In the ten Big East games prior to No. 25 Notre Dame’s five-overtime thriller against No. 11 Louisville, Garrick Sherman had only appeared in six and averaged two points in just over 10 minutes per game.
Saturday night, though, he was just what the Irish needed.
His 17 points came all in the the second overtime and beyond, coming in for Big East Player of the Year candidate Jack Cooley, who fouled out with 6:54 left in regulation. At the time, it appeared the Irish would be in trouble without Cooley for the remainder of regulation, not even knowing yet that there would eventually be 30 minutes of game to be played.
Notre Dame was nearly even in the rebounding column with Louisville Saturday, but would not have been without Sherman’s important six, including four on the offensive glass that turned into six second-chance points. In hand with that, he was efficient. His 7-of-10 from the floor was the most efficient mark of any Notre Dame player on the night.
Sherman, a Michigan State transfer, had shown flashes of his ability to contribute earlier this year. He narrowly missed a double-double with 22 points and nine rebounds against Monmouth on Nov. 12, then followed that up just over a week later with 18 points and seven rebounds against George Washington.
Did his performance earn him some more time in the regular rotation? We’ll see. But at least for one night, he came through in a big spot.