Notre Dame will rely on younger players heading into the 2011-12 season.
Three seniors are gone. There are more new faces than normal and they will have to step into productive roles if the Fighting Irish are to have a successful season in one of the nation's toughest basketball conferences.
''I won't say we're younger, were just newer,'' Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. ''There are some newer guys.''
That group includes a number of juniors and sophomores who haven't seen much playing time as a part of the Notre Dame program. Last season's three seniors all averaged over 28 minutes per game. Brey hopes the new group has been paying attention to the winning example set before them with consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament.
''They've all been around and felt it the last couple of years and have been around some good stuff,'' Brey said. ''I'm counting on that - for some osmosis - to help.''
The new players will be counted on heavily right at the start of the season after...