Nov. 14, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey has announced the signing of forwards Rick Cornett (Country Club Hills, Ill.), Torin Francis (Roslindale, Mass.) and guard Chris Quinn (Dublin, Ohio) to national letters of intent to become members of the Irish basketball program beginning in the fall of 2002.
“This is obviously a big day in the history of the Notre Dame men’s basketball program,” Brey says. “We’ve signed three oustanding players who are going have a great impact on this program next year and in the future. I believe that this is another statement of us being back on the college basketball map.
“When my assistants and I began the recruiting process with this class, these were three young men that we targeted and concentrated our efforts on because we felt that their skill levels and talents would fit our needs and best suit our system.
“More importantly, however, they wanted both the athletic and academic environment that Notre Dame offers. All three of these young men are excellent students who realize the importance of having a degree from this University and what it means for their futures after basketball.”
Cornett has starred at Homewood Academy for the past three seasons and helped his team compile a 86-10 record. During the past two seasons, the 6-8, 230-pounder has averaged double figures in both scoring and rebounding, netting 17.9 points and 12.0 rebounds as a junior and 20.3 points and 14.0 rebounds during the 1999-2000 campaign. In addition, he averaged 3.0 blocks in 2000-01 and 4.1 blocks as a sophomore.
As a junior, Cornett earned all-state honorable mention honors from the Chicago Tribune after leading Homewood to its second straight Illinois Christian School state title last season with a 35-2 record. The previous season, he led his team to a final record of 31-3. In each of the two basketball campaigns, he has garnered MVP at the state regional championships.
A two-time participant in the Nike All-America Camp, Cornett won a gold medal in June of 2001 playing for the North squad at the USA Development Festival basketball tournament, a championship which included 46 of the best high school players in the country.
In addition, he was a member of the Illinois Warriors AAU team which won the 17-and-under national crown in the summer of 2001.
Heading into his senior season, Cornett owns a career scoring total of 1,888 career points.
“Physically, we haven’t had a player with Rick Cornett’s body type here at Notre Dame for a very long time,” Brey says. “Rick has made his mark in high school as a big-time rebounder, but he is just as skilled offensively and will continue to develop those skills in college. I look for him to become a very complete player in college.
“Rick is a proven winner who has been around a winning environment during the past two seasons. He is going to be a key player for us as a freshman.”
A two-year starter at Tabor Academy, the 6-10, 220-pound Francis averaged 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots per game as a junior. He led his team to consecutive New England Prep school championships while compiling a 48-14 record during the past two seasons.
Francis, who played his his first two high school seasons at Boston Latin, has been a standout on the BABC AAU team, helping his team to the finals of the Nike Showcase in Orlando, Fla., this past summer. Similar to Cornett, he is a two-time selection to the Nike All-America Camp and also was a participant at the USA Development Festival basketball tournament.
Francis is vice-president of Tabor’s senior class and currently serves as sports editor of the senior newspaper. In addition, he is a proctor (the equivalent to a residence assistant in college) in one of the dormitories on the Tabor campus.
“At 6-10, Torin is a very skilled basketball player who can play different positions offensively. He’s an extremely versatile all-around athlete who plays both ends of the floor extremely well.
“Torin has a physical presence both offensively and defensively, and like Rick Cornett, he runs the floor extremely well for a player his size.”
Quinn, a 6-1, 175-pound guard out of Coffman High School, averaged 18.5 points, 6.0 assists and 3.8 rebounds during his junior year while leading his team to a 23-3 record. While dishing off a single-season 155 assists during the 2000-01 campaign, he committed just 29 turnovers throughout all of last season.
The Ohio Capital Conference Central Division Player of the Year in 2000-01 after leading his prep team to a 10-0 league mark and to the regional finals of the Ohio state championship. In addition, Quinn was selected as a first team all-district pick and was named to the All-Agonis squad, a team comprised of the top scholastic players in the Columbus, Ohio area. He also was a Suburban Super 12 first-team selection.
As a junior, he led his team in scoring averaging 18.9 points, 5.8 rebounds 5.2 assists while his team posted an 18-5 mark. Quinn, who holds numerous records at Coffman, ranks as the school’s all-time career scoring leader with 1,133 points and stands second all-time with 323 career assists.
Quinn, a Nike All-America camp participant, has played for Team Ohio the past two seasons and has traveled with that squad to Italy for an international 17-under tournament comprised of 24 teams. He has led that team to back-to-back championships, while earning MVP honors and winning the International Three-Point Shooting Contest in 2001.
“Chris can play either one of the guard positions on the floor because he is such a solid player both on and off of the ball,” Brey says. “He’s a high school senior who has a tremendous feel for the game and who plays the game like a much older player.
“Chris’ intelligence, size and skill are going to be tremendous assets for us next year. Like Rick and Torin, Chris is going to be an impact player for us next season.”