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With Kentucky’s prospective 1-year wonders visiting, Irish freshman relishes role

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 10:12 a.m. CDT

(Continued from Page 1)

(MCT) — SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Better than most, Cameron Biedscheid knows what’s coming on Thursday, because he knows who is coming. The latest batch of possibly one-and-done Kentucky freshmen visit, the fleet of the fleeting, and Notre Dame’s likewise precocious first-year forward is familiar with each.

Biedscheid encountered the likes of Archie Goodwin, Nerlens Noel and Alex Poythress on the AAU circuit, got to know them a little. None of them have exchanged texts this week. And it seems none of them would exchange places.

“They really thrive off freshmen play, they bring a lot of freshmen in there and put them right in the fire,” Biedscheid said Tuesday.

“That’d be great if I had that opportunity as well, but I also appreciate the opportunity I have now, being able to learn and understand the game even better from the veteran guys and the great coaching staff. I’m very happy with the situation I’m in.”

That situation is clear: Things at Notre Dame get old. Freshmen play when they’re worthy of playing in Mike Brey’s typically veteran-dominated system, while John Calipari’s Kentucky program is a fountain of youth.

So Biedscheid averages 17.3 minutes and 7.7 points off the bench, his offensive aptitude obvious but his role clearly defined. There is one-and-done, and there is one-and-just-begun.

“Cam is in the club,” Brey said. “He has scored. He continues to be a responsible defender. There’s still a long way to go. We want to continue to make him feel like he’s an old guy.”

As the No. 28 overall prospect in the Class of 2012, per Rivals.com, Biedscheid at least had Kentucky’s trio of top 15 talent in his line of sight. But he had to add weight — even after gaining 13 pounds, he’s listed at 6 foot 7, 186 pounds — and add a defensive sensibility. Both are a work in progress.

The upshot is Biedscheid knows what he doesn’t know.

“The whole communication between players and him has come a long way,” forward Pat Connaughton said. “Especially on the defensive end, he wants you to tell him what to do, he wants to be really involved in everything.”

So when Biedscheid notes that Brey has spent 20 or 30 minutes straight in practices barking corrections at him, it is viewed as tough love.

“It’s not high school anymore, and I know it isn’t,” Biedscheid said. “I have to do more things, I have to do better things to help our team.”

On Thursday, a swollen Purcell Pavilion crowd gets perhaps its one chance to see a group of talented Kentucky freshmen play college basketball.

It also will see a Notre Dame freshman happily play the waiting game.

“My mindset is to go to the pros,” Biedscheid said. “That has been my dream ever since I was a little kid.

“I’m trying to take everything day by day, and get better every day, to reach my dream. I’m not trying to feel I have to pressure myself right now, this very moment, this very year.”

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