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Cardiac Hill Big East Basketball Previews: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Streeter Lecka

Returnees: Notre Dame got a bit of a blow when the NCAA decided that Tim Abromaitis wouldn't get a sixth year of eligibility after playing in only two games last season before tearing his ACL. That's probably a good thing for the rest of the Big East as the Irish might be even more unstoppable. Also gone is Alex Dragicevich, a reserve forward, who transferred to Boston College. Other than that, Notre Dame returns all of their key pieces from last year and should be difficult to beat. Leading the way is Jack Cooley, clearly the Irish's best player. He led the team in scoring (other than Tim Abromaitis' two-game average) and rebounding with 12.5 points and 8.9 boards per game. Double-digit scorers Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins also return to help lead a veteran team.

Newcomers: Center Garrick Sherman is a transfer from Michigan State and his 6'10" frame will help out a bit in the interior. Also in the mix for minutes will be freshmen Zach Auguste, Cameron Biedscheid, Eric Katenda, and Austin Burgett. The first-year players might find it hard to get minutes, but four-star recruits Auguste and Biedscheid could find some.

Final Outlook: This team is expected to not only reach the NCAAs, but to grab a high seed as well. In the rugged Big East, they may have some blemishes on their record by the time March rolls around, but anything short of a nice run in the tourney would be considered a disappointment.

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