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Men’s Basketball: Hoops team nabs four recruits on National Signing Day

Greg Arbogast | Thursday, November 13, 2008

The time is now for No. 9 Notre Dame, but Irish coach Mike Brey hasn’t stopped thinking about the future.

Brey helped shore up the next wave of Irish talent Wednesday as four seniors faxed their letters of intent to play in South Bend for the next four years. This comes on the heels of a year when Notre Dame did not sign any recruits but did net two transfers – Scott Martin from Purdue and Ben Hansbrough from Mississippi State.

The class of 2009 will include swingman Joey Brooks (Houston, Tex.) and a trio of frontcourt talent: Mike Broghammer (Minnetonka, Minn.), Jack Cooley (Glenview, Ill.) and Tom Knight (Dixfield, Maine).

“We’re excited to have Mike, Joey, Jack and Tom join our Notre Dame basketball family,” Brey said in a statement. “They’re a great fit for our program and our style of play. With Mike, Jack and Tom, we’re getting three physical frontline players who like to play hard, while Joey gives us an athletic presence on the perimeter.”

The recruits fit in with Brey’s recruiting style of signing talented but not one-and-done players; players who are likely to develop over four years. Each of the four recruits is rated a three-star player at his position by Scout.com.

Brooks, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard, led Strake Jesuit College Preparatory to the UIL District 18-5A title last season as a junior and averaged 22.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game. Those accomplishments earned him a spot on the Houston Chronicle Greater Houston Area team and helped him garner all-state recognition.

“Joey is [an] extremely athletic perimeter player who has the ability to be a slasher to the basket,” Brey said. “I was really impressed with him when I first saw him play point guard for his AAU team. He’s got a high basketball IQ and has a great feel and understanding for the game. “

Broghammer, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward, averaged 11.9 points and 10.0 rebounds as a junior while leading his team to a 27-2 record with the only two losses coming against eventual Class AAAA state champion Minnetonka.

“Mike is a physical frontline player who continues to develop his offensive game,” Brey said. “He’s strong inside the post, but is comfortable stepping out and facing the basket. Mike is an excellent defender and a good rebounder at both ends of the floor and passes the ball extremely well.”

Cooley checks in at an identical 6-foot-9 and 235 pounds. He filled up the stat sheet as a junior, averaging 20.7 points and 11.2 rebounds, in addition to 3.4 blocked shots and 3.1 assists. Cooley was rewarded with a second team all-state selection by the Chicago Tribune and Associated Press.

“Jack is an intense, physical player who is a throwback kind of guy,” Brey said. “His style of play compliments our style of play and he will be a very effective Big East player. He is a good screener and just has a great overall feel and understanding for the game.”

Filling out the class is Knight, who at 6-foot-9 and 260 pounds is the biggest member of the incoming class. Last season, Knight averaged 16.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.3 steals and 3.1 blocked shots while guiding his prep team to the Mountain Valley Conference crown and a runner-up finish at the Class C Western Maine regional finals.

“Tom’s stock rose this summer,” Brey says. “He is a big, left-handed frontline guy who is particularly crafty around the basket. Tom has great footwork and one of his greatest assets is that the game comes easy to him. He has a good feel for how to play the game and plays within himself. Tom is just a very steady and consistent player.”