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Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Observer

Irish men’s basketball freshman Dom Campbell announces transfer to Howard

On Tuesday evening, Notre Dame men’s basketball freshman Dom Campbell announced that he will be transferring to Howard for the upcoming season. Campbell, a forward from Scarborough, Maine, entered the transfer portal on March 13 amid uncertainty with the Irish coaching staff, but left the door open for a possible return to South Bend. He now makes it official that he will be leaving the program after one season.

Campbell came to Notre Dame as a four-star recruit and was ranked among the top 100 players in the Class of 2022 by Rivals. The 6'9" forward was just the third Irish player from Maine during former head coach Mike Brey’s tenure and was a standout at Phillips Exeter Academy (NH). He played AAU basketball with the Middlesex Magic, the same program that developed former Irish star Pat Connaughton and current graduate student guard Cormac Ryan.

While he began his freshman season on the periphery of Notre Dame’s rotation, Campbell worked his way into a bigger role over the course of the year. Brey spoke highly of his skill as an interior offensive player prior to the season.

"Dom [Campbell] is a gifted low post guy with great hands and footwork," Brey said. "He has the ability to carve out space and step out as well. He can make really good decisions with the ball in his hands."

Campbell saw his first playing time during the Irish’s November win against Southern Indiana, and his first Notre Dame point would come on a made free throw the following week against Bowling Green. His role increased significantly at the start of ACC play.

After contributing in a narrow loss to Miami, Campbell’s best game of the season came in Notre Dame’s trip to Chapel Hill to play defending national runner-up North Carolina. He recorded career highs in points (three) and minutes (eight) while taking on the difficult assignment of matching up with Tar Heel All-American Armando Bacot, one of the strongest and most skilled post players in the country. Bacot praised Campbell’s defensive intensity and physicality after the game.

"I think he did a good job when he came in, just disrupting the game," Bacot said of Campbell. "He was physical, I think he did his part really well."

Campbell finished the year averaging 0.7 points and 1.2 rebounds per game in 10 appearances. He will look to build on the flashes of potential that he displayed in what will likely be an expanded role with Howard next season. The Bison are coming off of an outstanding year that saw them win the MEAC regular season and tournament titles along with a berth in the NCAA Tournament where they were defeated by Kansas in the first round. With nearly their entire rotation set to return, and the addition of a talented two-way player like Campbell, Howard should have a good chance of returning to March Madness next season.

For Notre Dame, Campbell’s exit adds another complication to new head coach Micah Shrewsberry’s task of rebuilding the Irish roster. With freshman guard JJ Starling having committed to Syracuse earlier this month, Notre Dame will return only one member of its highly-rated freshman class, forward Ven-Allen Lubin. Losing Campbell also saps the Irish’s interior depth. Graduate forward Nate Laszewski is now out of eligibility, and Notre Dame’s post rotation for next year currently consists of just Lubin and junior forward Matt Zona.

All in all, the Irish now have just six confirmed players on the roster for next season, though Shrewsberry appears to already have significant momentum on the recruiting trail and in the transfer portal during his first week with the program. Campbell now joins Starling and the program’s six graduate students in departing from Notre Dame. With Shrewsberry, who has led successful rebuilds in the past, now at the helm, look for the Irish to be aggressive in making key roster additions over the coming weeks and months.