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October 29, 2013

Biedscheid considering red-shirt

Cam Biedscheid may not have been expected to start in Notre Dame’s 95-69 exhibition victory over Indianapolis Monday night, but it was anticipated that he would be the first man off the bench. Instead, the sophomore swingman may not come off the bench at all this season as he considers preserving a year of eligibility.

“We may not have a decision this week, but I think it’s something we want to talk about with him and his family and think about,” Irish head coach Mike Brey said following the victory over Indianapolis. “It may be the best thing for him in the long run -- get older, get stronger, academically, all of the above.”

Last season, the 6-foot-7, 186-pound Biedscheid appeared in 34 games, averaging 17.4 minutes and 6.2 points. The streaky shooter connected on 30.3 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, including a 5-for-7 performance against Villanova. Toward the end of the season, his first year of college basketball caught up to Biedscheid as he shot 1-for-12 in the Big East tournament and missed all five of his field-goal attempts in the NCAA tournament.

Brey compared the possible gains from a sophomore red-shirt season to what former Irish forward Tim Abromaitis experienced.

“We may be able to do it because we have some depth there, and what’s best for the kid,” Brey said. “Tim Abromaitis, it was still best for him in his second year because he was still young and figuring it out. It may be best for (Biedscheid).”

Brey and his coaching staff had discussed this possibility in vague terms during the summer, but it was only when Biedscheid approached Brey in the last few days that the conversation gained viability. If not for the strong practice performances of three freshmen -- guards Demetrius Jackson and Steve Vasturia and swingman V.J. Beachem -- Brey would have ended the conversation moments after it began.

“I don’t think you could even consider it, from what’s best for our team, unless your freshmen guards were impressive and consistent and solid, and all three of them have been,” Brey said. “If that wasn’t the case, I think the discussion would have ended Saturday in my office.”

When Abromaitis sat out his sophomore season, he played in two exhibition games before the decision was finalized. By NCAA rules, if an upperclassmen plays in exhibition games, he cannot red-shirt that season, and due to that misunderstanding, Abromaitis was suspended for four games in his fifth year. Brey will not make that mistake this time, so Biedscheid will sit out Friday’s exhibition game against Tusculum as well.

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