Ever since joining the ACC in the 2013-14 season, Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Mike Brey has brought his team to a level of national relevance that it hasn’t experienced in decades. The first conference tournament championship in school history (‘15), back-to-back Elite Eight appearances (‘15 & ‘16) for the first time since 1978 & 1979, and now quite possibly his best recruiting class ever.
On National Signing Day on Wednesday, the first day of college basketball’s early signing period for the 2018-19 season, Notre Dame received letters of intent from four top-100 recruits. With all of them considered to be four-star players, the class currently ranks seventh in the nation according to CBS Sports, behind only North Carolina in the ACC.
“We are thrilled about this group,” Brey said in a statement released after the signings. “It is maybe the best group we have put together in my 18 years at Notre Dame. All of the guys have won big, play with an edge and are a great fit for how we do things in our culture.”
With three seniors in the starting lineup this season who should log heavy minutes for Notre Dame, this talented class comes at the perfect time. They may be expected to produce right away, so let’s see what we’re working with.
Prentiss Hubb, PG, Gonzaga High School (Washington, D.C.)
Regarded as the top recruit coming out of the Washington, D.C. area, Prentiss Hubb is a well-rounded guard with a ton of athleticism. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds, Hubb shoots the ball left-handed and plays more of a two-guard role for his high school right now. But watching his film shows that he loves to get out on the fast break with his eyes up the floor, and he gets up to dunk when he’s in the clear. His vision in the half court looks impressive and he shoots the ball well-enough from behind the arc, though that will probably be the area of his game that he needs to work on the most at the next level.
Hubb averaged 13.9 points per game last season for Gonzaga High on the way to a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. He is a two-time WCAC first-team all-conference selection, and a three-time Under Armour All-American. He is currently sitting out his senior season, however, after suffering a knee injury this past summer. Hubb is ranked 92nd on the ESPN 100 and also received offers from Kansas, Maryland, Syracuse, Villanova, and Virginia.
Robby Carmody, SG, Mars Area High School (Pennsylvania)
Robby Carmody is considered to be the second-best recruit in the state of Pennsylvania and is as tough as it gets for a shooting guard. At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, his build is slightly stocky but he shoots the lights out and rebounds at a huge rate for his position. Last season he averaged 26.2 points and 12 rebounds per game for Mars Area and already holds the all-time scoring record at the school. He also holds school records for single-season points, career free throws, and single-season shooting percentage. What really jumps off the screen when watching Carmody’s film is his demeanor on the court. He is scrappy and confident, and isn’t afraid to shoot from NBA range.
Ranked at 80th on the ESPN 100, Carmody is also highly regarded for his basketball I.Q. since his father has been the coach at Mars Area for 20 years. Carmody received offers from a whopping 17 schools, including Syracuse, Butler, Louisville and Michigan to name a few.
Dane Goodwin, SG, Upper Arlington High School (Ohio)
Dane Goodwin is ranked number 4 in the state of Ohio and is an even more balanced shooting guard than Carmody. On film he is much faster than his 6-foot-5, 205 pound build would suggest and he can slash to the rim with aggression. Goodwin averaged 25.5 points per game last season on his way to setting the Upper Arlington single-season records for scoring and rebounding. He also holds the school records for career points and rebounds and led his team to an Ohio Capital Conference championship. He appears to be a pretty solid shooter from range but may be more comfortable closer to the rim.
He is also the son of a very successful college coach and is ranked at 77 on the ESPN 100. Goodwin also received offers from Ohio State and Villanova.
Nate Laszewski, PF, Northfield-Mt. Hermon School (Massachusetts)
The highest ranked player of this Notre Dame class, Nate Laszewski is regarded by some as the top player coming out of Massachusetts. At 6-foot-10 and 205 pounds, he has a wiry frame but shows plenty of toughness, and he shoots the ball very well from outside. The film also shows him taking charges, blocking shots, getting out in transition well, catching alley-oops and working effectively in the pick-and-roll. Last season he helped lead Northfield-Mt.Hermon to a New England Preparatory School Athletic Council championship and was named the MVP of the championship game. While he averaged around 8 points per game in high school and AAU, Laszewski seems to be more valuable for how many different things he can do.
The ESPN 100 places Laszewski at 51 and he received offers from 16 other schools including ACC competitors North Carolina, Miami, Virginia and Wake Forest.
I’ll start by saying that I hope these guys have a lot more personality than these videos suggest. They don’t seem the least bit excited that they just signed to go play Division I basketball, but they should get used to having cameras surrounding them pretty quickly. Seriously though, can we at least get a smile boys?
Anyways, my favorite part about this class is how balanced it is. With a point guard, two shooting guards and a power forward, you can tell Brey was looking to bring in a diverse set of skills. From watching the available film for each guy, I think Laszewski could see the most minutes right off the bat. Especially because when the current senior class is gone, the only other big man on the roster is UConn transfer Juwan Durham, who has to sit out this year. I will also add that I think Laszewski has to hit the weight room and put on a little muscle to maximize his potential.
Carmody, Goodwin and Hubb will have to compete with the other Fighting Irish guards already waiting for their time in the spotlight, T.J. Gibbs and D.J. Harvey. But with the departure of Matt Farrell, Hubb could log some minutes at point guard if he proves he can be better suited for that role than Gibbs. And we know that Brey can develop talent with the best of them. Take Jerian Grant, for example, who was a three-star recruit outside the top-100 and turned out to be the highest NBA draft pick Brey ever recruited. I know we have high hopes for the team this year, but this class is an indication that this program is going to be a perennial ACC threat.
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