Already thin Notre Dame men's basketball roster gets thinner with portal decisions

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune
Notre Dame freshman forward Dom Campbell entered the transfer portal on Monday. He wasn't alone.

SOUTH BEND — Noon on Monday — the first day of business in the college basketball transfer portal — hadn't yet arrived and already the Notre Dame men basketball roster had been gutted to a point where it could barely field a starting lineup. 

By 11 a.m., three Irish — graduate student guard Robby Carmody and freshmen Dom Campbell and J.J. Starling — had entered the transfer portal. Under NCAA transfer regulations, players can seek a one-time transfer with immediate eligibility. They also can return to their former schools. 

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Notre Dame’s 2023-24 roster consists of five players –— four returning players and incoming freshman guard Markus Burton from Mishawaka, Indiana. A sixth would be walk-on guard Alex Wade. Senior guard Cormac Ryan has a sixth season of eligibility should he choose to return. He's not expected to do so. 

On Monday, the portal set an unofficial one day "record" of having 173 players enter it seeking a transfer.

Starling committed Tuesday morning to Syracuse, a short drive from his home in Baldwinsville, New York. Campbell is expected to explore other options and consider Notre Dame once a new Irish coach is in place.

Notre Dame's JJ Starling (1) drives to the basket as Virginia Tech's Sean Pedulla (3) defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023 in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Michael Caterina)

As of late Monday night, no other current Irish is expected to jump into the portal — at least until a new coach is hired and they see what's what.

A former McDonald’s All-American and consensus Top 40 recruit, Starling played in 28 games with 24 starts this season. He averaged 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 29.7 minutes. He shot .421 percent from the field, .299 percent from 3 and .638 from the foul line. He was one of five players named to the ACC all-rookie team at season’s end. 

Starling missed the final four games with a bruised knee. 

One of six seniors on track to receive graduate degrees this spring, Carmody played 18 minutes over six games this season. Derailed by injuries that included season-ending knee (twice) and shoulder (once) issues, the former Top 100 prospect was limited to 23 career games over his five years. 

Campbell played 35 minutes over 10 games. He scored seven points with 12 rebounds. He missed a stretch of games late in the year with Achilles’ inflammation. 

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The Irish also are in search of a new head coach after Mike Brey announced in January that his 23rd season at Notre Dame would be his last. 

Burton told the Tribune last week that he plans to fulfill his commitment to Notre Dame and play for whoever will be the next coach. A potential Indiana Mr. Basketball, Burton was part of a recruiting class that also included guards/wings Brady Dunlap (Studio City, California) and Parker Friedrichsen (Bixby, Oklahoma). 

Penn's Markus Burton (3) drives against Chesterton's Owen Guest (3) during the Penn vs. Chesterton regional championship game Saturday, March 11, 2023 at Michigan City High School.

Dunlap and Friedrichsen each asked for and received releases from their letters of intent to Notre Dame. Friedrichsen eventually committed to and signed with Wake Forest. Dunlap remains unsigned. He may also wait to decide on a school until meeting with the new Irish head coach.

If Starling, Campbell and Carmody do not return, the new Irish coach will have eight available scholarships to offer late-rising/signing high school seniors or current transfers/graduate transfers to round out next season’s roster. 

Notre Dame lost only one player — former walk-on guard Elijah Morgan — to the portal last season. There were 1,649 Division I players who entered the transfer portal last year. By noon Monday, there were 240.

Follow South Bend Tribune and NDInsider columnist Tom Noie on Twitter: @tnoieNDI. Contact: (574) 235-6153.