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Nash and Scott, competitors for minutes, remain ‘family’

Fran Tolan | Monday, November 24, 2008

Notre Dame has seven upperclassmen that will see the bulk of the team’s playing time this season. So between the pair of sophomores that will fight for the limited remaining minutes -Tyrone Nash and Carleton Scott – there must be some animosity. Right?

Wrong, according to Scott.

“We’re tight off the court,” he said after practice two weeks ago. “We never really get into too many arguments unless it’s about the NBA or something like that. But like I said, we’re like family off the court.”

But don’t get confused – the two sophomores are certainly competitive on the court. After all, they are both forwards and fall behind a group of experienced players on the Irish depth chart.

“We want to get out there and show everybody our stuff,” Nash said. “So we’re [both] competitive and I think it’s a healthy competitive nature.”

The sophomores realize the only way to crack the Irish rotation is to focus on doing whatever they can do to help the team win.

“We concentrate on all the small things – getting boards, screening, just every small detail,” Scott said. “They help – anything little – because [Irish coach Mike Brey] loves the small things.”

Brey, for his part, said his second-year players will see significantly more minutes than they did a year ago. Last season, Scott sat out the season to preserve a fifth-year of eligibility while Nash saw the court only during garbage time of blowouts. This season, another sophomore, Tim Abromaitis will sit out and preserve a year of eligibility.

Nash said spending time at the end of the bench helped him and Scott learn Notre Dame’s system.

“This year is really based off our experience last year,” he said. “We really got a lot of chances to watch and learn, [so we will] take the things we learned last year and try to [apply them] this year.”

And with the departure of forward Rob Kurz from last year’s squad, the sophomores will be asked to chip in to make up for that loss.

“We’re going to need those bodies. Somebody asked me who is the eighth guy, and I would say [both] of them,” Brey said in his media day press conference. “We’re going to need them … because this is a long haul and a brutal schedule.”

Nash said one of his biggest assets is the versatility he developed during a year of preparatory school after high school.

“They can’t defend you [at] every position so you can try to cause matchup problems on the floor and you got the advantage,” the New York native said. “It makes you hard to guard.”

Scott, meanwhile, has shown off his dunking ability for over a year during warm-ups and said he could not wait to display his athleticism in game action. He got his first shot Sunday against USC Upstate and didn’t disappoint the crowd. Scott threw down several thunderous dunks in the second half of a 94-58 win.

“I finally get to put [my dunking ability] to use, get out there and actually show it to people,” he said.

Nash said he and Scott are both mature but they know how to have fun with each other off the court.

“I mean, we’re young but when it’s time to get to business, it’s time to get to business. And when it’s time to have fun, it’s time to have fun,” he said. “You’ve got to know how to balance that and I think we know how to do that.”