It seemed like ages ago that we got a piece of news that wasn’t bad or at least mired in controversy/debate, but now we have it. It was reported Wednesday that Micah Shrewsberry and Notre Dame were working to finalize a deal to make him the next Glenn and Stacey Murphy Head Men’s Basketball Coach. Straight out of the gate, I will say I think this is as close to the cliche “homerun hire” as you can get. I do believe he was the best possible hire and I believe he will have a good career at Notre Dame. In regards to his style and how he does things we aren’t going to go down that path, this will be only his third season as a head coach outside of his time at IU South Bend. At Penn St, he had to make do with what he had due to the state of their program when he took over. So it’s difficult to say how exactly he will go about things at Notre Dame. We will however look at the 10,000-foot view regarding what he can do to bring life back to a program that is itching for relevancy.
Sources: Notre Dame is finalizing a deal to make Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry the school’s next head coach.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) March 22, 2023
“It’s a young man’s game.”
This goes against a lot of how Notre Dame has done things under Brey, especially over the last decade. This team needs an infusion of youth and energy. I do not think Notre Dame could or should be rolling out 3 or 4 one and done’s on the floor every night, that is not what I am saying. I am saying we need some guys who are young and are DUDES. We will always have the 4th and 5th-year senior starters in the lineup just because of the nature of Notre Dame, but whenever they are supported by a few young stars, that is when this team gets humming. Having a team who is on average older than one or two NBA teams is not how you are going to win in college basketball, especially in 2023. With Starling leaving there is going to be a void to fill, we will see how the players currently on the roster and the recruits already coming in do in filling that void. It will be Shrewsberry’s job to help them do that, as well as see that recruiting going forward fills those needs.
“Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game.”
It’s super early to discuss things like post-season success, the pen isn’t officially to paper yet but I think it’s important. Even in some of Brey’s best seasons, the Irish would bow out within the first two rounds of the tournament. And I don’t want to come off spoiled but when that happens the importance of you’re epic regular season wins/moments tend to be forgotten. I think regardless of how Shrewsberry does in the regular season each year, it is imperative he find post-season success and find it regularly. As I said at the top this program is itching for relevancy, the fans want something to cheer for and I think the support for the women’s team shows that. But as the ladies do, you have to give them something to cheer for. What better way to do that than having Notre Dame men’s basketball to watch the second weekend of March Madness every once in a while?
“Baby come back.”
Get the fans/students back in the arena. This actually could be the easiest to achieve, win right? Yes, that would probably do the trick, but I think it goes further than that. Part of the lack of interest in this team is definitely the lack of winning but part of it is the stale feelings around it as well. I believe that stemmed from Brey and the general energy around him and the team. He was like the quirky uncle, he has his jokes and does things his way. When you are young (or in this case winning) everyone thinks it’s funny, but as you get older (start losing) and the jokes don’t change, it starts to become eye rolls. That is the feeling people were starting to get about this team, and it showed in attendance and overall interest. Shrewsberry needs to ensure that view changes and that also includes the things I mentioned previously. I think if he gets life and energy back into the team, and achieves post-season success they will come back. Another thing he has going for him in this category is the benefit of just being a change from what has been the norm. This team has had the same head coach for all but three of the years I’ve been on this planet. So it goes without saying any change outside of an internal hire would bring a whole new vibe.
With all that being said, I believe he will be successful. It may take some time, and it may not be in any of the ways that I think he should go. Just speaking for myself the fact we have a new coach alone has me more excited for a basketball season than I’ve been in a long time. Not only that he happens to be the guy I thought was the best fit. What do you all think? Has your vibe around the team changed? Will he succeed? Is Notre Dame basketball back?