Notre Dame basketball: Plan on Jackson in rotation
Following is an excerpt from Notre Dame men's basketball beat writer Tom Noie's weekly chat. It can be read in its entirety at southbendtribune.com/chats. The next hoops chat will be Thursday at noon.
Q: How many minutes do you see each of the freshmen getting this year? Any chance Demetrius Jackson is starting in a three-guard lineup by the end of the season?
A: If everything stays status quo -- and what are the chances of that happening given the twists and turns that every season seems to bring? -- Demetrius Jackson is the only freshman who will see consistent minutes. I see Jackson playing at least 20-25 minutes a game to start, with the chance for those minutes to increase given game situations.
Will Jackson start in a three-guard lineup? I can't see it. Starting Jackson means you likely sit one of the bigs -- Tom Knight and Garrick Sherman are the starting power forwards now and if sophomore Zach Auguste can stay healthy, he very well may be pushing for more playing time in a short time.
I don't know if Mike Brey is sold on starting a four-guards-around-one-big lineup. That look will work for stretches, but to start that way? As long as the bigs are productive (i.e. rebounding), Jackson's going to have such an impact coming off the bench fresh and getting after the other team's main handler.
V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia have had solid preseason camps, but again, if everything holds true, they would be Nos. 9 and 10 in the rotation. There will be games or segments of games where they could see minutes, but maybe not long-term.
As Mike Brey said, they'll both have to stay ready if called upon and be prepared to deliver much like
Tom Knight did last season when Scott Martin went down with his knee injury.
Q: There's been a lot of speculation over Cameron Biedscheid. Some people think that he may intend to transfer. Do you know any more than the "casual fan"? It seems strange that he would redshirt this year, as he would have probably been the first man off the bench or close to it.
A: The whole situation is strange at best. Biedscheid played in all but one game last season and was expected to be a part of the rotation this season. Is there more going on than the "casual fan" knows? Probably, but I'd like to have the chance to talk with Biedscheid (he's unavailable to media until a decision is reached) and let him tell his story.
As for his future, there are likely three options that Biedscheid has had to sort through:
1. Stay and play this season
2. Stay and sit out with the chance to do something he really wants to do (start) next year
Why the hold-up in the decision-making process? Probably because he cannot choose Door Nos. 1, 2 or 3.
Any decision would not be a surprise.
Q: Do you believe Austin Burgett made a mistake by not redshirting last season? His contributions to the team last year were minimal, and if he had redshirted he would have four bright years ahead of him.
A: Austin Burgett appeared in 18 games and averaged 0.6 points and 0.6 rebounds in 3.3 minutes per game last season. I talked with Burgett during media day about why he didn't choose to sit out the season and preserve a year of eligibility and he was candidly honest with his answers.
Burgett decided even before the season started that there was no way he was going to redshirt. He was going to college for four years and after those four years, he'd be ready for the next phase of his life. Burgett also was skeptical that if he wasn't good enough to play four seasons, how much better would he be with an extra year? He insisted on playing last season.
Based on what we've seen of him so far this season, that might be something he regrets. He's a totally different player than the one we barely saw last season. It's like he knows his role and sees where he fits now -- screen, rebound, defend, rebound, make a shot, rebound and be easy to play with.
He could be a solid guy the next few years.
It may reach a point where it did with former Irish power forward Rob Kurz where everyone associated with the program really wished Kurz had an extra year by the time he was a senior.
Q: Talk to me a bit about what to expect from this Miami (Ohio) team Friday. I understand they didn't have a very good season last year. Is there optimism with that program that they will be much better this year?
A: Frenetic pace with guards that want to press and trap and run you. They want to make it chaotic, which will be a test for Demetrius Jackson, who didn't see that style in either of the exhibitions. Miami won nine games last season and finished in last place in the MAC East Division. The RedHawks were picked second to last this year, so the optimism that they'll be better is minimal.
But they're old, and first games always keep head coaches up at night. What if Miami gets on a roll, Notre Dame struggles to rebound and the karma in the building gets a little weird?