SOUTH BEND — A change of conferences isn't going to mean a change of style for Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish were a consistent contender in the Big East, winning at least 10 league games the past four seasons and advancing to the NCAA tournament each time. Neither coach Mike Brey nor the Fighting Irish players, coming off a 25-10 season, see any reason to make changes heading in to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
"I don't want to reinvent the wheel," Brey said. "Last time I checked we have a style of play here that's been really consistent and really effective in this building. We want to make people adjust to us."
But the Irish have shown they can adjust as well, playing up tempo at times and at other times slowing it down, or "burning," as Notre Dame likes to call it. Irish players believe they're ready for whatever the ACC brings.
"Teams are going to play at our pace, no matter what. We're still going to play at our speed and dictate the tempo," point guard Eric Atkins said. "Sometimes that's going to be a little bit more fast-paced, but it's what coach Brey wants, and we're going to control that."
Brey, a former assistant to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, said he never thought he'd coach Notre Dame in the ACC and the prospect of that has re-energized him in his 14th season as Irish coach.
"Now you're thinking about new styles of play, how's Duke playing, N.C. State, all these guys. I think it's energized our whole coaching staff. We've had more good basketball discussions during the summer than just recruiting because we're preparing a new way," he said.