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Upstart Nittany Lions Lose A Big Piece Of Their Tourney Run

The first college head coaching position held by Micah Shrewsberry was in South Bend. He’s returning 16 years after he left, and this time, it’s for Notre Dame, the greatest b-ball stage the region can offer.

According to multiple reports, Shrewsberry, The Nittany Lions head coach for the past two seasons, is set to take over at Notre Dame. ESPN was the first to report the news. The Indianapolis native, who is 46 years old, recently led Penn State to their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2011, two seasons after taking over a team that went 11-14. They were denied. Ten seed won over No. 7 Texas A&M, lost to No. 1 in the first round. 2 Texas in the 32nd matchup.

The Shrewsberry Hire

The hiring ends a search that began on January 19, when Notre Dame announced that Mike Brey would be retiring after 23 years of service. As the Irish’s head coach, Brey, 63, led the program in all-time wins with 483-280 victories. In his 23 seasons, he reached 13 NCAA Tournaments, but only once since 2018. In his final season, Notre Dame finished 9-10 (1-7 ACC) and went 11-21, with a record of 3-17.

Notre Dame is taking advantage of its location by hiring Shrewsberry, a coach with extensive Indiana ties. Shrewsberry worked as Matt Painter’s assistant twice at Purdue: once from 2011 to 2013 and once from 2019 to 21. In addition, he coached in two national championship games while working as an assistant for Brad Stevens at Butler from 2008 to 2011. He followed Stevens to the Boston Celtics as a partner in 2013 and remained until 2019.

Stevens hired Shrewsberry at Butler from Indiana-South Bend, an NAIA school, where he was the head coach from 2005 to 2007. He took over a team that had lost 22 games. In his first year, he went 3-27, and in his second, 11-18. From 2003 to 2005, he was Marshall’s director of basketball operations, DePauw’s assistant from 2001 to 2003, and Wabash’s assistant from 1999 to 2000.

Penn State became one of the country’s best 3-point shooting and ball-handling teams, going from 14-17 in Shrewsberry’s first season to 23-14 (10-10 Big Ten) in his second.

Nittany Lions Moving Forward

According to KenPom, the Nittany Lions finished the season in 13th place in adjusted offensive efficiency, ninth in three-point percentage (38.7), seventh in turnover rate (13.7), and tenth in three-point volume (47.1% of field goal attempts).

They used three fifth-year seniors, including guard Jalen Pickett, who was named to the second team of the All-America team by the Associated Press and played two more in their rotation. On three-point attempts, each of the five made at least 38%. With 17.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, Pickett ranked fourth in the nation in assists per game (6.6).

For the 2023–24 season, Shrewsberry inherits a Notre Dame roster with just five scholarship players, except the unlikely graduate student guard Cormac Ryan. After this season, the Irish had four other graduate students reach the end of their eligibility, and three players used the transfer portal on the first day it opened.

Markus Burton, a three-star guard from Mishawaka, Indiana, is the only one of those five players who has signed with Penn in 2023. Unfortunately, the Penn State squad he’s leaving behind comprised quality seniors who will be departing.

Before hiring Ed Cooley on Monday, Georgetown reportedly had Shrewsberry among its top candidates for the head coach position. Shrewsberry was also a top target for Providence to replace Cooley almost immediately after Cooley left, according to multiple reports.


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