SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WANE) – What a difference a year has made for New Haven High School graduate V.J. Beachem.
Last year as a true freshman at Notre Dame the 6-foot-8 Beachem averaged 2.4 points on 31-percent shooting in a limited role for the Irish.
This season Beachem has proved his worth as the team’s sixth man, helping Notre Dame to a 17-2 record (5-1 in ACC play) while averaging 8.5 points on 53-pecent shooting, including 52-percent from deep.
“I’m feeling really good,” Beachem said at practice on Wednesday. “I have a lot of confidence right now. I’m just hoping to keep it rolling and keep adding to the team.”
“You know, I think he’s gotten physically stronger,” coach Mike Brey said. “I think it’s just the old going from a freshman to a sophomore. Where you really see it is how much he talks in our practices now.”
Beachem missed almost the entire month of December with a foot injury, but has been full-go for ACC play. In fact, he’s scored in double figure in Notre Dame’s last three games including 13 key points in a 75-70 win over Miami on Saturday.
“We definitely want to compete for an ACC title, and just be as good of a team as we can possibly be,” said Beachem. “So, maximizing our potential is our number one goal.”
Notre Dame is currently ranked no. 8 in this week’s Associated Press poll and the Irish play at Virginia Tech Thursday night.
“The ranking is nice, but we haven’t won anything yet,” says Beachem. “So, just know that, knowing we need to be able to block that out and compete every day in practice and in games is going to be important for us.”