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Notre Dame

Notre Dame
vs. Idaho State
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Radio: 1450 AM, 1480 AM

Irish junior gets his chance

Notre Dame forward Tim Abromaitis’ patience has paid off for him and the Irish.

The 6-foot-8 junior averaged 3.3 minutes per game as a freshman and didn’t play his sophomore season.

But with the graduation of four seniors from last season’s team, Abromaitis has been called on to contribute as one of Notre Dame’s first substitutes.

Abromaitis, averaging 23 minutes per game, is second in scoring for the Irish averaging 13.1 points and has scored in double-figures in every game this season. He is also the team’s best three-point shooter, hitting 51.5 percent of his attempts (17 of 33).

“I’m comfortable out there now,” Abromaitis said. “The guys are looking for me, and I’m doing a good job of getting open, I guess.”

Abromaitis’ contributions to Notre Dame (6-1), which plays host to Idaho State (2-4) today, are not limited to offense.

The Unionville, Conn., native is averaging 3.7 rebounds, and his block and defensive rebound with 11:39 remaining in a 95-72 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) helped seal the game for Notre Dame on Nov. 16.

“He’s our X-factor,” Irish guard Tory Jackson said. “He gets in there and fights for rebounds, and when the opportunity comes with the shot, he’s ready to knock it down.”

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said Jackson and forward Luke Harangody helped prepare Abromaitis to be a key contributor.

“They did a good job of getting Abromaitis ready this summer,” said Brey, whose team finished third in the Chicago Invitational Challenge after defeating Saint Louis 64-52 Saturday following a 72-58 loss to Northwestern on Friday.

“He’s a confident young man, and a lot of that has to do with Tory and Luke getting him confident.”