Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/11/11

In recent years, Notre Dame college basketball has been more nationally relevant than Notre Dame college football. Sounds kind of weird doesn’t it? Then again look at who the top three projected teams in the Big Ten: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan- all traditional football powers.

Irish basketball, that is Notre Dame men’s basketball, not a version of the sport from the Emerald Isle, is going to remain strong with the signing class announced this week.

Mike Brey has announced the signing of Zach Auguste (Malborough, Mass./New Hampton School), Cameron Biedscheid (St.Louis, Mo./Cardinal Ritter College Prep) and Austin Burgett (Avon, Ind./Avon)to National Letters of Intent as members of Notre Dame’s class of 2016.

The class is currently ranked 16th by Rivals.com with Biedscheid (30) and Auguste (93) both listed inRivals’ top 100 list among this year’s senior class. It will be needed in order to remain competitive in the Big East.

“I am very pleased with how this class came together,” 12th-year head coach Mike Brey says.  “I like the size because all three of the players are big and long.  With this class we have three guys who are very good with the basketball.  They know how to pass and catch and understand how to handle the ball.”

Auguste (pronounced August like the month) averaged 10.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in in 2010-11 at New Hampton School in New Hampton, N.H., where he led his team to a 21-13 record.

“Zach is the flexible number-four man on the floor that we always have had good success with,” Brey says.  “He can step out and shoot the basketball but is also comfortable handling it as well. What I love most about his game is his length around the basket.  Zach is so good at playing above the rim and is such a versatile player.  He’s a strong shot blocker and consistently demonstrates that he can score it around the basket.  For a 6-10 guy, he can handle the ball anywhere on the court.”

Biedscheid (pronounced beed • shide) has enjoyed a heralded prep career at Cardinal Ritter and hails from the same hometown area as former Irish great LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92).  As a junior in ’10-’11, the 6-7, 174-pound guard (so obviously he REALLY needs to eat something and bulk up, 6-7, 174 is damn near anorexic) led his high school squad in scoring and rebounding as he averaged 29.7 points and 7.9 rebounds in 29 contests while his team finished with a 23-6 mark.

He has scored more than 1,000 career points in three seasons and garnered all-state, all-Archdiocesan Athletic Association and all-region honors twice.  Last season, he was named to the St. Louis American ‘Fab 5’ selection and also was selected to play in the ’11 Nike Global Challenge where he earned all-tournament team honors.

“Cameron can play any position on the perimeter and is great with the ball,” Brey says.  “He can score off the dribble and has a keen knack for finding the basket.  Cameron has demonstrated the ability to score from a lot of different spots on the floor.  He has good speed and length.  He could become a very good defensive asset for us because of that speed and wing span.”

Burgett, a 6-9, 220-pound forward, rounds out Notre Dame’s highly regarded recruiting class.  As a junior last season, he averaged 14.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in leading his team to a 20-3 mark and 8-1 record in conference play.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports.

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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