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The University of Connecticut Lady Huskies fell to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the second consecutive season in the NCAA Tournament semifinal, 81-76, in Tampa Bay. 


Things to know about Friday's game...

1) With one minute left to play, the Huskies were down just one point. And though they got some good looks at taking the lead, it was Brianna Turner for the Irish that came up with big blocks to keep Notre Dame's lead. She is Notre Dame's blocks leader in team history, and it came up big tonight. She also had 15 points and 14 rebounds...

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Jan 21, 2017; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot as Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) defends in the second half at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 84-66. (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 21, 2017; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot as Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) defends in the second half at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 84-66. (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)

A quick take on Syracuse's 84-66 loss against Notre Dame on the road on Saturday afternoon:

WHAT HAPPENED: After Syracuse had cut Notre Dame's lead to four with 9:48 left, the Irish went on an 10-0 run to take a 26-14 lead. 

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's winning streak is alive.

Gabby Williams and her fellow Huskies would not let it die.

Williams played 40 minutes for the first time in her career and had 19 points to match her career high, 12 rebounds, six assists, two blocked shots and a career-high matching five steals as No. 1 UConn broke away from a late third-quarter tie to defeat second-ranked Notre Dame, 72-61, Wednesday night before a sellout crowd of 9,149 at Purcell Pavilion.

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Josh Adams (33) leaps over defenders in the fourth quarter against the Syracuse Orange at MetLife Stadium. Notre Dame won 50-33. (Matt Cashore)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Josh Adams (33) leaps over defenders in the fourth quarter against the Syracuse Orange at MetLife Stadium. Notre Dame won 50-33. (Matt Cashore)

Box score 

DeShone Kizer threw for a career-best 465 yards to help Notre Dame overcome another shaky performance by its defense and special teams and beat Syracuse 50-33 Saturday.

The Irish snapped a two-game losing streak, but did not show much defensive improvement in the first game since Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly fired coordinator Brian VanGorder. The Irish (2-3) allowed more than 30 points for the fourth time this season.

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Defending NCAA champion Villanova will face Notre Dame and Pittsburgh will meet Penn State in the Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Dec. 10.

Villanova will face Notre Dame at noon on CBS, while Pittsburgh will face Penn State at 2:30 on CBS Sports Network.

All four teams have connections to New Jersey and continue to recruit there.

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Notre Dame's Rex Pflueger celebrates with his teammates as time expires after tipping in the winning basket against Stephen F. Austin. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)
Notre Dame's Rex Pflueger celebrates with his teammates as time expires after tipping in the winning basket against Stephen F. Austin. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports Images)

Notre Dame avoided an upset to Stephen F. Austin thanks to a Rex Pflueger tip-in in the final seconds to advance to the Sweet 16.

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NEW YORK -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was on hand to support Notre Dame in the Irish's thrilling 76-75 victory over Stephen F. Austin on Sunday at Barclays Center.

Christie's daughter, Sarah, is a team manager and Christie is friends with Irish coach Mike Brey.

"He only shows up for the big games," Brey cracked when I asked him about it. "He'll be there in Philly -- if Trump will let him."

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NEW YORK -- Highly-touted NBA prospect Demetrius Jackson may have been earning Jerian Grant comparisons at Notre Dame this season, but it was junior guard VJ Beachem who shined when the lights were at their brightest on Friday.

After earning a permanent spot on the bench due to poor play during last season's NCAA Tournament, the Indiana native dropped a game-high 18 points on 7-of-7 shooting, leading the No. 6 Irish to a thrilling 70-63 win over No. 11 Michigan in a first round East Region game in Brooklyn.

"I'm really proud of him because a year ago, he didn't have a good postseason," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "I didn't even play him in the NCAA Tournament. To have him deliver like he did tonight."

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Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey and St John's assistant Barry "Slice" Rohrssen visited with Thon Maker on Monday, his guardian Ed Smith told SNY.tv.

The 7-foot Maker is also considering Arizona State, Indiana, Kansas, and UNLV.

As first reported by SNY.tv, St. John's jumped into the Thon Maker Sweepstakes in September when Rohrssen visited Maker at Athlete Institute. Rohrssen was familiar with Maker and Smith dating to his time on John Calipari's staff at Kentucky.

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Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey?and assistant Anthony Solomon had a strong home visit Monday with 7-footer?Thon Maker.

"It went great," Ed Smith, Maker's guardian, told SNY.tv. "They really loved our setup at Athlete Institute. We watched tape of their bigs and how Thon would fit in their offensive scheme. We also touched on the skill level of and exposure in the ACC."

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NEW YORK -- Arizona State and Indiana now have some company in the pursuit of Thon Maker.

Notre Dame is the latest school to get involved with the 7-foot 2016 athlete from Canada's Orangeville Prep who went for 11 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks Saturday night in the Under Armour Elite 24 Game in Brooklyn.

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By JOSH NEWMAN

Last season, the ACC sent six teams to the NCAA Tournament, five of which went to the Sweet 16 before Duke won the national championship. The six teams' combined NCAA Tournament winning percentage of .773 was tops among all conferences last season.

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T.J.?Gibbs?enjoyed his weekend visit to Notre Dame so much he decided to attend school there.

"I committed [Sunday morning]," he told SNY.tv. "I really just fell in love with the campus and I really felt comfortable with the team and the coaches. It really felt like home, I thought that was a great place for me to be."

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Gibbs?said he also considered Oklahoma, Providence, Georgetown and Boston College.

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By JACK LeGWIN

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The road to the NCAA Tournament hasn't been easy for Notre Dame, but when adversity called, the Fighting Irish had all of the answers.

The Irish are going into the Big Dance?playing extremely well, which they demonstrated after trailing by nine points, and rattling off a 26-3 run in the second half to put away North Carolina?90-82?in the ACC Championship game at the Greensboro Coliseum.

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His name is Ryan so it somehow seemed inevitable he would land with the Irish.

And now he has.

Matt Ryan, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound sharpshooting small forward from New Rochelle (N.Y.) Iona Prep, has verbally committed to Notre Dame, becoming the Irish's first commit for 2015.

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After receiving an offer from Notre Dame and head coach Mike Brey less than a week ago, ?sources have confirmed to SNY.tv that Matt Farrell has officially committed to Notre Dame.

The 6-foot-1 Farrell out of Point Pleasant Beach High School?held offers from Fordham, Rutgers, St. Joe's and Monmouth and interest from Creighton and Providence and Monmouth. He initially committed to fellow ACC member Boston College before?re-opening his recruitment?in November.

?Ever since I was a little kid, it?s been on my mind,? Farrell told?Tom Noie of ND Insider.??It?s an opportunity you dream of. The ACC speaks for itself. To do it at a school like Notre Dame, it?s a blessing.?

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Bonzie Colson, a 6-foot-5 1/2 power forward from Barrington (R.I.) St. Andrew's, verbally committed to Notre Dame over Florida State.

"It was the right fit for me," Colson told SNY.tv. "I developed great chemistry with the coaching staff."

"I think it was the combination of academics and athletics," St. Andrew's coach Mike Hart told SNY.tv Monday morning. "He felt really really comfortalbe during his visit [two weekends ago]."

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Martin Geben is off the board.

The 6-foot-9 Lithuanian forward from Hagerstown (Md.) St. Maria Goretti pulled the trigger for Notre Dame, choosing the Irish over Virginia.

"He pulled the trigger today,"?St. Maria Goretti coach?Amrit Rayfield?told SNY.tv.

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(Photo courtesy St. Francis College)

Giants' defensive end Justin Tuck addressed the Class of 2013 at the St. Francis College (Brooklyn Heights) graduation ceremony.

He spoke about his journey from Kellyton, Ala., to the University of Notre Dame to becoming a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Giants.

Tags: commencement, graduation, Justin Tuck, New York Giants, notre dame, NY Giants, st francis college, Super Bowl, tuck
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"Explore everything." That's Jerry Reese's mantra when it comes to scouting players. He's holding to it as the Giants have reportedly met with embattled Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o.

From Eric Hansen of NDInsider.com:

Former Notre Dame All-America linebacker Manti Te'o met with his sixth?NFL team, the?New York Giants, on Thursday, per a source close to the?Laie, Hawaii, product. And he'll conclude his team visits in San Diego?on Monday, when he's scheduled to meet with the?Chargers.

Tags: 2013 New York Giants, 2013 NFL Draft, manti te'o, New York Giants, nfl draft, Notre Dame Football
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Mike Brey is planning on coaching in the ACC next season.

That's what he told Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune following Notre Dame's 73-57 loss at Louisville Saturday.

"Yes," Brey told the paper. "Nobody?s told me what it?s going to entail but I?m fully expecting to play in the ACC."

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http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=25670783

St. John?s led by as many as seven in the first half and took a four-point lead into halftime, but made just five field goals as part of a 14-point second half effort as Notre Dame shot 68.0 percent (17-of-25) after the break and rolled to a 66-40 victory against the Red Storm.

?You don't have to look beyond the second half shooting percentages to realize what the difference was in this game,? said St. John's head coach?Steve Lavin. ?We were able to keep Notre Dame in check during the first half, but they pounded us in the paint during the second half with high percentage shots.?

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Early on in NFL Draft labs, prognosticators have pegged the New York Giants to look to fill numerous voids come April. One of the team's most glaring needs is at middle linebacker, where Notre Dame's Manti Te'o has emerged as one of the best entering the professional ranks.

However, storm of uncertainty has fallen upon Te'o, with his girlfriend hoax making national headlines for a week now.

In an interview with the Star-Ledger, Giants General Manager Jerry Reese addressed the prospect of drafting Te'o, reminding everyone that despite his talent and the controversy surrounding him, it's still early in the draft process ... for everyone.

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According to a bombshell of a story by Deadspin's?Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey, Manti Te'o's girlfriend never existed and certainly never died after a car accident and a battle with leukemia.

The incredibly detailed story says that Ronaiah Tuiasosopoa,?a friend of the Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman Trophy finalist, concocted the dead girl -- Lennay Kekua -- and quoted a friend of Tuiasosopoa?as saying he was "80 percent sure" that ?Te'o was "in on it" in order to get publicity.

The story concluded:

There was no Lennay Kekua. Lennay Kekua did not meet Manti Te'o after the Stanford game in 2009. Lennay Kekua did not attend Stanford. Lennay Kekua never visited Manti Te'o in Hawaii. Lennay Kekua was not in a car accident. Lennay Kekua did not talk to Manti Te'o every night on the telephone. She was not diagnosed with cancer, did not spend time in the hospital, did not engage in a lengthy battle with leukemia. She never had a bone marrow transplant. She was not released from the hospital on Sept. 10, nor did Brian Te'o congratulate her for this over the telephone. She did not insist that Manti Te'o play in the Michigan State or Michigan games, and did not request he send white flowers to her funeral.
Teo on Wednesday issued this statement, basically saying he only knew the women through the Internet and phone converations.

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NEW YORK -- Luke Zeller is rooting for two different No. 1 teams to win national championships in the coming months.

The 6-foot-11 Phoenix Suns rookie attended Notre Dame, which will play Alabama in football for the BCS national championship on Jan. 7.

He is also the older brother of Indiana sophomore Cody Zeller, who plays for the No. 1-ranked basketball team in the nation.

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Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey has a scheduling conflict on Jan. 7.

His school's undefeated football team will play in the BCS national championship game that night against either Alabama or Georgia, but his own basketball team is due to play a Big East game in Cincinnati.

When ESPN's Dick Vitale joked on air with Brey that he should have the basketball game moved to Jan. 6, Brey cracked, "I?may get thrown out at halftime and end up in an Irish bar in Cincinnati."

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With his team about to face Kentucky Thursday night in the SEC/Big East Challenge, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey says it's unfair to compare Kentucky freshmen center Nerlens Noel to Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets.

"It's kind of unfair to Nerlens to be making the Anthony Davis comparison even though it's unescapable," Brey said Tuesday on a conference call. "I guess it's just going to happen.

"Let Noel just develop as he's developing."

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As LHH notes, Islanders prospect Anders Lee is moving back to center and has been named captain of the Notre Dame hockey team.

While it's notable that Lee has earned this honor -- the former high school star quarterback always seemed headed that way, and he joins Griffin Reinhart [edit: and Brenden Kichton] as Islanders prospects recently named captains of their squad -- the truly interesting adventure this season will be how he handles the move to the pivot.

The Islanders have drafted several centers in recent years who might ultimately end up as wingers (David Ullstrom is one. Brock Nelson swung to wing in college but is debuting in Bridgeport as a center).

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Notre Dame has landed its point guard of the future.

Mike Brey's team scored a major coup Thursday when Demetrius Jackson?chose the Irish over Illinois.

"I will be attending the University of Notre Dame because I feel like I can develop as a person and as a player,"?the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Jackson said on ESPNU.

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Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey is a tremendous coach on the sidelines and a great quote in the press room, and he will be missed when the Irish depart the Big East for the ACC.

His basketball team?

Not so much.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- While his older brother is in pursuit of an NBA championship with the Indiana Pacers, Ben Hansbrough is just hoping to land on somebody's roster.

The younger Hansbrough is one of 21 free agents working out this week for the Nets, but he is the only former Big East Player of the Year in the group.

"It's almost like my second go-round so I'm actually healthy," the 6-foot-3 shooting guard told SNY.tv Tuesday, hours before his older brother, Tyler, and the Pacers lost to the Miami Heat in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal.

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NEW YORK -- When Tim Abromaitis went down for the season with a torn ACL during a practice on Nov. 25, Notre Dame coach?Mike Brey's first thought was, "I wanted to see if I could redshirt. Could I redshirt [too]?"

Things did not bode well for the Irish, who had already been picked ninth in the Big East Preseason Poll even before they lost their Preseason All-Big First Team guard.

But here we are three months after the Abromaitis injury and -- surprise, surprise -- the No. 20 Irish are in position for a double-bye in the upcoming Big East Tournament and a high seed in the NCAAs.

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UConn assistants Kevin Ollie and Glen Miller will watch uncommitted 2012 shooting guard?Sam Cassell Jr. today at the National Prep Invitational in Rhode Island, according to Notre Dame Prep head coach Ryan Hurd.

The 6-foot-2 Cassell Jr. went for 40 points last Friday against Winchendon and is now hearing from UConn, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, USF, UCF, Washington, Maryland and Seton Hall, Hurd and Cassell Jr. said.

"I think I can bring energy to a team along with some scoring," Cassell Jr. told SNY.tv.

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Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin redshirted Sean Kilpatrick two years ago because he would've been playing behind veteran guard Deonta Vaughn?and one-and-done phenom?Lance Stephenson.

Once Vaughn and Stephenson departed, it opened the doors for Kilpatrick to step into a major role with the Bearcats.

Now a sophomore, the 6-foot-4 wing is a major reason why Cincinnati?(15-4 overall, 5-1 in the Big East) is off to its best start in conference play since joining the league in 2005.

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Notre Dame suffered a huge loss Friday when co-captain Tim Abromaitis?suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee at morning practice.

Abromaitis had played in two games and was averaging 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds. He had missed Notre Dame first four games due to misunderstanding of a technicality in an NCAA rule governing seasons of competition that dated back to the 2008-09 campaign when he played in the first two exhibition of his sophomore campaign and then sat out the remainder of that season.

In his first return back to the Irish lineup in Notre Dame's 87-58 loss to Missouri in the semifinals of the CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo., the fifth-year senior scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

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Adonis Filer, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound point guard from Hammond (Ind.), has verbally committed to Clemson and is expected to sign Wednesday.

"Yeah, I did," Filer, the Rivals No. 24 point guard in the Class of 2012, told SNY.tv by phone. "That seemed like the right school for me. My family talked about it and it seemed it was the right fit."

Filer, who becomes the fifth 2012 commit for coach Brad Brownell's club, also considered Utah, Purdue and Tennessee and said he expects to help Clemson right away.

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Stephen Vasturia, a 6-foot-4 2013 shooting guard from St. Joseph's Prep in Philly, has verbally committed to Notre Dame, according to Tony Sagona of the Jersey Shore Warriors.

"About 15 minutes ago," Sagona told FiveStarBasketball.com Monday afternoon.

Vasturia chose the Irish over Virginia, Georgetown, Northwestern, Temple and Penn State.

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West Virginia's decision to leave the Big East may trigger Notre Dame's ouster from the league as well, the New York Post reported in Wednesday's editions.

Notre Dame is currently independent in football, but houses all of its other sports in the Big East.

Now, the Irish may consider joining the Big Ten or the ACC in all sports or maintaining their independence while entering the Big 12 for all other sports, the Post reported.

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In this video interview from Big East Media Day, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey talks about the Irish, conference realignment and how he expects Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall and St. John's to improve over the next few years.

"The last five years, those guys have been down," he said. "With the new coaches at those places, they're going to be back. So a lot of our depth improvement is going to come from members that are just going to jump up and get better."

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Notre Dame forward Tim Abromaitis?must sit the first four games of the upcoming season after playing in two exhibition games during the 2008-09 campaign.

In his sophomore year ('08-'09), Abromaitis played in Notre Dame's first two exhibition games against Briar Cliff (Oct. 31) and Stonehill (Nov. 9) and then was withheld from competition for the remainder of the season in order to preserve an extra year of eligibility.

Under NCAA rules, and specifically Bylaw 14.2.3.1.3, freshman student-athletes are allowed to participate in preseason exhibition contests and still preserve the entire year of eligibility. The Bylaw, however, does not provide the same exception for returning student-athletes in their sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Therefore, Abromaitis technically used a season of eligibility when he participated in those two preseason exhibition contests during that year.

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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- If it seems like a week doesn't pass without one high-profile Division 1 coach taking a shot at another school or coach, that's because it's been going on for some time now.

Already we've seen Louisville coach Rick Pitino fire shots at UConn's flirtation with the ACC, calling it the "dumbest thing" he's ever heard of.

Pitino and Kentucky coach John Calipari?have also engaged in an entertaining Bluegrass back-and-forth.

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The Big East added two commitments on Friday.

Elijah Macon, 6-foot-9, 230-pound power forward from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, committed to West Virginia for the second time, doing so during an official visit to the school. A Columbus, Ohio native, Macon previously committed to the Mounties in the fall of 2009.

"It's just the perfect place for me. They have everything I need plus a hall of fame coach that will make me a better player," Macon, the Rivals No. 18 power forward in the Class of 2012, told WVSports.com via text message.

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Steven Adams will be eligible for the 2012 NBA Draft.

But the 7-footer will spend next year at Notre Dame Prep after graduating from Scots College in New Zealand before heading to Pittsburgh for the 2012-13 season.

"He's coming to our school," Notre Dame Prep coach Ryan Hurd told SNY.tv by phone. "We're excited to have him here next year."

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After Luke Harangody left Notre Dame following the 2009-10 season, the Irish were picked seventh in the Big East preseason coaches' poll.

They finished second.

This year Notre Dame will be without Ben Hansbrough, the reigning Big East Player of the Year, as well as several other key departed players, and the coaches may once again sleep on the Irish.

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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Notre Dame Prep guard Myles Davis could announce his college choice as early as Friday.

If the Playaz Basketball Club reaches the finals of the Nike Peach Jam here (7 p.m. Friday), Davis plans to announce on ESPNU.

"If we do make it to the TV game, I would commit on TV," the 6-foot-1 Plainfield, N.J. native said after scoring 21 points on 8 of 14 shooting in a 90-82 victory over The Family from Detroit.

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Dexter Strickland has played in Madison Square Garden, the Dean Smith Center and Cameron Indoor Stadium.

But he's never played on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

That will change on Veteran's Day when Strickland and his North Carolina teammates play Michigan State on the USS Carl Vinson, the aircraft carrier that carried Osama bin Laden's body to a burial at sea.

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Gary Harris, the No. 6 shooting guard in the Class of 2012, hasn't cut his list but says five schools are recruiting him the hardest.

"Haven't cut any yet," he said by text.

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard out of Fishers (Ind.) Hamilton Southeastern said Indiana, Michigan State, Louisville, Notre Dame and Purdue are "recruiting me the hardest."

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Even as he is being wooed by Maryland to replace Gary Williams, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey is working on an extension with the Irish, according to a report.

Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, citing a source, wrote that Brey "has a contract extension in the works to remain with the Irish."

Brey's last extension reportedly came in July 2008.

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BOSTON -- Rutgers-bound shooting guard Mike Taylor of Brooklyn Boys & Girls will attend prep school next season instead of going directly to college.

"Yes, I am," Taylor said by text. "I think I really need a year to mature with my game and personality. I don't think I'm 100 percent ready."

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Little more than a month since committing to Providence on Christmas Day, Ricardo Ledo has decommitted.

The No. 2 shooting guard in the Class of 2012 from Fitchburg (Mass.) Notre Dame Prep announced the move on his Twitter.

?I'm no longer a providence friar I decided to open my recruitment back up and view my other options.?

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