Wow, looks like we are getting really close to signing consensus top 20 hoops recruit Ryan Kelly. Word on the street is that he could be ready to commit within the next couple weeks. While we already have a nice little class going with Jack Cooley and Joey Brooks, it sounds like Ryan Kelly would be a big time impact player for this program (i.e. the McRoberts/Hansborough type player).
How about this potential team in 2009??
PG - Tory Jackson
SG - Ben Hansborough
SF - Scott Martin
PF - Luke Harangody
C - Ryan Kelly
Bench: Jon Peoples, Tim Abromaitis, Ty Nash, Carl Scott
WOW. That team would be loaded at every position, and we'd have all kinds of flexibility to mix and match with different lineups. Harangody is a first team All-American type player, Tory will be a senior, Hansborough is going to be real solid, Kelly is in that Ferry/McRoberts/Laettner mold, and Martin was one of the best freshmen in the Big 10 last year. That team would be really really good.
I know he gets a lot of praise around here, but I cannot overstate how great a job Mike Brey is doing at Notre Dame. Whatever we are paying him is not enough. He took over a borderline mid-major program where the students sat during the games (if they showed up at all), and now we're going toe to toe with the best teams in the best conference in college basketball. Brey is setting up this program to be a regular contender for the Big East title for many years to come. Not only does Brey have a great eye for undervalued talent, he has built a team first mentality where the system is larger than the whole.
Notre Dame is the best basketball program in the state of Indiana right now (reread that last sentence IU and Purdue fans!!), and I think we have a great shot at becoming the Duke of the Midwest over the next ten years with Brey at the helm. It will obviously take some good breaks to get to that level, but it would be a great start to bring Ryan Kelly into the fold for the next few years.
Already fired up for basketball season. How sad is it that we're talking about Big East titles and possible Final Four appearances for the basketball program while we're just HOPING to beat the 8th best program in the Big Ten (at best) AT HOME on Saturday?? A tale of two programs indeed.