Rivals Analyst Sees Cormac Ryan Making Big Impact At Notre Dame
Mike Brey’s excitement about Cormac Ryan has been hard to contain for the last year.
The former Stanford guard drew positive reviews during practices during the 2019-20 season and is eligible after sitting out the year due to NCAA transfer rules. He steps in to the rotation at a time where Notre Dame has some perimeter minutes to fill with the departures of T.J. Gibbs and Rex Pflueger.
“I love the fact you’re injecting an older guy [into the lineup]," Brey said Monday on the College Hoops Today podcast. “I lose Pflueger and Gibbs, but I’m not injecting an 18-year-old. You’re injecting a guy who’s a man and has been through it.”
The outside expectations for him are growing, too. Rivals national analyst Eric Bossi included Ryan on his list of 10 transfers who should have a major impact with their high-major teams after redshirting last season.
“A top-80 player coming out of high school, Ryan put up pretty good numbers as a freshman, averaging 8.7 points and 3.5 rebounds while playing nearly 30 minutes per night and starting 17 of 24 games,” Bossi wrote. “However, he didn’t live up to his reputation as a knockdown shooter, making just 33.3 percent of his shots [31.6 percent from three].
“A year to add strength and find better balance between his deep shooting and off-the-dribble game could allow him to thrive in a Mike Brey offense that should fit his game.”
Ryan has three years of eligibility left. He is from New York City, but played high school basketball for Milton Academy in the Boston area.
Ryan was primarily a three-point specialist in his one year at Stanford. He took more than 78 percent of his shots from three-point range in 2018-19. He took 38 free throws all year. He missed seven games due to injury.
Brey, though, sees him as the likely starter next to point guard Prentiss Hubb and a continuation of Notre Dame’s long-standing identity of playing two ball-handlers. Ryan averaged 2.0 assists per game at Stanford and was considered a strong playmaker coming out of high school.
“He can handle it, score it, shoot it," Brey said. “He’s underrated as an athlete. He gets up and he gets fouled. He’s fearless. There’s a toughness about him … I’m excited to see him and Hubb play off each other.”
Bossi’s list also included a former Notre Dame player who left after the 2018-19 season. Wing D.J. Harvey, a former top-60 recruit, is eligible to play for Vanderbilt this season. He averaged 10.7 points as a sophomore and was Notre Dame’s only high school signee in the 2017 recruiting class.
“A four-star coming out of high school, Harvey showed that he could score at Notre Dame but wasn’t terribly successful as a jump shooter [29.9 percent from three as a sophomore],” Bossi wrote. “A year off to work on his shot and continue to work on his body should be a tremendous boost for the good-sized wing.
“Plus, with Aaron Nesmith gone to the NBA Draft, there are plenty of minutes and shots to be had for a wing scorer like Harvey.”
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