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Men’s Basketball: Brey adds talented recruits

Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Notre Dame picked up two major commitments Monday and Tuesday, announcing the transfer of 6-foot-10 sophomore center Garrick Sherman from Michigan State and the signing of 6-foot-8 forward Eric Katenda to letter of intent.

Sherman picked Michigan State over Notre Dame when he graduated from high school, but two struggle-filled years as a Spartan gave the Ohio native second thoughts about his choice. Encouraged by the recent success Irish coach Mike Brey has had with transfers, such as 2011 Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough, Sherman decided to be the sixth such transfer under Brey. Sherman will have to sit out the 2011-12 season as required by NCAA transfer rules but will have two years of eligibility remaining when he first suits up for the Irish in the 2012-13 campaign.

Sherman averaged 3.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in only 12.1 minutes per game in the past year at Michigan State. He saw significant action at times, but spent long stretches of time on the bench at others.

Katenda, a French native attending high school in Bel Aire, Kan., decided between Wake Forest and Notre Dame. Ranked a three-star recruit by major recruiting services, he chose between a struggling Demon Deacon program, where he would get significant playing time as a freshman, and an Irish program loaded with veterans who had a track record of winning. 

A versatile player who excels at the small forward position, Katenda averaged 15.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals while shooting 60 percent from the field in his senior season at Sunrise Christian Academy. He faced a number of health issues last summer, including knee tendinitis and appendicitis. These health issues turned a number of programs away, leaving the Irish as one of only three schools competing heavily for Katenda’s play.

Katenda will join 6-foot-5 wing and fellow recruit Patrick Connaughton on campus in the fall. Connaughton was the Massachusetts player of the year and signed with Notre Dame in November. 

Notre Dame already has two commitments for its 2012 signing class and has one scholarship remaining to offer a member of that class.