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Notre Dame's Beachem finds good mentor

SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame freshman forward and former New Haven standout V.J. Beachem said after practice Tuesday that it was a no-brainer of which player to seek out for advice as he makes the transition to college.

Beachem went straight to starting point guard Eric Atkins.

"He's the senior point guard. He's our captain," Beachem said after practice Tuesday.

Beachem said Atkins tells him to stay steady each and every day, and to keep working hard and not to rush anything.

"It's a process, and it's not going to happen over night, so keep working at it each and every day," Beachem said.

Atkins said he has been impressed by Beachem's offensive game and said the 6-foot-8 forward has the smoothest jumper on the team.

"He's somebody that can really score at will," Atkins said. "I've seen him do it. But in the college game, it is a little bit different, so I talk to him about different ways to get open, different ways to score here and there. He's really been working hard, and asking for advice is a good way to help out his game."

As impressive as Beachem's scoring abilities have been, fellow freshman Demetrius Jackson said there is one problem with his shooting.

"He also always has his foot on the line," Jackson said while laughing. "He shoots the most long two-pointers in college basketball history. That's one thing we agreed on, he would have the most reviewed shots. Every single time he shoots it, his foot is like right on the line, nearly over it.

"We like to joke around, but V.J. is definitely a good shooter."

For more on Beachem, read Wednesday's Journal Gazette.

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