Notre Dame at a glance
Last season: 32-6, lost in NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional final.
Nickname: Fighting Irish. Coach: Mike Brey.
Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference.
– Key returners: Demetrius Jackson ran the point and pressured the ball last season and Brey is expecting him to be better at both while also taking over as team leader. … Zach Auguste went from role player his first two seasons to consistent contributor and starter last season, finishing second on the team with 12.9 points and 6.5 rebounds a game and was second in the ACC in shooting percentage at 61.9 percent. Brey is counting on Auguste to become a double-double player. … Guard Steve Vasturia (10.1 ppg) doesn’t stand out statistically, but does a lot of the little things right, especially defending. Brey wants him to be more aggressive offensively.
– Who left: Swingman V.J. Beachem moves from being a long-range shooter off the bench into a starting role. He was Notre Dame’s sixth man, averaging 5.9 points in 14.6 minutes. Brey is counting on Beachem to help defensively. … Forward Bonzie Colson gave the Irish toughness and confidence, averaging 5.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in playing 12.1 minutes a game. Brey hopes the sophomore is in good enough shape to average 32 minutes.
The Skinny: Expectations are still high for an Irish squad that won the ACC Tournament and came within a last-second shot of knocking off top-ranked Kentucky and advancing to the Final Four for just the second time in school history. It will be a challenge for Notre Dame to make up for the losses of Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton, who were both taken in the NBA draft, but the Irish have the talent to make a run at another NCAA Tournament berth.