Name: V.J. Beachem
School: Notre Dame
Position: Small Forward
From: New Haven, Indiana
High School: New Haven H.S.
AAU Team: Eric Gordon All-Stars
ESPN: 4-Star | #15 Rated SF | #73 Overall
Scout: 4-Star | #17 Rated SF | #69 Overall
Rivals: 4-Star | #15 Rated SF | #85 Overall
247Sports: 4-Star | #18 Rated SF | #100 Overall
When God decided to create V.J. Beachem, he looked down on the young lad and simply said, “you’re going to score…a lot.”
Outside of Duke’s Jabari Parker, there may be no better freshmen at putting the ball in the basket. A long wing (6-7 and probably still growing), Beachem has a smooth stroke from deep and when he gets hot, the only thing a defender can do is step back and pray he gets bored hitting shots.
If I can think of any former ACC player that Beachem reminds me of coming in as a rookie, it has to be North Carolina’s Reggie Bullock (a slightly taller version of course). However, that’s purely based on his ability to hit the deep ones.
Coming into college though, Bullock couldn’t put the ball on the floor and create his own shot. Beachem is not afraid to put the ball on the floor and create some space for a mid-range shot.
Yet, despite the God-given ability to score, there are some issues that Beachem will need to work on to truly become a great player at the next level.
First, some argue that when his head is in the game, he is often the best player on the court. That’s fine, but that just means there are times his head is not in the game. To star at the next level, there can’t be plays off or days off.
Also, he’s been described as soft on the defensive side of the ball. The report is, he struggles to defend inside and he doesn’t rebound. The reality is, if he can’t play defense, it won’t matter how many jumpers Beachem can hit.
Of course the problem might be that he appears to be allergic to muscle. He’s listed anywhere from 165-180 pounds. It’s tough to play defense when a point guard could probably push you out of the paint.
If I’m Mike Brey, this kid’s freshman roommate will be a weight trainer and his bed will be located in the gym.
The Fighting Irish head into the ACC with a solid starting rotation, one that should feature four upperclassmen (Eric Atkins, Jerain Grant, Pat Connaughton and Tom Knight).
Because of his lack of weight, he can’t really play the four, so Beachem’s only hope for minutes is at the three, which means he needs to steal minutes from junior Connaughton. The problem is, like Beachem, Connaughton is a three-point shooter, who came on strong in the Big East Tournament last year, so there isn’t much he can do that Connaughton can’t do himself.
Yes, if Beachem can hit some shots, he’ll stay on the floor for good stretches, but again that weight scares the crap out of me on the defensive end. At 215, Connaughton does not have that problem.