Hear It From a Student - My Weakness

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I have something of a weakness for Notre Dame basketball. Yes, I know we're often labeled as a football school. Yes, I know after losing three seniors, we're all a little dubious about what exactly this season is going to look like. Yes, I know you have a test on Thursday and you can't afford to spend three hours of your Wednesday night in Purcell Pavilion.

The men's team has never won a national championship and the height of its greatness was under Digger Phelps many moons ago. But still, that opening video always gives me chills.

I was fully invested last year. That's another thing college basketball has over college football: You can still afford to be fully invested after a loss. I was fully invested all the way to watch the third round of the NCAA Tournament in the United Center when we lost to Florida State.

This season, on paper, looks less promising than last season. Although we started the season receiving votes in the polls, our team is undeniably young. Tim Abromaitis and Scott Martin are the only real veterans, and even though Jack Cooley and Joey Brooks aren't exactly young, they are new to having considerable weight on their shoulders.

All of that said, there is something wonderful about having a young team. There is usually an immense amount of growth that happens from start to finish, a bonding and a love that pulls young players together.

During the post-game press conference this past Monday, I witnessed an exchange.

Eric Atkins was being interviewed by a reporter while Jack Cooley sat back on the couch, done with his own interviews. When the reporter moved away from Atkins, Cooley turned to his teammate.

"Eric!" he called out. "You said 'um' 21 times during that interview."

Atkins grinned and rolled his eyes, and I got the sense that this sort of ribbing is pretty common between the boys. They are going to be a fun group to watch, not only because they're growing as a team together, but because they're quite obviously friends.

Bring this season on. Procrastinate your tests and join me in the investment. All the way to the United Center.

- Lauren Chval ('13)

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