Kentucky-Notre Dame Preview

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has his own one-and-done plan when it

comes to No. 8 Kentucky.

He wants to limit the number of offensive rebounds the Wildcats

get, but it was an apt choice of words considering the opponent.

The game Thursday night pits two programs that have starkly

different philosophies.

Notre Dame (6-1) has five starters back from last year’s team,

two seniors – including sixth-year player Scott Martin – two

juniors and a sophomore. Kentucky, known for coach John Calipari’s

acceptance of one-and-done players, is expected to start three

freshmen, a sophomore and a transfer. The Wildcats (4-1) lost six

players from last year’s national championship team, which saw four

players drafted in the first round and two more in the second


That’s almost as many players as Notre Dame has had drafted the

past two decades combined. Thirty NBA scouts are expected at the

game, and most are expected to be watching Kentucky.

“They’ve been one-and-done the past couple of years and guys in

this program most of the time go all the way through,” said Irish

guard Jerian Grant, son of former NBA player Harvey Grant.

Brey hopes experience will be an advantage, saying it’s what the

Irish have depended on since he arrived at Notre Dame in 2000.

“It’s been a big thing that’s helped us over the years is we’ve

stayed old,” Brey said. “We’ve not had to rely on playing a lot of

young guys.”

Brey said it’s not that he wouldn’t take a one-and-done player,

saying he’s recruited some, but said Notre Dame is more likely to

keep players four or five years.

“When you’re redshirting guys and taking transfers, you’re able

to stay old. I’ve always said I don’t want to be in a position

where I’m going to the Carrier Dome starting three freshmen,” he

said. “Thankfully I’ve not been in that position yet. That’s why I

think we’ve been consistent year to year.”

Kentucky junior forward Jon Hood said the Wildcats know great

players aren’t going to stay in college.

“If any team had players that were able to go one-and-done,

two-and-done, whatever, and be a first-round pick, then they would.

Don’t let them lie to you, that would cross their minds,” he said.

“What works for them works for them, and what works for us works

for us.”

Notre Dame is 40-1 in its last 41 home games and 105-7 at home

overall since the start of the 2006-07 season. The streak includes

wins over then-No. 4 Alabama in 2006, No. 5 Louisville in 2009 and

against top-ranked Syracuse last season.

The Irish have been playing under the radar most of the season,

with their own fans focused on the top-ranked Irish football team.

But with the football team on a six-week break waiting for the BCS

title game, the basketball players are hoping an enthusiastic crowd

will show up for the Kentucky game.

“I think for a lot of people it’s our season-opener,” Brey


For Kentucky, the game means the return of sophomore transfer

point guard Ryan Harrow, who missed the last four games – two for

an undisclosed illness and the last two to handle a family matter

in Georgia. Calipari said he doesn’t know if Harrow is up to game


“He has done good in practice, but to say that he is ready for

that, I don’t know. We will see. I may throw him in that Notre Dame

game just to see where he is,” he said.

Harrow said he is ready.

Kentucky is 11-1 in the past 12 games against Notre Dame dating

to 1990.

AP Sports Writer Gary Graves in Lexington, Ky., contributed to

this report.