Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has not made any secret of his admiration for Georgia Tech center Ben Lammers, and he re-upped Sunday night following the Yellow Jackets’ loss to his Irish at Purcell Pavilion.
Notre Dame shot 29 3-pointers in part because of the looming threat posed by Lammers in the paint. Going into the game, Notre Dame averaged 23.2 3-pointers per game in ACC competition, a total comprising 39.6 percent of all field-goal tries. Sunday, Irish 3-point tries made up 50.9 percent of their field-goal attempts. Notre Dame scored just 16 points in the paint.
“It’s hard to score in the paint with him back there,” Brey said of Lammers. “He made some unbelievable recovery blocks. The one on Bonzie (Wells) when he shot that reverse layup – he came from behind and got it. He’s a really gifted young man. He’s really good. Got to check which assistant (coach) was recruiting him, why he didn’t tell me about him.”
Lammers had four blocks, giving him an even 100 for the season. That’s fourth most in school history in a season. Alvin Jones set the school record in 1997-98 with 141, but Lammers is within reach of the second most blocks in a season. Jones holds that also, with 107 in 1998-99. Lammers has at least three more games – two regular-season games and one ACC tournament game.
Lammers came into the game second nationally in blocked shots per game with 3.43. The leader, Liam Thomas of Nicholls State, has an average of 4.03.
Lammers scored 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting and added 10 rebounds for his 13th double-double, third most in the ACC.
Besides most improved player in the ACC, Lammers also has a good shot at making the ACC’s all-defensive team and All-ACC. It would certainly seem like he has Brey’s endorsement.