5 Biggest Keys for Notre Dame Basketball in 2018-19

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06: TJ Gibbs Jr.
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06: TJ Gibbs Jr. /
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LAHAINA, HI – NOVEMBER 20: D.J. Harvey #3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish draws contact from Braden Koelliker #33 of the Chaminade Silverswords as he shoots during the second half of their game at Lahaina Civic Center on November 20, 2017 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images) /

1. The Health of D.J. Harvey

Harvey came to Notre Dame out of DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland (Mike Brey’s alma mater) with as much fanfare as any recruit in the Brey era. As the only recruit in the class and a borderline five star, a lot was expected from Harvey in 2017-2018. He started off his freshman campaign strong and quickly became the first guy off the bench.

After the injury to Colson, he stepped into the starting lineup against NC State and gave Irish fans a glimpse of the future — going for a career-high 17 points in a win. He would have his fair share of struggles during the first half the year, but the future of Notre Dame basketball with Harvey was certainly bright. That all came into question when he went down with a knee injury in mid-January against Louisville. The initial diagnosis was a bone bruise that would hold him out for a month, but during preparation to come back, he would suffer a significant setback.

Harvey would undergo micro-fracture knee surgery on February 26th ending his freshman season. Rumors started to surface that his sophomore year was in question, and there have been many examples of basketball players never getting back to form after this surgery.

Fortunately, Harvey was cleared to resume basketball related activities on October 1st. Questions still remained if he would redshirt his sophomore year, but he has been taking part in practice sessions in full — and has looked good doing so. In fact, during a “secret scrimmage” with Cincinnati, it was reported Harvey recorded 13 points.

It’s really simple with D.J. Harvey. Notre Dame needs him, and it looks like he is close to being fully back. He is as important as it gets for this 2018-2019 team, and a lot will be thrown on his shoulders in year two with the program.