After 13 seasons in South Bend, where Brey feels he established an identity in the Big East Conference, he and his program begin another reinvention when the school officially joins the Atlantic Coast Conference July 1. Brey said he'll take part in league meetings May 13-15 at Amelia Island, Fla., and expects to know Notre Dame’s two other repeat opponents possibly as early as next week.
Head coach Mike Brey is preparing for Notre Dame's move to the ACC on July 1. He'll attend ACC meetings in Florida next month.
The Fighting Irish already have Georgia Tech and Boston College slated for two contests each in a league where winning on the road could be a bigger challenge in mostly on-campus facilities.
“You’re going to take more bullets; you’re going to have more bad losses against maybe a poor RPI team on the road because it’s a tougher atmosphere to play than All-State [Arena] or Wells Fargo — you know the places we go where it’s a little sparse or our people get in there,” Brey said Wednesday night. “So I’m trying to figure out scheduling philosophy that way. I think our non-league RPI numbers will be very strong.
“We’re still piecing a few [non-league dates] together, possibly Baylor in Dallas. We’ve got Indiana, we’ve got Ohio State in the Garden, and we’ll play in the ACC-Big Ten [Challenge], which I think is announced in June. So we’ll play three Big Ten [teams] this year, so our local fans will be happy.”
Brey and his assistants are off to recruit for the 2014 class, with a focus on big men. Brey and Martin Ingelsby are headed to Los Angeles this weekend to scout talent, and Brey will finish April with an East Coast swing, which includes another AAU tournament in Virginia.
Every other spare minute has been and will be dedicated to researching ACC opponents.
“It’s like taking a new coaching job,” Brey explained. “It would be a real failure on the part of our new league if we don’t get seven or eight bids this first year.
“I love we’re going to the ACC next year because I have an older team to do it with,” Brey said of having four returning starters.
It’s a fresh and energizing start for the Fighting Irish, but saying goodbye to the Big East left Brey with mixed emotions.
“In a lot of ways I feel sorry for our fan base,” he said. “We should have joined [the Big East in 1990]. Just about the time our fans get in this Big East rhythm, we throw them another curve and we’re doing the ACC thing. For our program, which was really respected in the Big East, who are we going to be in the ACC?
“In all honesty, when you’re trying to develop a little bit of a rhythm to the program, I don’t know that it’s great to be in three different statuses in less than 23 years. I think that’s not been good for us.”
No International Trip This Summer
Originally planning to play in Canada, which was then switched to Italy, head coach Mike Brey confirmed a foreign tour has been cancelled and the team will remain in South Bend this summer.
“The foreign tour used to be important when you didn’t have access to your guys in the summer,” Brey explained. “Now that you get to practice with your guys in the summer, you’re able to really evaluate and do that. I don’t know if I’d want to do it with a veteran team. Maybe you do it when you have some more new guys and trying to get them broken it.”
Revisiting Alternate Uniforms
The kids love them, which is all that matters. Head coach Mike Brey, on the other hand, admitted that the lime green jerseys Notre Dame broke out during the Big East Championship and NCAA Tournament weren’t exactly up his alley.
“You do a little bit of everything to get out there,” he said about reaching recruits and fans. “You get so many remarks on that. Certainly the old guard of people were like, ‘Oh my God, how could you ever [do that?]’ All I know is we played Marquette that night [in New York] and the next day by noon I got a picture of Demetrius Jackson has one on.
He went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and bought one. I showed our AD and said this is why we did it.
“You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do sometimes.”