The news for Notre Dame basketball went from bad to worse on Monday afternoon as it was reported by Scout.com’s Ben Weixlmann that sophomore wing Cam Biedscheid will transfer from the school.
This transfer comes after Sunday’s news that guard Jerian Grant will miss the rest of the season due to an academic matter.
Biedscheid, a native of St. Louis, is currently redshirting during his sophomore season at Notre Dame to improve academically and athletically after a freshman season in which the 6-foot-7 wing averaged 6.2 points in 17 minutes per game. The decision to redshirt was made by Brey and Biedscheid back in the fall in-part after Biedscheid spoke to Jerian Grant — who also used a redshirt year at Notre Dame — and Grant mentioned the benefits of sitting out a year to Cam.
“I talked to (Grant) for a pretty long time one weekend, and he was just telling me how it really helped him and how it really benefitted his game and his academics. That definitely pushed me toward making this decision,” Biedscheid said to the AP in November.
“If I would have played this year, I would have gotten plenty of playing time. I just felt like taking this year off would benefit me, strength-wise, skill-wise and academic-wise, and I need growth in all those areas.”
Although the loss of Biedscheid won’t change anything with Notre Dame this season, it does hurt the Irish going forward. Biedscheid would have helped as an additional practice body this season and he does have the potential to be a good wing shooter going forward.
Biedscheid was regarded as the No. 28 overall prospect in Rivals’ 2014 class and was a four-star prospect.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.