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Showdown of styles


When Notre Dame (6-1) tips off against No. 8 Kentucky (5-1) as part of the SEC/Big East Challenge on Thursday night in Purcell Pavilion, it will match two programs with very different philosophies.

Irish coach Mike Brey has built a team based on developing talent and keeping veteran lineups on the floor. Wildcats coach John Calipari has reloaded each year with talent freshmen, who tend to only stick around for a season.

Though Brey won't be changing his strategy any time soon, he sees nothing wrong with how Kentucky, which is the defending NCAA champion, builds its teams.

"If I could get my hands on three one-and-done guys, I'd be the first one to do that," Brey said during a news conference Tuesday "Certainly if a freshman is good enough, he is playing. Cam Beidscheid is in there for us this year, and Pat Connaughton last year.

"I think the way we are set up and our university and the kind of kids we are getting here, it is going to be more four and five-year guys, I kind of like the rhythm of how we do it."

Brey is hoping that his veteran talent can counter the Wildcats' athletic young talent.

"That's been a big thing that's helped us consistently over the years is we've stayed old," Brey said. "We've not had to rely on playing a lot of young guys.

"Certainly if we are going to be successful on Thursday night our experience and our poise are going to have to play out, and we are going to have to really be good in that department for close to 40 minutes to beat the talent that they put on the floor."

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.