Mike Brey gets his guard - Prentiss Hubb commits to Notre Dame men's basketball team

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

Heading into an important summer recruiting cycle, it was critical — really critical — for the Notre Dame men’s basketball team to get at least one good guard as its first piece to its next class.

Late Wednesday, coach Mike Brey and the Irish got a good one. Some would even say THE one.

Prentiss Hubb, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound, left-hander out of Gonzaga College High School in Washington, announced his commitment via Twitter just before 10 p.m.

“I am proud to announce my commitment to Coach Brey and Notre Dame University,” Hubb wrote. “I am excited for what the future has in store for me.” #GoIrish.

Hubb did not immediately return phone or text messages for comment. He chose Notre Dame over Maryland, Villanova and Virginia. He also considered Kansas and Syracuse before eliminating those schools from his wish list earlier this year.

Hubb is ranked as a Top 60 prospect by the three major recruiting services. He’s No. 60 at ESPN.com, No. 36 on Rivals.com and No. 27 on Scout.com. The four-star recruit averaged 13.9 points per game as a junior.

Hubb is listed by some recruiting services as a combo guard, though his prep coach, Steve Turner, has no doubts about where he’ll play at the next level – the position that Notre Dame will need him to step into and help sophomore-to-be T.J. Gibbs when he arrives on campus following the graduation of current point guard Matt Farrell.

“He is a point guard,” Turner said late Wednesday. “We’ve played with two point guards for years. This year, the ball was in the hands of Chris Lykes (who is headed to Miami, Fla.). Next year, Prentiss will be the guy at the helm.”

Having played in an AAU weekend tournament in Indianapolis during last month’s evaluation period, Hubb made a side trip up U.S. 31 to Notre Dame for an unofficial visit. Notre Dame had long been one of his final schools – though it was the last one he was able to see. Still, Turner sensed something different about Hubb’s feeling regarding Brey and the Irish following the visit.

When the two talked Wednesday afternoon, just prior to contacting the other three schools, Turner knew Hubb was ticketed for South Bend.

“It was just telling what he said about them (Wednesday),” Turner said. “The final thing he said about Notre Dame was that it felt like home. This is a kid that went to a Jesuit middle school and who went to a Jesuit high school.

“He felt that Notre Dame was the place for him.”

Last summer, Hubb was invited to elite point guard camps run by NBA standouts Stephen Curry and Chris Paul. He’s considered among the handful of elite college prospects in the Washington area for 2018. He’s helped Gonzaga win two Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championships in the last two years.

“Our league is the best basketball league in the country,” Turner said. “Prentiss is a very versatile guard who affects the game in multiple ways. He also has the ability to make other guys better.

“I’m proud of him and excited to see the next step of his journey.”

Hubb will sign his official letter of intent in November during the early period. He will be the second D.C. standout to sign with Notre Dame in as many years. Next month, DeMatha’s D.J. Harvey, who played against Hubb in high school, arrives on campus for his freshman season.

Under NCAA recruiting regulations, Brey is prohibited from commenting on Hubb until November.

Hubb is the first piece to a recruiting puzzle that could include as many as seven additional prospects in some way, shape or form.

Notre Dame is expected to add at least four prospects in this recruiting class, be it current high school juniors or college transfers. The Irish remain involved with Connecticut power forward transfer Juwan Durham, who made an official visit to campus earlier this month and high school junior guard Luther Muhammad, who visited unofficially days before Hubb.

Hubb’s commitment continues a trend for Brey and the Irish being able to close on their top target. Five years ago, it was local guard Demetrius Jackson who was atop the Irish recruiting board. He committed. Then it was swingman Matt Ryan three years ago. He committed, though he’s since transferred to Vanderbilt.

Two years, ago, it was Gibbs who was a top priority. Like with Hubb, the Irish got him early. Last year, Harvey was the gotta-get guy. The Irish also got him.

Now it’s Hubb, who gives the Irish some serious momentum to kick-start what could become a special class.

tnoie@ndinsider.com

(574) 235-6153

@tnoieNDI