Notre Dame is NOT widely expected to have a great season this year in men’s basketball. With three starters to replace, I can see why. But I’ve also learned that when Mike Brey is faced with his biggest challenges…that’s usually when he surprises us the most.
Think back to 2006. Notre Dame was mired in a 3-year NCAA drought and weren’t expected to finish anywhere near the top of the Big East. But Brey coached them to a 24-8….didn’t lose at home…and Russell Carter emerged from complete obscurity to be a first team all BIG EAST selection and helped lead the Irish back to the big dance.
And then last year, following the departure of Luke Harangody & the winningest class in program history, Brey’s team once again defied the odds. Ben Hansbrough morphed into the best point guard in America, and the Irish were being talked about as a NUMBER ONE seed the week before the tournament.