Notre Dame to the ACC: Basketball Recruits They'll Have a Better Shot at Landing
It's official—Notre Dame is joining the ACC in every sport except football and hockey, and that means college basketball too.
However, if they want to stay in the Top 25 they are going to need some good recruits, and that's where this conference change can help them. The ACC is making a case to be called the best conference in college basketball, while the Big East is withering after the departures of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and now the Irish.
Conference prestige and the ability to earn a top seed in the NCAA tournament because of it can be big factors on the minds of some recruits. With this move comes another great recruiting pitch for head coach Mike Brey, and it will help him recruit these guys over the next few years.
PF Kyle Washington, Class of 2013
Kyle Washington is one of two recruits that the Irish are recruiting hard in the Class of 2013, with the other still to come on this list.
Washington is a power forward with good size and athleticism, and he has a lot of potential if Mike Brey can coach him up a bit in his first few years.
This kid clearly wants to play for a big-time program, as every school on his list is in a power conference. However, he also has quite a few schools near his Minnesota home, but only one school on his list can let him play with an elite program in the top conference in the nation and remain close to home—Notre Dame.
This move has to help Brey in his recruitment of Washington at least a little bit, and it could be enough to land the athletic forward.
PG Romelo Trimble, Class of 2014
Romelo Trimble is one of the top point guards in the Class of 2014, and by the time his recruitment picks up the Irish could potentially be in the ACC or well on their way.
Trimble is one of the team's top targets in the Class of 2014, but his home in Virginia seemed a bit outside of Notre Dame's considerable sphere of influence. However, now that the team will be joining the ACC they will extend their reputation into the South, which will undoubtedly help the team recruit Trimble.
Trimble has grown up and lived in ACC country for a long time, and joining one of its teams has to appeal to him. In fact, he also has three other ACC schools on his list, but the best option in the conference for him is easily Notre Dame.
SF Trevon Bluiett, Class of 2014
Trevon Bluiett is a freakishly talented wing in the Class of 2014. He already has tremendous skills and his young appearance would suggest that he isn't finished developing.
Bluiett is another homegrown recruit, coming out of Indianapolis. He is clearly looking to stay close to home, as most of his schools are in the Midwest, deep in Big Ten country.
Bluiett is hardly even looking at the ACC with the only school on his list that he would leave his home for being Virginia. However, now he can play in the top conference without leaving the Midwest, and that has to be a huge factor in his decision.
While there are a lot of schools on his list that are close to home he cites Notre Dame and Indiana as his top two schools, giving the Irish a leg up on most schools. Throw in the fact that the ACC will be a better conference than the Big Ten and Bluiett may just pick the Irish after this move.
PG Demetrius Jackson, Class of 2013
Demetrius Jackson should be Notre Dame's top recruiting priority. The Irish need a point guard, and he is one of the best floor generals in the Class of 2013.
He is a skilled player who can lead a team and beat opponents in multiple ways. Apart from being a good passer he also averaged 22.5 points per game in his junior season, showing off his own scoring ability.
ESPN describes Jackson as a "loyal kid" because he decided to play with his small town AAU team. That also shows on his list of schools which includes many in the Midwest near his Indiana home.
Among those schools is Notre Dame, but the Irish now have something to offer him that no one else in that region can: The chance to play in the premier college basketball conference (once Syracuse and Pittsburgh join).
This extra recruiting pitch could push Notre Dame ahead of the competition and make sure that Jackson plays his ball in South Bend.