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November 14, 2012

Irish sign top 20 class

Irish Illustrated: Basketball Class of 2013

Irish hoops made its major recruiting step forward official on Wednesday when it signed four senior prospects, which ranked as the nation’ No. 14 class. Get an inside look at Mike Brey’s net haul.

V.J. Beachem
Small Forward
6-7/195
Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Recruitment Recap

Notre Dame first started expressing interest in Beachem as a rising sophomore and managed to score a visit from the local product that fall. Interest peaked the summer before his junior season when Mike Brey offered a scholarship. Brey and staff tracked Beachem throughout that summer and into the fall. The full court press paid off in October 2011 when Beachem pulled the trigger on a commitment, becoming the first in the class a full year before he could sign the letter of intent.

Quotable

"I feel like my game has progressed a lot. Two years ago at this time I was pretty much just a standstill shooter. That's what a lot of people knew me as. My game has really opened up. I'm handling the ball better, playing a lot better defense, playing more inside and driving. I'm still able to shoot the ball but I've been improving my overall game offensively and defensively." – V.J. Beachem.

Jake's Take
Beachem is next in what has become strong line of wings heading to South Bend the last few years. Jerian Grant appears poised for a breakout season and freshman Cameron Biedscheid was a highly touted prospect. Beachem fits the mold of long, athletic perimeter player with a smooth jump shot and developing aggressiveness. Long arms and basketball smarts could turn him into a top-notch defender down the road as well.
Brey's Take
"He's a Ryan Ayers that can put it on the floor. He's got that body type but he plays above the rim too. I love the poise and pace that he plays with. He plays at such a calm pace. Big-time shooter. Can shoot the ball. A calm guy. I think he's gonna be come a good defender because he's got great length. He can shot fake and put that thing on the floor and make a play off the dribble, which makes him very, very valuable for us."
Scout's Take
There’s still some issues with his consistency, but lengthy wings who push 6-foot-6 and have deep range on their jumpers and good athleticism aren’t always that easy to find. Beachem is a natural on the offensive end who has the tools to also develop into a good defender. He’s one of those guys who can pretty much be as good as he decides to be. -- Eric Bossi, Rivals.com national analyst.
 
Demetrius Jackson
Point Guard
6-1/190  
Mishawaka, Ind.
Recruitment Recap

Remember when people thought Jackson would be committed to Notre Dame as a junior? Things didn't quite play out that way but a long, delicate process eventually turned out how everyone expected. Assistant Anthony Solomon started the process when Jackson was a freshman, only known in certain local circles. During the AAU season before his junior season Jackson solidified himself as one of the nation's elite point guards and several other programs got involved. Eventually, it came down to Illinois and Notre Dame. The Irish won out, landing Jackson's commitment earlier this fall.

Quotable

"It was difficult just trying to distinguish the difference between the programs. They both had great opportunities for me and great things to offer. But I feel like Notre Dame had kind of like the best of both worlds and also I feel like Notre Dame will prepare me for life after college. I know there's more to life than just basketball." – Demetrius Jackson.

Jake's Take
It's been interesting to watch how far Jackson has come since the end of his freshman season. Back then he was a talented but raw prospect. Now he's an elite floor general with explosive athleticism and a knack for commanding the floor. In short, an ideal fit for Brey. Turning over the keys to Jackson once Eric Atkins graduates should be a smooth transition. Jackson is used to being a reliable extension of his coach on the high school level. Nothing suggests that won't translate to college.
Brey's Take
"Demetrius is a very ready guy right away as a freshman. It's been so interesting to watch him come from being an athlete, just an athlete playing basketball as a ninth and probably 10th grader, to becoming a guard. A good decision maker with the ball. I'm amazed at what he's done with his jump shot, with his stroke. He's a shooter now. And you know what I love about him? He just loves to work on his game."
Scout's Take
Demetrius Jackson is a potential game changer for the Irish at the point guard position. That showed with the types of programs that tried to lure him away. He’s physical, he’s smart, he’s a leader and he should be able to step in and perform at a high level on both ends of the floor as soon as he puts on a Notre Dame jersey. He’s an intense competitor who loves to make things happen off the dribble. He’s going to be surrounded on all sides by dangerous perimeter shooters which is going to make him a headache to defend. -- Eric Bossi, Rivals.com national analyst.
 
Austin Torres
Forward
6-7/214
Mishawaka, Ind. 
Recruitment Recap

Not long ago it would have been a major surprise to see Torres listed in this space. Interest grew in the combo forward coming out of the July evaluation period as several mid-major programs stepped up with scholarship offers. Brey helped facilitate some of that and guide Torres through the process. After Torres made a commitment to Central Michigan, Brey came around with a scholarship offer of his own and scored another commitment. Torres is an Irish legacy and found the offer too enticing to turn down even if it meant de-committing from Central Michigan.

Quotable

"They're really excited for me. With my mom going to Notre Dame and my grandfather going to Notre Dame and living in this area their entire lives, they've been part of the Notre Dame family for decades now. To move it along in the family, to continue the tradition, they're very excited, really happy. Like I said, I'm excited and I can't really wait until I get to actually step foot on campus, go to my first day of school and go to my first day of practice." – Austin Torres.

Jake's Take
Torres brings a measure of versatility to the Notre Dame roster as a slashing forward willing to do things like rebound and set screens. Brey has had success with such prospects in the past. Factor in that Torres and Jackson are close friends and one-time AAU teammates and it was a snug addition to the class late in the game.
Brey's Take
"Different schools were calling me about him because they knew I'd saw him play. I'd hang up the phone after selling him to another school and I'd say, 'You know what? I think I'm talking myself into this guy.' For him, we've talked about a five-year program. That's something I think we really wanna consider with him. I think it's a patient process with him."
Scout's Take
"As we went through this he kind of grew on me a little bit as an athletic, dirty work guy. He can defend probably almost any position out there and what I was impressed with was certainly the athlete that he is. He plays above the rim. How hard he plays and how tough he's become. I remember him as a younger player. I know his family very well. I knew him growing up around here. I was just so impressed." - Mike Brey
Steve Vasturia
Shooting Guard
6-5/190
Philadelphia, Pa.
Recruitment Recap

Looking for the definition of a low maintenance recruitment? Here it is. Vasturia landed an offer from Notre Dame in August of his junior year. Two months later he was committed on the heels of an unofficial visit. Since then Vasturia has never thought twice about the decision. It's been a perfect match since the beginning.

Quotable
"For me it was kind of always the easy choice because I fell in love with it when I was there. It always felt like the place for me. It was a good feeling to feel at home when you visit a place. I still feel like that today." – Steve Vasturia.
Jake's Take

Vasturia is without question the commitment with least publicity throughout the process. But when you talk to people on the East Coast it becomes clear Notre Dame has done well for itself in landing a versatile guard capable of scoring and distributing. It would be no great surprise if Vasturia contributed early even with a glut of talent in the backcourt. In fact, that's what his AAU coach expects.

Brey's Take
"Vasturia is a bigger Chris Quinn. I mean, he is really ready as a freshman. Feel for the game, he's got good size. Shoots it. I have not seen a young player move without the ball like this in a long time. He really has a great feel. He's coached by Speedy Morris, who's up to be nominated for the Naismith Hall of Fame, and played for Tony Sagona this summer, who Troy Murphy and Matt Carroll have played for. There's a poise and a maturity about him."
Scout's Take

One of the top perimeter net-strippers, Vasturia hasn’t been seen as much nationally as guys like Beachem and Jackson. Scouts from near his home rave not only about his shooting but his overall floor awareness and that he’s a major competitor. He looks to be a very good fit for the Irish and with him in the fold along with the other guys they’ve recruited they have really loaded up on wing shooters for Jackson to drive and kick to. -- Eric Bossi, Rivals.com national analyst.




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