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Men’s Basketball: Brey trying to figure team out

Eric Prister | Friday, November 5, 2010

Irish coach Mike Brey is still trying to understand the nuisances of his 2010-11 squad, and Saturday’s second and final exhibition game against Catholic University will give him an opportunity to do just that.

“[In the exhibition games], you’re just finally on the same bench, and finding some kind of rotation substitution-wise is probably the biggest thing, I think, for me and the guys to understand,” Brey said. “Everybody plays in practice, but when you get to a game, since the other night, the pecking order is kind of decided, at least early on, so you see how guys react to that, and you see who stays in character with the lights on.”

The Irish played well in their first exhibition game against Marian University, defeating the Knights 85-52. Four players scored in double-digits, and Brey believes that well-balanced, versatile offense is the team’s strength.

“I think with the group we start, you’ve got so many interchangeable parts where guys can pass and catch and play at different spots on the floor,” Brey said. “[Senior forward] Ty Nash is inside the most for us, but we’ve also posted other guys up, and Nash has ended up handling the ball for us a lot, so it’s truly five guys who are very interchangeable — on both ends of the floor.”

Nash scored nine against Marian, and chipped in a team-high eight rebounds for the Irish. Fourth-year forward Tim Abromaitis and senior forward Scott Martin led Notre Dame with 15 points each, and senior guard Ben Hansbrough recorded six assists.

Sophomore Mike Broghammer, who did not play against Marian because of an injury, is healthy and ready to go against Catholic, Brey said. Broghammer will join fellow sophomore forwards Tom Knight and Jack Cooley as the squad’s conventional post players.

“We’re going to have him [against Catholic],” Brey said. “We were very cautious, and we wanted to go two full days of practice and then play him on Saturday.”

Notre Dame tips off against Catholic University Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Purcell Pavilion.