing walk through. THAT was college basketball at its finest. That said, it's really refreshing making the ACC road trips when its 70 degrees and actually sunny in January and February. It's a true basketball league.

Guest: when will brey bench rex and start goodwin

Tom Noie: maybe never.Mike Brey's nothing if not loyal. Not saying he shouldn't. Think Goodwin offers so much more at this time. That was one issue I had with Pflueger coming back for a fifth year. Like, how would that lower the ceiling on Goodwin and Robby Carmody. Those guys need to PLAY....not fight for minutes. Rex is a solid team guy, but eventually he needs to offer more. And that layup last night......oooof! Brey likes the rhythm that Goodwin's in right now as the first guy off the bench. Don't know if he wants to mess with that. Yet.

scott: when will brey bench rex and start dane

Nick South Bend: After this W and as of late been feeling good thinking about the next 2 years of Hubb, Goodwin and Ryan as our primary ballhanders. Thoughts? Hopefully Matt Zona and/or Elijah Taylor develop quick in terms of big men.

Tom Noie: Nick: That's a pretty solid perimeter. I know Prentiss Hubb has a tendency to take some really bad looking shots, but then he goes and does something like he did last night getting 20 of his 25 in the second half. There's a lot there. Same with Goodwin. And every indication is that Cormac Ryan will be a three-year starter and major minute guy. The issue will be what kind of pieces can they put around them. That's where the development jump of Nate Laszewski is so critical. And more, more, more from Juwan Durham. It's a bit of a leap to expect Elijah Taylor and Matt Zona to play major roles next season. Now, they CAN offer something, but we saw how it worked out last year when freshmen have to step in right away. The growing pains are painful. That's why getting a grad transfer would help balance everything out. And getting Carmody healthy for a full season.

Nick South Bend: What does this team have to do to become tourney bound come March? How many wins do we need in ACC to be relevant this year? A frist round bye or somhow a double bye possible this year in an out of the normal ACC season where anything has been going?

Tom Noie: Nick: No idea on all of the above. When you figure out where this league is going, let the rest of us know. Talk about a WEIRD year in the ACC. No, it's not the best basketball conference in the country. Maybe not the second best. Or third. And that's going to hurt Notre Dame. Usually, you'd say if the Irish can finish 10-10 or 11-9 they'd be in the discussion come Selection Sunday. But in such a down year for the league, 10-10 might not move the selection meter. And then when you see there's so little in the non-conference, it's going to be really hard to snag a bid. First-round bye? Double bye? This year? For this team? Love the optimism, but that might be a bit of a reach. Let's see where the Irish are at this point next month.

NDFan: Why should Mike Brey still be coach after this season?

Tom Noie: Fair question, but let's see how the rest of the season plays out before offering an answer. If the Irish get going, it's an easy answer. If they stay stuck in's also an easy answer. Stay tuned!

Phil from Basking Ridge: Great win last night. Have to give props to Hubb since Syracuse, you were right. Question- How long has it been since ND had all 13 scholarships filled and why? Can understand leaving 1 or 2 open sometimes but it seems like years since they've had any depth.

Tom Noie: Phil: That's the thing with young guys....gotta stick with them through their ups and downs. There's a lot there to like about Hubb. Think we're going to see it. I don't know if Mike Brey's ever carried a max amount of scholarship guys. He comes from the less is enough philosophy of coaching. Carrying more guys leads to more issues of trying to keep them all happy. The recent run of transfers (Burns, Doherty, Harvey) caught up to him and caught him off guard. Still, I think he and his staff are too selective when trying to fill those roster spots. How are they going to fit in the locker room? In the classroom? Every once in a while, you've just got to take a chance to max out your program's potential. For whatever reason, this staff has been hesitant to do that.

Liam from London: Great win last night. When TJ Gibbs held his knee in the 4th quarter, (and with Rex limping at times) I thought, 'this team is one knee injury or high ankle sprain from complete catastrophe.' Besides Elijah Taylor and Matt Zona, are there any other likely new arrivals coming in next year? Grad transfers who want to do an MBA at the Mendoza?

Tom Noie: Liam: Too early to tell on the grad transfers, but as we've discussed earlier, think you have to take at least one this season, just to have that option of if another injury occurs. T.J. Gibbs' limp was just banging knees with someone. He waved off the trainer right away, so you kind of figured it wasn't an issue.

Liam from London: Seven guys played in last night's win ..... and watching Nate Laszewski clang three point attempts is just painful. NC State played 8 guys. Louisville played 9. Surely Nikola Djogo can get in a guard rotation where he gives 3-4 minutes a half to rest legs. Does anyone else think Djogo can be solid with a +/- of close to zero, no turnovers and no points to provide valuable rest?

Tom Noie: Liam: Here's the thing with Nik Djogo, and let's be clear on this - it's not a knock on the kid. Good dude. Always been good with me when I've asked him to talk. But in Mike Brey's system, if you want to be a main guy, you better at least do one thing really well and prove you can do that consistently. Take care of the ball. Defend. Make a shot. Everyone likes to say that Brey has Djogo in the doghouse and and he's doing him dirty and this and that and that and this, but Brey plays only the guys he trusts. You don't play? Coach doesn't trust you. It's been hard for Djogo to do that one thing really well. Then on top of that, what ELSE can you do well? When there

Tom Noie: Darn return key.....When there's nothing else there, you're not going to play. Brey would rather have a guy out there for an extra two or three or four minutes than go with someone he can't trust, even for 120 seconds.

Andrew from Plymouth, IN: Is there a plan for when Pflueger has to be shut down for the rest of the season? It’s becoming clear that he won’t physically make it through the entire season and our depth is already non-existent.

Tom Noie: Andrew: Rex Pflueger played 32 minutes last night. What would lead you to believe that he's headed for the shelf the rest of the season? Granted, he hasn't made more than two shots in seemingly forever, but I don't see him limping through games and think, gotta sit him. I see him not offering much on the offensive end and think, gotta play Goodwin more.

joe from the south side: Tom: Should we go down the path of Brey's replacement? I could toss out a few names and would welcome your response.

Tom Noie: Joe: Let's save that for the spring....

Nick South Bend: How is Robby doing? Whats the recovery looking like ? Does he want to keep playing ? Any more Durham or Djojo transfer rumors ? Will Goodwin ever start this years How many more years of Brey can we hope for (huge brey guy)? Sorry, guess I have alot of questions this time around!

Tom Noie: Nick: No extra credit for multiple questions at once...sorry my man! LOL Carmody is still in the early stages of rehab. Every indication is that he's on schedule for a full recovery. I hope to get with him in the coming weeks to see where he's at psychologically and how two season-ending injuries will affect him moving forward. Didn't know there were Durham/Djogo transfer rumors. Both are on track to graduate, so they'd technically not be transfers. They can go do whatever they want with that final year. Think Goodwin's in a good flow as the sixth man. Brey doesn't want to mess with that until absolutely necessary. How many more years of Brey? Maybe fewer than any expects.

Andrew from Plymouth, IN: Why does Nate Laszewski look like he doesn’t want to be here? His body language is terrible, he looks lost and sluggish, and just uninterested in being in the floor. Is there something mentally or physically going on that we aren't aware of?

Tom Noie: Andrew: Part of that is his makeup. He's quiet, says next to nothing, doesn't really show emotion. Think he's a guy who's still trying to figure out this college basketball thing. Like, it's hard. Imagine - you're a 6-9 guy who had it relatively easy in high school. Now 6-9 guys are a dime a dozen. Everyone has size. Everyone can play. How do you elevate your game? It's a process. Yeah, we'd all like to see it sooner than later, but he'll get there. Maybe.

Andrew from Plymouth, IN: Why haven’t we seen Robby Carmody on the bench at home games?

Tom Noie: It's still hard and awkward for him to get around with the full-length brace and crutches and scooter that he has to ride. Don't know if there's a safe or comfortable place for him on the bench. Think after he passes a certain point in recovery, he'll be around the team during games. He's at the practice facility all the time....that red scooter is the first indication. It's like, yep, Carmody's here...

joe from the south side: Tom: For what it's worth, they have 2 league road wins. Huge for this team! Other than FSU, 4 of the next 5 are manageable. Maybe close to .500 with some breaks.

Tom Noie: Joe: Just gotta get a home win now....staggering to think it's been that hard. And that loss to Boston College? Woof!

joe from the south side: Tom: Speaking of a thin roster, what is your take on Djogo and JD returning next year?

Tom Noie: Joe: Really none right now. There's been no indication they won't...and as mentioned, they'd both leave or are on track to leave with their degrees, so it's hard to argue if they want to do something else.

Jack from Wheeling, WV: Hey, with how the team has been struggling the past couple years It makes me wonder if Mike Brey is in the hotseat. Is he?

Tom Noie: Jack: Seems we've gone from the Nik Djogo has to play chat to the Mike Brey's seat is hot chat. LOL. Any coach that goes three years without an NCAA tournament trip should be on the hot seat. First one to say that would be Mike Brey.

Dwight from Central Arkansas: The coaching philosophy in recruiting seems to be "If you don't come from NY/NJ/D.C. area you can't play at ND." I know that's not exactly true, but there are some mighty good players right here in the midwest. Why such a lovefest with the east coast?

Tom Noie: Dwight: Good point. Mainly because that's where Mike Brey and associate head coach Rod Balanis and assistant coach Ryan Ayers have all their recruiting ties. They know the area, they've successfully recruited the area so you go back to what you know. Anytime Ryan Humphrey wants to bring in someone from the Midwest would be fine. Even Indiana. Hear there are players in this state as well.

Joe from Scottsdale, AZ: Tom - The main issue i see from this team now and going forward is they dont have one guy who can beat you off the dribble. The recruiting class coming in is not going to help in that area either. I think Brey has hit a rut in recruiting. Not saying that shooters and developing big men are a bad thing but we need to have the Jerian Grants, D. Jacksons and Pat's of the world too when you need a bucket.

Tom Noie: Joe: Amen. Who's going to get you a bucket when you need one? Like get to the bucket?

Jack from Wheeling, WV: Hey, due to the inability to fill out the roster and the teams injuries issues do you beleive theres a need for coach Brey to bring someone in the coaching staff who is a pure recruiter

Tom Noie: Jack: That's a slippery slope for him. Who does he replace? Someone who's been with him for 20 years (remember the loyalty thread earlier in the chat) or two guys who played for him and have Notre Dame degrees. He's kind of boxed himself in with his staff. Not a lot of wriggle room in any direction.

joe from the south side: Tom: If you had a choice, who would you prefer to cover right now? The Fighting Irish or the Flyers?

Tom Noie: Joe: Question of the day....we're all done here. Let's shut it down. Just kidding. No question, it would be Dayton, because they're coming at teams and winning and have an NBA lottery pick. There

Tom Noie: There's a buzz about Dayton right now. They score it and share it and play fast and come after you. A lot like the 2014-15 season for Notre Dame. The grind of watching so much more of the same right now for the Irish gets to be a grind. There's nothing like covering a program that believes, one that's on a journey to who knows what. I remember those days at Notre Dame....there's nothing like it.

Jack from Wheeling, WV: I saw an article recently that said ND has lost i wanna say 15 or more straight games against ranked opponents. What has happened to the team that always pulled upsets off at homecourt? Why can’t the team finish off games

Tom Noie: jack: That was a note in my column last week before the Louisville game....Notre Dame has now lost its last 18 games to ranked teams dating back to beating Wichita State in Maui in 2017. How come Notre Dame can't beat a ranked team? Easy, those ranked teams have just been better. Mentioned Dayton in the previous question and how they believe...I don't know how much belief there's been in this Notre Dame program that last few years. It's been more about survival and trying to figure it out on the fly than picking off ranked teams at home and on the road. Those were good days....

ralph, glencoe, IL: A couple of weeks ago I use to yell "Noooooooo!!" every time Prentiss Hubb shot the ball from 3 (can his rainbow shot really be consistent long term?), he will lose his court awareness and make silly turnovers at times, and his technical at Syracuse was bemusing. Then, all of a sudden, right after that technical, the rainbow shot starts falling and he seems to be a different person offensively (he still doesn't always seem aware of the court and he needs to as the point guard). In your opinion, which is the real Prentiss Hubb?

Tom Noie: Ralph: A little of everything. Lost in last season was just how good he was as a point guard. He was asked to do a lot and for the most part, delivered even as someone who'd missed his senior year of high school with a knee injury. He's been even more solid this season. yeah, you have to live with those questionable shots when he can go get you 20 points in the second half like he did at Georgia Tech. And he plays with some swagger, something this program hasn't had since Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell.

Phil : The ND basketball program is getting a little stale. What can be done to revive it?

Tom Noie: Phil: Easy. Win more games. That doesn't happen, then make a change with the head coach, who'd be the first to admit as much.

mike - fort worth, tx: hey tom- wanted to know what you thought of all the emotion from Prentiss and TJ down the stretch? It seemed clear how much this meant to those two in particular- I loved it personally. Maybe a win like this can keep it going into a very soft conference slate for next 3 weeks

Tom Noie: Mike: Love it. There's not been enough of that the last few seasons. I know a lot more of that comes out when you win, but there were times when too many main guys were just going through the motions. Robotic. Good to have some swagger (really, another S word is more appropriate) to your game.

joe from the south side: Tom: Not official until I ask a recruiting question. Any traction with Blake Wesley? He looked good in the ND gear.

Tom Noie: Joe: NOW we're done here. Still might be too early to tell with Wesley. Academics could mean Notre Dame will have to play the long game with Wesley, who I hope to have a column on for the Tribune next week.

Tom: You mentioned a couple times Mike Brey's seat being warm. While I find it hard to fathom ND ever getting rid of him since he had a period of success, is pretty well liked and since basketball is the red headed step child that does not get money thrown at it. Who would even be a replacement option if that were to happen?

Tom Noie: Tom: Really, no idea there, and nobody really does, no matter what they say. It's just weird to discuss possible replacements when there's nobody to replace. We'll get there in due time. Maybe this year. Maybe next. Maybe.

joe from the south side: Tom: You have Johnny Mooney inside and a bunch of 3 point chuckers. If the shots fall, they are in it. If not, well......As a proud and self proclaimed gunner (in my youth) when the shots aren't falling sometimes taking an uncontested 15 footer for 1 point isn't so bad. That's what's missing. That should be Carmody. He needs that and a penetrate and kick PG.

Tom Noie: Joe: There are several pieces missing from this team right now. You're right, if Mooney not doing damage down low and the 3s aren't falling, there's not a lot of there there. That's where they really miss Carmody, who wasn't afraid to get to the basket. He's not a point guard. Hubb's done a little more of that recently, but that's not his game.

ralph, glencoe, IL: Not having the ACC Network on the cable system to watch these games has been really frustrating. Not that you are a TV mogul or anything, but do you hear about any momentum with the ACC Network getting into the Notre Dame area (northern Indiana/Chicago) a little bit more?

Tom Noie: Ralph: Hate to break it to you, but the ACC Network did arrive in Northern Indiana on AT&T UVerse back in the fall. But that's the way of the cable world today. Some providers jump all over it, some slow-play it until the carriage fees drop. Will be interesting to see what happens moving forward around your parts with Marquee. Don't think every cable provider is going to grab that right away...imagine living here or there and not being able to see the Cubs....for someone raised on WGN, that's staggering.

JT from South Bend: ND is a challenge when it comes to academics. How many ESPN top 100 recruits do you think would ever consider ND in a given year?

Tom Noie: JT: Talked with a former college assistant coach who worked at Notre Dame and the standard guideline has been this - take the top 100 college basketball prospects every year, and maybe - MAYBE - 10 would have the academic profile that would fit at Notre Dame. Of those 10, you might have three that are interested in having to balance the academic and athletic side of Notre Dame. That's a big reason why Notre Dame doesn't get the one-and-dones and struggle to get the Top 100 kids. You have to want to be at Notre Dame for the full college experience in a world where today's basketball player wants to go somewhere (especially in the ACC) that's going to fast-track him to the NBA.

JT from South Bend: Which would mean more for the program’s future? A great NIT run (wining or runner up) or barely making the NCAA and losing the first game?

Tom Noie: JT: An NCAA run every day and twice on Sundays. There's really nothing redeeming worthwhile of being in the NIT. Nobody cares. They'll say they do, but they don't. Last time Notre Dame was in the NIT, players needed nearly an hour to decide whether or not they even wanted to play.

joe from the south side: Tom: ACC network...subscribe to Sling $30/month

Tom Noie: Boom...there you go....or

Mike from Rochester NY: Why doesn’t Juwan Durham see more playing time? He seems to give us a strong inside presence we’ve lacked for some years now.

Tom Noie: Mike: We continue to be teased by Juwan Durham. You'd think he has a strong inside presence, but there are times when that size and length and presence kind of disappears in league play. The two-big man lineup never really has worked at Notre Dame, which made it an odd way for Mike Brey to go this season. This team's better going four-around-one instead of two bigs. Durham's also still really learning about life at that level. He may be a fourth-year junior, but he's not played a lot of basketball since his junior year of high school. He runs into the same issue as Nate Laszewski - it was easier for them when they were younger, but at this level, everybody's just as long and just as tall. Gotta be better to figure it all out.

ralph, glencoe, IL: After ND went to the Elite 8 those two years, and looking back now at recruiting over the past 4 or 5 years, do you sense Mike Brey and his staff went after higher rated recruits hoping they would see the program in a different light and that when these kids didn't come (Isaiah Stewart a few years ago, Cole Anthony last year, Hunter Dickinson this year), and they didn't fill out classes because of that, that they are going back to the old system of finding the 'good' players who they can develop (the Zona's and Taylor's of the basketball world)?

Tom Noie: Ralph: Notre Dame went a different recruiting route only one season - the year after it signed five players to what is now the sophomore class. Mike Brey was forthcoming in why he chose that route. There was little chance of signing anyone, mainly because the prospects all sought the same thing - immediate playing time. Brey couldn't offer that because he was still trying to figure out what he had in Hubb and Goodwin and Carmody and Laszewski. So he went the extreme route of chasing one-and-done guys. That didn't work out either. This year, it was mainly bigs because the perimeter was thought to be solid with Hubb and Ryan and Goodwin and Carmody (pre-injury).

Wadelite from Long Beach, CA: Next year's roster has 9 on scholarship and yet i see for 2020 recruiting, 247 sports has ND ranked 15th out of 15 schools. Does the coaching staff realize how embarrassingly bad that it is and it should not have been attributed solely to Dickinson going with a first year head coach.

Tom Noie: Wade: No, they don't see it because they recruited only bigs. They figured the FOUR years they put in with Dickinson would mean a commitment. Recruit another guard? Where can you show him playing time on next year's roster with that perimeter? You weren't going to get another guard in that class. Now, maybe you can with a grad transfer....

Tom Noie: From Twitter: Tom. Nice win at Georgia Tech. Where is John Mooney projected in the draft? He’s a really solid player. He can help somebody. If he works on his three, he could be a more mellow Bill Laimbeer. Coach from Reading, PA.

Tom Noie: Coach: Ha...John Mooney's not even on the Wooden Award preseason watch list (an omission of utter stupidity, but that's another story). He's not projected to be selected on any of the mock drafts I've seen. He'll get in a camp, get to play summer league and have a chance at a possible two-way contract down the line. And Bill Laimbeer wasn't mellow? LOL

scott: when will we see Dane Goodwin in the starting lineup and Rex Pflueger off the bench?

Tom Noie: Scott: Next

Wadelite from Long Beach, CA: Tom. Next season Brey has 5 perimeter players which includes Carmody coming back from a serious injury and a guy he does not trust in Djogo. Even with a healthy Carmody, 4 trusted perimeter guys and Djogo for next season is razor thin and oh yeah, there are 4 open scholarships!. Does Brey get a kick back on scholarships not utilized,

Tom Noie: And with those four scholarships - go get two graduate transfers and a high school senior guard, maybe a traditional perimeter transfer if the right one comes along. Five perimeter guys too thin? In a system where he plays no more than three? Gotta think the injury thing's gotta turn around, right?

Tom from ATL: Went to last night's game. The haunted Gibbs of 2018-19 is gone and that, with Goodwin's and Hubb's growth, makes this a formidable outfit. Hubb's Colson-style toughness stands out. Crowd started taunting him and, well, it backfired.

Tom Noie: Tom: Love that Hubb has that swagger about him where he's now starting to play better (minus the Maryland game) when the road crowd gets on him. It gets his game and him going. More swagger, please!

Sam: Hi Tom, sorry if a question like this has been asked already. Historically, it seems an unofficial mark to make the Tourney was .500 in ACC play, with a 10-8 record a virtual guarantee to get in. Given the ACC’s down this year, do you think 11-9 would be enough, particularly if there are no really strong wins either in-conference or out of conference? The Irish can get to 11-9 even with losses to Duke and both games to FSU. Would that be enough this year, do you think?

Tom Noie: Sam: Going 11-9 would get the Irish in Selection Sunday discussion. Any other year, 11-9 would get them in, but the ACC is down this year. Are they going to beat at least one ranked league team along the way? The non-league resume is so thin. Still, 11-9 is a hard sell right now given that the Irish need to start winning some home games. Like, all of them.

joe from the south side: Tom: I think the other thing to consider is the NCAA really looks at record vs. the Top 50. You already lost to LOUIE. Duke will kill them at Cameron, they play scared against UVA, and you get FSU twice. Must win at home against FSU. Must! Then you have to take care of business with the borderline teams VTECH and SYR. Realistically, I think they need a road win against Duke, UVA, or FSU, because beating Wake and GTECH at home does not carry weight. That is a tall order for this squad.

Tom Noie: Joe: All true, which was why the losses at home to Boston College and Louisville and the Indiana non-league loss were crushers. Notre Dame snapped that streak at Georgia Tech, think they could - stress, could - do the same at Virginia. That would be the one place you'd think they could steal one. At Cameron? Not this group. At Florida State? Just as tall a task.

Mark Kruz from Mishawaka: Tom is watching Prentiss Hubb like watching Chris Thomas 2.0? I hope Prentiss doesn't fall in the same rut as Chris Thomas did after his sophomore season. It seemed like Thomas regressed due to Brey giving him too much free reign?? Looking forward to a backcourt next season with a lot of swag in Hubb and Cormac Ryan!

Tom Noie: Mark: In fairness, Chris Thomas fell into that rut because his knee fell apart. He had microfracture surgery at a time when guys didn't really get back from microfracture surgery. So there's that. Hubb may shoot a little too much, but when you can go for 20 in a half, I say shoot away! And keep that swagger

Dylan from MN: Have you seen what Toledo has done since our OT win? Yikes. We need to beef up that resume if we want to get in the dance near.500 in league play. The Louisville game would have been a great chance.

Tom Noie: Dylan: Woof! Toledo's 9-8 and has lost five in a row and six of seven. That's a bad team, and a bad mark on the resume. Imagine had Notre Dame lost that one. Don't think getting to 10-10 gets a middle of the road ACC in this season. Resume's waaaaaay too light.

Justin from Fort Wayne IN: So there was some rumors swirling around between ND and Devin Carter. Anything from there that should raise an eyebrow?

Tom Noie: Justin: Only one eyebrow? Haven't heard much, and his list of schools is interesting - Charleston, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Georgia Tech and Northern Arizona.

Wadelite from Long Beach, CA: If Cormac Ryan is not the second coming of the Notre Dame Ben Hansbrough, it's hard to believe ND will be any better next season. They said 60% of Hubb's shots are treys. It's great he's making more this season, but he needs to get the basket more. Going to be especially important next season to set up inside baskets since Durham had a limited post moves repertoire.

Tom Noie: Truth!

Wadelite from Long Beach, CA: Carter's dad played 13 years in the nba. Also has offers from VCU and South Carolina. Some great hair as well

Tom Noie: Yes he did, and yes it is....

Dylan from MN: How would you assess the morale among the players? Couple close, tough losses recently. Obviously great to close one out last night.

Tom Noie: Dylan:I'm no psychologist and didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express, so not really sure,but this has been a pretty steady group. Confidence has never been an issue, even with the losses. In this game today, that's half the battle.

Tyler : Patrick Tape, graduate transfer from Columbia, heard of any mutual interest with ND? On paper, an Ivy League 6’10” body, depth clearly an (ongoing) issue etc etc. What do you think?

Tom Noie: Chase any and all graduate transfers. Can't hurt, can it?

JT from South Bend: How big of an impact could getting Seth Towns (Harvard transfer with 2 remaining years) have on next season?

Tom Noie: JT: Don't know....I know little about him....can he play? Has he posted big numbers?

JT from South Bend: Does this staff make an effort to recruit foreign players, specifically from Europe? Other schools, especially Gonzaga, have had success.

Tom Noie: JT: Mike Brey's long dismissed recruiting overseas....too expensive for someone who may or may not have interest. Gonzaga's brand is way stronger, which allows them to be a more attractive option.

Wadelite from Long Beach, CA: I know it worked out last night, but I just don't see other teams giving up two point baskets as quickly and easily as ND does.

Tom Noie: Mike Brey would take that every time against a team that can't shoot from 3 (4-of-15 last night)

JT from South Bend: Ha. I would not say Towns has posted big numbers but he is a solid Ivy league Forward. My thinking is that he would be better than an empty chair.

Tom Noie: It's tricky adding a guy who doesn't dominate say the Ivy League. If he's just OK, what's he going to be like in the ACC? It's a big step up.....

Wadelite from Long Beach, CA: Isn't the fact Georgia tech was brick laying on 3's a reason not to give up quick easy lay ups. There was no Girard or Buddy Boeheim on that team.

Tom Noie: No, you don't want to give them an opening to get going, either Devoe or Alvarado. Mike Brey's seen that movie before against that team. Couple 3s fall, loosens everything else up. He's going to make more shots than you and we'll trade threes for twos. Notre Dame got enough stops...don't think Tech led the final four minutes.

Wadelite from Long Beach, CA: Tom, any insight to the basketball recruiting budget. I know as a private university they don't have to disclose it, but it should at least be competitive with Butler?

Tom Noie: Is there any reason to think they're not? That said, think Brey's out recruiting during the week off. So there's that.

JT from South Bend: Any chance we see the ACC add a 16th member? That would be one great tournament by itself with the symmetry.

Tom Noie: JT: Don't ever say never, but don't think expansion's anywhere near the table for the ACC. What team would fit?

JT from South Bend: Well, it might require conference shakeups. And of course football rules everything. But maybe Cincy or West Virginia would work. I just want a 16 team basketball tourney.

Tom Noie: JT: Pretty sure neither of those schools are getting anywhere close to the ACC. Ever.

Bob,Royersford: Tom, I'm trying to get a read on what your saying. It sounds like Brey doesn't have the desire or maybe its the energy to do what is needed recruiting wise anymore,is that what your saying? thanks

Tom Noie: Bob: That's not what I'm saying or implying at all (when it comes to recruiting internationally). Saying it doesn't make much sense - or dollars - to recruit overseas prospects who may or may not be interested or work out. That's a chance he doesn't want to take. Go recruit Indiana harder instead of

Jim NY, NY: Can we get Houston Baptist on the schedule? They've given up 95+ points in all but one game this year.

Tom Noie: Might hurt the NET....

Bill: Why is Rex getting so many minutes?

Tom Noie: Bill: It's all about trust....Mike Brey sleeps better if Rex Pflueger's on the floor for everything else he can do besides make a shot.

JT from South Bend: At the last Mike Brey Radio show, he said Morgan is a true D1 player. Is that true, or is Brey just being nice?

Tom Noie: Maybe. Not an ACC-caliber guard, but he does have some skills. Wish we'd see it.

Bob,Royersford: Tom, I just meant recruiting in general. I'm a Bray fan, but your close to the program so was just wondering if you think maybe Bray has grown tired of it.

Tom Noie: Of recruiting? Who wouldn't? It's a grind. Even Eric Atkins said as much. This is his first year as a Division I assistant at Howard, so he received his first taste of summer recruiting. It wiped him out, and he's still relatively young. Imagine what it does to the old-timers.

Wadelite from Long Beach, CA: Tom, to be clear. Is it your belief Brey will not be out there recruiting during the open week? Is he staying back to help Rex on making uncontested lay ups?

Tom Noie: Good one. No, he planned to go recruit. Layups? Don't want to overthink that, right?

Wadelite from Long Beach, CA: I concur with where Bob was going. If Brey is not going out there to recruit during an open week given the current state of the program he needs to find a tv gig. In terms of 2021 recruiting, there is very little buzz about prospects. Particularly prospects not from the state of Indiana.

Tom Noie: Here's the thing - where did you the idea that he WASN'T going out? I mentioned that he planned to go recruit during the open date. He said as much earlier in the week when we talked with him. He plans to be on the road....hopefully

Tom Noie: That will do it for today's chat. Another solid effort. Let's circle back around and do it again in February. if you have a question or comment that cannot wait, drop me a note at Thanks again for the effort. Have a great weekend!