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Men’s Basketball: Biedscheid sits as Irish win

Matthew DeFranks | Monday, October 28, 2013

 

Irish sophomore forward Cameron Biedscheid may not play this season, coach Mike Brey said following Notre Dame’s 95-69 exhibition win over Division II Indianapolis on Monday night.

Brey said the No. 22 Irish would consider redshirting Biedscheid and keeping him for a fifth season.

“[It] may be the best thing for him in the long run – get older, get stronger, academically, all the above,” Brey said. “Those are usually the points. [Former Irish forward] Tim Abromaitis did it in his second year. You don’t always have to redshirt as a freshman. It’s kind of an ongoing discussion.”

Abromaitis sat out his sophomore season and used his extra year of eligibility in 2011-12. His fifth season was cut short, however, by a torn ACL, and he appeared in just two games.

In 2008, Abromaitis played in an exhibition game in a year he eventually redshirted. Due to NCAA rules, he missed the first four contests of his final season. Biedscheid sat out Monday’s game to avoid a similar situation.

Brey said the coaching staff had loosely discussed redshirting Biedscheid, but the 6-foot-7 St. Louis native approached Brey this weekend about the possibility.

“We’ve never forced it on a guy; a guy’s got to want to do it,” Brey said. “Actually, he brought it up to me in a meeting over the weekend. He said ‘Coach, I’ve been thinking about it, my family and I have been talking about it. What do you think?’”

Brey said a decision should come some time next week.

“You get into the balancing point of what’s best for the kid and what’s best for the team,” Brey said. “I think that’s what we’ve got to figure out.”

Biedscheid averaged 6.2 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game in his freshman season a year ago. He averaged 17.4 minutes in 34 games in his debut campaign and figured to be a key part of the Irish rotation.

Brey said the coaching staff would not have even thought about redshirting Biedscheid if the freshman guards – Demetrius Jackson and Steve Vasturia – were not ready to play.

“I don’t think you could even consider … what’s best for our team unless your freshman guards have been really impressive and consistent and solid, and all [two] of them have been,” Brey said. “If that wasn’t the case, I think the discussion would have ended Saturday in my office, we can’t do it. We may be able to do it because we have some depth there and what’s best for the kid.”

In addition to Biedscheid, the Irish were also without injured graduate student forward Tom Knight (back) and sophomore forwards Zach Auguste (wrist) and Eric Katenda (knee) in the win over the Greyhounds.

Graduate student center Garrick Sherman led Notre Dame with 21 points on 10 of 14 shooting. He also added six rebounds.

“Why can’t [Sherman] have a great senior year like many of the guys in our program?” Brey said. “Guys have great senior years here. Why can’t he be one of them?”

Sherman will be counted on to pick up some of the rebounds Notre Dame lost when forward Jack Cooley departed after last season. Cooley averaged 10.1 boards a season ago, and the Irish return only one player who averaged more than four rebounds per game.

Indianapolis outrebounded the Irish 40-36 (including 16-7 on the offensive glass) and beat Notre Dame in second chance points, 12-4.

“I still think it’s a concern for us,” Brey said. “I think we couldn’t get our hands on enough of them tonight in one-and-done situations, so it put a lot of pressure on our offense. … I think that’s going to a thing we have to really emphasize and look at.”

The Irish dished out 29 assists and turned the ball over just seven times. Brey said the offensive efficiency was a stamp of his program.

“That’s how we play,” Brey said. “The hallmark here has been we take good care of that thing, we share it, we don’t turn it over, we know what a good shot is. We had a lot of good shot-makers out there, and our young guys are shot-makers.”

The Greyhounds stayed with the Irish for the opening minutes of the game, staying within three points of the Irish as the lead changed hands five times. Indianapolis led Notre Dame 23-22 after junior forward Manny Ochenje’s jumper with 8:43 left in the first half.

The Irish closed the half on a 26-5 run to take a 20-point lead into the break. During the run, the Greyhounds went 8:24 minutes without a field goal, while eight different Notre Dame players registered a field goal.

From then, Indianapolis never trimmed the deficit to less than 13, while the Irish stretched the lead to as much as 28.

Notre Dame’s exhibition season continues Friday night when it takes on Tusculum at 9 p.m. at Purcell Pavilion.

Contact Matthew DeFranks at mdefrank@nd.edu