Prep Profile – Notre Dame Prep | Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Prep Profile – Notre Dame Prep

The name of the front of the jersey still says “Prep” and that’s all you need to know.  This is your typical Notre Dame team, ready to take on all comers with a series of quick and talented guards and long and athletic forwards.  There style won’t be any different than it has been for the last decade.  They’re going to play hard and compete on every possession, they are going to get up and pressure for the entire length of the floor and try to rattle their opponents, and they’re going to push the ball hard up the floor on every possession and probably average close to 100 points per game. 

It all begins in the backcourt for Notre Dame where there is a seemingly endless amount of quick and talented guards.  Johnnie Lacy, Antoine Allen, and Malik Smith may be the early favorites to lock down the starting spots.  Lacy is a 5’10” point guard who is just a blur with the ball from one end of the floor to the other and equally quick when changing direction.  Allen is a Providence bound combo-guard who can create for himself and others with good quickness, a tight handle, and a good stroke from behind the arc.  Boston native Malik Smith may be the best complimentary guard in the region.  While he is talented enough to be “the man” on 99% of the teams around, he cares more about winning.  But don’t be surprised when he drops 30 because he’s a lights out shooter who can provide instant offense. 

But the talent won’t drop off when Coach Hurd goes to the bench.  In fact, Sean Kilpatrick is a high major recruit who may actually not make the team’s starting line-up.  The big and physical guard is the prototypical dribble drive player and will score a lot of points this year.  Also in the mix will be 6’5” sharp-shooter Jake Barnett and 6’2” junior Mohammad Lee.  Barnett is a long distance sniper with a good feel for the game and a tremendous work ethic.  Lee is similar to Lacy in that he has terrific speed and quickness while keeping the ball on a virtual rope to his hand. 

Notre Dame’s big men aren’t your traditional back to the basket post players, but they are ideal fits for this fast-paced in-your-face brand of basketball.  James Southerland is the prime example.  The 6’8” forward who is headed to Syracuse next year will likely start at the four spot this year.  He is long and athletic with quick feet, good athleticism, and a good stroke from behind the three-point line.  6’7” Kenny Stewart is a similar type talent who will provide valuable minutes off the bench while Jerry Cummings is a 6’6” smooth combo-forward who should also have a significant role.  Jamil Goodwin is a physical specimen who runs the floor like an absolute deer, finishes above the rim, and simply plays harder than just about anyone. 

Every high octane team needs a physical presence to anchor the paint and that is exactly what Ron Giplaye will do in his return to New England.  With tremendous physical strength and athleticism the longtime BABC product is an absolute beast inside where he dunks everything, blocks some shots, and just outworks people on the glass.  6’11” Naofall Folahan could be another high-major product coming off the bench.  Folahan will spend two years in Fitchburg and is sure to draw the attention of major college programs with his combination of size, speed, agility, and athleticism.  6’6” Terry Carter will provide some beef as he combines a strong body with a pretty soft shooting touch from the arc. 

While Notre Dame’s depth of talent has always been one of the keys to their exciting brand of basketball, there is a more basic element at work here…these guys play hard.  Anyone who has seen Notre Dame play over the years would be hard pressed to think of a time where they were outworked in a game or didn’t challenge each other in an open gym…and that simply hasn’t changed.