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Walk-on Andree makes impact leading underclassmen

Matt Gamber | Thursday, March 18, 2010

Luke Harangody and Tory Jackson will undoubtedly leave major legacies as four-year starters and the leaders of Notre Dame’s winningest senior class.

While walk-on senior forward Tim Andree won’t leave the same mark on the face of the Irish program, his impact on the Notre Dame program could have long-term effects because of his work this season with freshmen Mike Broghammer, Jack Cooley and Tom Knight.

“I’ve done a lot of stuff in this offseason with the freshmen,” Andree said. “Just a lot of getting extra workouts with them and helping them get in shape. We haven’t really had a true group of freshmen in a while like this, and it’s been fun having these guys in. They’re all really good players and fun to be around.”

As a walk-on, Andree knew his biggest role wouldn’t necessarily be on the court during games. His primary role as a practice player has taught him “to let the little things go,” he said.

“I know going into every year what the deal is,” Andree said. “Basketball’s a fun game, we’re all playing the game of basketball because we enjoy it and have fun with it.”

Andree’s father, Tim, played at Notre Dame under legendary coach Digger Phelps from 1979-83. While Andree’s career obviously didn’t follow that of his father, he said he has enjoyed his Notre Dame experiences, especially those with the Irish team.

“My dad came in here in a totally different situation than I did. He was a McDonald’s high school All-American, I clearly wasn’t,” Andree said. “I’ve just tried to come out and play hard and be my own person. It’s sometimes tough living in the shadow of it, but it hasn’t been too hard.”

Andree’s mother also attended Notre Dame, and so accepting a role with the Irish program was almost a no-brainer, Andree said.

“I grew up always wanting to come to Notre Dame, so when [Irish coach Mike Brey] told me I had the opportunity to play here, it was tough to turn down,” he said.

Andree said the bonds he has formed with his teammates has reaffirmed that decision and made his Notre Dame experience. Andree lives off campus with Harangody and senior guard Ben Hansbrough.

“When we’re not here [on the court], we’re just friends,” Andree said. “We’re not really thinking about basketball, but living a normal life.”

A management consulting major and theology minor, Andree said he is waiting to hear from law schools. While his future almost certainly won’t be in basketball, he said he will miss his experiences with the Irish basketball team, and especially with Brey.

“Coach Brey treats us all like men. There’s a lot of mutual respect between us,” Andree said. “He’s very funny, he’s got a great personality, and he’s a lot of fun to be around. He’s given me a lot more confidence.

“My high school coaches, they relied more on a negative style of coaching. Here, it’s all about the positives, and he makes you believe in yourself.”