With no game on the schedule this week, we thought we would take a look at the recruiting class that Coach Brey and Co. have assembled for 2013. In case you have haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance at Purcell Pavilion, you haven’t, the Irish are having another successful year on the court and off. Notre Dame’s 2013 recruiting class currently ranks #14th on ESPN and #18th on Rivals. While the 12th year Men’s basketball coach has always found players that fit his program, rarely does that translate to a top 25 class, which is where the Irish recruiting efforts have landed them this year. The Irish have landed 3 players in ESPN’s top 100, including 5 star recruit and hometown hero Demetrius Jackson. So let’s take a closer look at what the 3 players from that ESPN top 100 might bring to the Irish next year and beyond.
DEMTRIUS JACKSON – PG
The local point guard from Mishawaka had offers from the who’s who of college basketball. That list included the likes of Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Kansas, and Xavier amongst others. He literally could have gone almost anywhere he wanted, but thanks to a phenomenal recruiting effort by Brey, the young man from Marian High choose the Irish. At 6’1 170 he brings good size and speed to the court and the ability to create for himself and his teammates. He struggles a bit from behind the arc, but excels from within. Jackson has no issue with driving hard to the hoop and finishing or dishing off to a teammate. He will draw a lot of attention from opponents defensive efforts, which should open the floor up for the Irish offense. If you remembers Chris Thomas from almost decade ago, than you should understand what Jackson has the ability to do for the Irish. We have a feeling Irish fans will not have to wait long to see the Demetrius Jackson show on display in South Bend, and that is a good thing.
STEVE VASTURIA – SG
At 6’4 175 Vasturia should pair well with the 6’1 170 PG Demetrius Jackson and provide the Irish with a very tall, smart, and athletic backcourt for Irish fans for the foreseeable future. The Jersey born guard may not possess the same athletic skill as the before-mentioned Jackson, that doesn’t mean he lacks talent. While Jackson may struggle a bit from behind the arc, Vasturia will not. He has a smooth stroke and quick release. He also brings the ability to understand defenses and how to break them down, which is always a plus in Coach Breys’ eyes. Vasturia had offers from Villanova, Northwestern, and Boston College, so he excels above the shoulders also. Vasturia may not see the floor as much as Jackson in 2013, but he will eventually turn into a threat from behind the arc, which should make Irish fans and coaching staff very happy.
V.J. BEACHEM – SF
The athletic forward from New Haven, Indiana had offers from Purdue, Minnesota, and Butler, but eventually chose the Irish as his destination. What Beachem lacks in muscle, he more than makes up for in the talent and quickness department. At 6’6 180 he can post up, but can also take his game outside the lane. Beachem has a great shot from 20 feet and in, and the quickness to beat defenders on a regular basis. This type of hybrid athlete is exactly what the Irish need as they eventually will head into
ACC conference play soon, and he couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. The Irish need a big man who can shoot from outside, but also has the ability to take it to the rim, which is exactly what Beachem will provide Notre Dame. He will see the floor often in 2013 and may even crack the starting lineup early on in his freshmen season. He will fit in nicely with Jackson and Vasturia as they all do something different, which will make the Irish a very hard team to defend in the coming years.
As you can see, if you are fan of Notre Dame basketball than the next 3 or 4 years should be very exciting. Brey has stepped up his game in the recruiting department, and Irish fans should start to see a different type of game on the floor as early as 2013. It has always felt like Irish fans have had to watch a certain type of play on the court due to athletic restrictions from a roster point of view – this will change. So while there is no guarantee of success for anyone making the transition from high school to the college game, it wouldn’t be surprising to see all three of these kids do well on the court in South Bend over the next few years.