Short Notre Dame basketball visit list includes big man Nate Laszewski

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

What was a whirlwind week with school starting up showed no signs of slowing for Nate Laszewski.

Such is life as one of the fastest-rising college basketball prospects in the current high school senior class.

It all was so hectic for Laszewski, a power forward at Northfield (Mass.) Mount Hermon Academy, that he took Friday off from classes. But he had a good excuse.

The 6-foot-10, 205-pound Laszewski planned to arrive late Thursday at Notre Dame for the first of his official college visits.

This is a big weekend for Laszewski, and for Notre Dame. With the start of the fall evaluation period open – the window allows high school seniors/college prospects to start making official campus visits and coaches to get out and visit said prospects – Laszewski is the only prep senior scheduled this fall to see Notre Dame.

One and the Irish are done.

Still, Laszewski will have plenty of company on campus when he and the returning members of the men’s basketball team convene Saturday afternoon in Purcell Pavilion to play some pickup.

Also expected in are guards Robby Carmody (Mars, Pa.), Dane Goodwin (Upper Arlington, Ohio) and Prentiss Hubb (Upper Marlboro, Md.). All three prep seniors made official visits to Notre Dame and committed in the spring/summer. All are Top 100 prospects.

“I’m really excited,” Laszewski said. “It will be really fun. I just want to see the campus, get to know some of the guys and see what everything’s like out there.”

Laszewski knows well about the current state of the Irish recruiting class.

“They’ve got three really good guards, tough guys who can all make plays,” he said. “Coach (Mike) Brey has told me a lot about them.”

Brey’s also told Laszewski a lot about how he would fit with the group.

“Being a stretch four who can mix it up inside and do a lot stuff,” Laszewski said. “That would help fill out that class.”

A four-star prospect, Laszewski is ranked No. 51 by ESPN, No. 69 by Rivals and No. 92 by Scout.

Notre Dame’s current recruiting class is ranked among the Top 10 in the nation. Rivals has it at No. 9; Scout has it ranked sixth.

Laszewski could be the final piece to a puzzle that would give Brey arguably the best recruiting class he’s ever had in nearly 20 seasons in South Bend. It would have a play-maker (Hubb), wings (Carmody, Goodwin) and the coveted stretch-4 in Laszewski to go with Juwan Durham, more of a traditional power forward who is sitting out this season after transferring from Connecticut.

Durham becomes eligible in 2018-19.

Laszewski has been on Notre Dame’s recruiting radar the last couple of years. He made two unofficial visits to campus in the past, including one last Thanksgiving. It got serious between both sides in the summer when his game – and his name – became more nationally known on the AAU circuit.

By the time July ended, Laszewski was touted as one of the fastest rising prospects in the country with over 20 scholarship offers.

“I just wanted to mix up my game more, play a little more inside and rebound,” said Laszewski, who averaged 11 points a game as a junior for a Mount Hermon team that was the 2016 regular season and postseason champions of the New England Prep School Athletic Conference.

Saturday starts a stretch for Laszewski of three visits to three Atlantic Coast Conference schools over three consecutive September weekends. Laszewski will visit Wake Forest next weekend before a trip to North Carolina. He also has a scholarship offer from Wisconsin, where his father, Jay, played and where his sister, Abby, is a sophomore forward on the women’s team.

Laszewski does not plan to visit Wisconsin. He does plan to commit prior to the start of his senior season at Mount Hermon, whose first game is in November.

Notre Dame also remains active in recruiting power forward Simi Shittu (Vermont Academy). Considered a Top 10 prospect and likely one-and-done, Shittu has Notre Dame among his final 10 schools. While prospects can commit to schools and sign their letters of intent as early as the first week of November, Shittu is expected to delay his decision until spring. That means Shittu, if his schedule allows, can always visit campus during the basketball season. Say for a regular-season game against Duke or Louisville or defending national champion North Carolina.

Brey has three remaining scholarships to offer this recruiting class.

tnoie@ndinsider.com

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Twitter: @tnoieNDI