Notre Dame Basketball Recruiting: Mike Brey’s Top 2019 Targets

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

A really solid 5-man 2018 recruiting class has left Notre Dame basketball fans hopeful for the future, but what lies in store for 2019?

Over the last several years, Notre Dame basketball has been on the upswing – both on the court and on the recruiting trail. After a heart-breaking loss to Kentucky in the 2015 Elite 8, Notre Dame followed that up with another Elite 8 run in 2016, and then a 2nd round exit in 2017.

2018 was a little different story. The team had high expectations and deservingly so. Preseason college basketball player of the year Bonzie Colson returned to South Bend for one last hurrah, and senior leader Matt Farrell was further breakout.

Long story short, injuries struck the Irish and they barely missed out on another deep NCAA tournament run. Fans had suddenly forgotten the hard work put in to make this program a staple for success.

What does this have to do with recruiting, you ask? Well, part of Notre Dame’s recent success should be attributed to an uptick in recruiting – and last year doesn’t change that narrative.

It’s been awhile since Mike Brey missed out on his top target. In 2015, it was Matt Ryan. In 2016, it was T.J. Gibbs. In 2017, it was D.J. Harvey. Last year, it was Prentiss Hubb. These might not be the five-stars that Duke and Kentucky land, but they fit the Brey system and help the Irish stay old and talented.

Fast forward to 2019 recruiting, and Mike Brey has his sights set on a few very talented players. Prospects that typically end up at the aforementioned programs and leave after their freshman or sophomore seasons for the NBA.

Can Brey do what he has never really done before? Let’s take a closer look at some of these Notre Dame targets.

2019 Top Targets 

Isaiah Stewart

You can’t begin this list without mentioning the five-star big man – originally from Rochester, New York. Stewart began his high school career in his hometown, but has since transferred to powerhouse La Lumiere School right in Notre Dame’s backyard.

Yes, Stewart holds offers from almost every school worth mentioning in college basketball, but anyone would be foolish for counting out Notre Dame. Stewart has a long standing relationship with Mike Brey and understands he can be the guy on a very competitive basketball team.

At 6’9″, 245 pounds, he already has a mature build for a 17 year old. He is at the very top of the board for the Irish, and would easily be Mike Brey’s biggest recruiting win as a Head Coach.

Imagine a roster with Gibbs, Hubb, a healthy Harvey, Durham and Stewart in 2019-2020. That’s drool worthy.

Cole Anthony 

Without a reported Notre Dame offer, some might wonder why the #3 player in the 2019 class makes this list. That is a fair question to have.

Much like Stewart, Anthony boasts offers from all of the elite basketball programs in the country and is also from New York – an area that Mike Brey typically recruits well.

However, if you read Tom Noie’s work over at and participate in the basketball chats, he dropped a nice little recruiting nugget for us last week. Cole’s father, Greg Anthony, thinks very highly of Brey and feels his son is a perfect fit in his offense. It was also mentioned that Notre Dame has made the combo guard a priority in 2019.

This one feels a lot more like wishful thinking, but picture for a second a class in 2019 with 2 five-stars. To put things into perspective, Notre Dame football hasn’t landed a composite five-star recruit since 2016. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, basketball hasn’t landed either of these guys as of today.

Tre Mitchell

Probably a more realistic Notre Dame target when considering past recruiting efforts. Mitchell is the same height and weight as Stewart, but he is not as refined on either side of the ball. Nonetheless, he is a recruit that Notre Dame fans should be excited about if he elects to join the class. Holding offers from UConn, Illinois, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Xavier to go along with Notre Dame, he is a terrific prospect in his own right.

Although most Notre Dame fans would consider him a consolation prize to Stewart, Mitchell has the makings of a very good ACC basketball player down the road – and one that Notre Dame could build around for multiple years instead of just one.

Based in Connecticut, he is also in a strong Notre Dame recruiting territory. He’s physically mature for his age and can stretch the floor with his shooting ability. Seems like a match made in heaven for Mike Brey.

Joseph Girard

The last player on this list, and one I almost decided to leave off is another New Yorker. Girard has already been deemed a poor man’s Kyle McAlarney by the Irish faithful, but ultimately I don’t see him ending up in South Bend.

The need for a guard in 2019 isn’t all that high and with Girard’s recruitment taking off many top programs have jump on board with an offer. He recently included Notre Dame in his top 6 – which should come as no surprise. With that said, schools like Michigan, Duke and Syracuse probably have the upper hand here.

Next: Notre Dame Basketball: DJ Harvey's Season in Jeopardy?

I would assume the board will expand if Notre Dame doesn’t land 2 from this list, but overall it should be small, but talented class ahead for Mike Brey in 2019.