Notre Dame makes plenty of points in exhibition
His second offering looked much the same, but when freshman swingman Cameron Biedscheid finally settled down and settled in, he did something everyone around the program expected him to do when he arrived this summer from St. Louis -- score.
Biedscheid delivered nine points in eight minutes in the first half of his first college basketball game to help No. 22 Notre Dame jump to a lead that ballooned to 33 the first 20 minutes before a 111-52 exhibition victory over Division II Quincy (Ill.) University.
Six Irish scored in double figures as the home team never trailed, was never challenged and led by as many as 65 points following a Tom Knight jumper with 4:26 remaining. Dominant at times defensively, Notre Dame ran off 25 unanswered points early in the second half.
Biedscheid finished with 12 points on a team-high 13 shots. He added four rebounds, a block and a steal in 22 minutes.
"I really wasn't nervous," said Biedscheid, who worked as a reserve for the first time since his freshman year of high school. "I knew I would feel comfortable on the floor with the team because it seems like we've been playing together for a long time even though we haven't."
After the two perimeter misses, Biedscheid finally got going with something easy -- a layup. It helped him relax so that the next time down on the break, Biedscheid confidently delivered a deep transition jumper. He later connected on both free throw attempts before finishing the flurry with a 3.
"The layup definitely helped just to see one go in," Biedscheid said. "It gets your juices flowing."
While Biedscheid's quick work was a nice surprise, the all-around efforts of Eric Atkins and Jack Cooley were again par for the course for the steady pair. Looking like one of the best big men in the Big East, Cooley finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Atkins was even better. Making it all go and flow, he went for 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting with five steals and a game-high 13 assists to zero turnovers.
"Guy's unbelievable man," said Irish coach Mike Brey. "It's his show."
Able to play his first collegiate game in what seemed like 10 years after sitting out last season following his transfer from Michigan State, center Garrick Sherman had seven points and six rebounds -- far better than his two-season stats (2.5 ppg., 2.1 rpg.) with the Spartans -- in 11 efficient minutes in the first half.
Sherman finished with 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting with eight rebounds in 20 minutes.
"I was so excited, a little bit nervous too, but it felt great to finally get out there and play with everybody," Sherman said. "We flowed pretty well. We still have a lot of room for improvement."
Notre Dame had 58 points in the paint, 40 points off turnovers, 33 points off the bench, 30 assists and 21 second-chance points. Lost in all those lopsided numbers was sophomore Pat Connaughton's quietly efficient evening of 12 points and eight rebounds, including a team-best six on the defensive end, and six assists.
"He's a man," Brey said. "He just does his thing."
Geoffrey Hartlieb and Jens Kennedy each scored nine points to lead Quincy, 0-4 lifetime in exhibitions against Notre Dame.
"This is the best (team) that Mike's had I've played against, by far, from a chemistry standpoint," said Hawks coach Marty Bell. "That team's got a good player in every spot. That rotation, man, I tell you what, they don't skip a beat when they go to the bench.
"They've got every piece you need."
Brey utilized nine different lineup combinations the first 20 minutes. That included playing two bigs -- Cooley and Sherman - together and also keeping either Atkins or Jerian Grant on the floor to handle at all times.