Late in a season not many expected from the Notre Dame basketball team Alex Dragicevich started thinking about his future in the program.
Dragicevich, a sophomore shooting guard from Northbrook, Ill., played in all 34 games for the Irish and made 10 starts while averaging almost seven points and two rebounds. He scored in double figures seven times, including a 22-point effort against Pittsburgh to open Big East play.
But even so Dragicevich started to wonder where he would fit in as a junior with the possibility of Scott Martin and Tim Abromaitis returning for sixth years and four-star wing Cameron Biedscheid coming in as a freshman.
“It was a multitude of things,” Dragicevich said Tuesday. “But mainly I didn’t think I had as bright of a future here going forward. I feel like maybe another school would be better for me.”
Once the season concluded Dragicevich went up the chain of command with his feelings, starting with a phone call to director of basketball operations Harold Swanagan.
Things concluded in a meeting with Mike Brey. Dragicevich received his release Tuesday.
“All of them were very supportive and understanding of what was going through my mind and stuff,” Dragicevich said. “I’m really thankful for their support.”
The 6-foot-7, 221-pound wing will reenter a recruiting process with little idea where he might end up. Other programs that offered out of high school include Oklahoma State, Xavier, Utah, Colorado and Oregon State.
What Dragicevich will take with him to the next program is a sense of what it takes to succeed at a high level. He averaged 5.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game for his Irish career.
“Once you get a taste of it it’s definitely a good thing,” Dragicevich said. “You’ve got to understand how many hours you’ve got to put in and you’ve got to develop a work ethic to be able to play at this level and the Division I level. It’s about being focused all the time. I think definitely this year I was more productive than last season.
“I’m gonna try to take what I’ve learned and apply new things to my game and try to become a better player.”
The Irish will move into the offseason with more roster flexibility given the Dragicevich departure. They will also do so without junior forward Mike Broghammer, whose career is drawing to a close thanks to tendinitis in both knees.
Head coach Mike Brey confirmed to the South Bend Tribune that Broghammer will complete his time at Notre Dame on a medical hardship waiver.
Broghammer played in 24 games this past season as a reserve.
“He’s done,” Brey told the Tribune. “He said, ‘Coach, I’m not healthy enough to improve. I can’t work out four, five days in a row to work on my weaknesses to get better.’ He’d lie in bed at night just aching. That’s very frustrating.”
Moving into the live April recruiting period Brey will have a couple more available scholarships for the Class of 2013. He could explore acquiring a transfer as well. It also opens the door for both Martin and Abromaitis to return should the NCAA grant them a sixth year of eligibility.
A ruling on Martin and Abromaitis could come as soon as this week.
Right now the Irish have two commitments in the junior class in four-star wing V.J. Beachem and Philadelphia shooting guard Steve Vasturia.